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Authorities

The government

The current ruling coalition (Ríkisstjórn) of Iceland is made up of three political parties the Progressive party, the Independence party, and the Left Green party. They hold a 54% majority between them. Their coalition agreement outlining their policy and vision for governance is available in English here.

 

The current prime minister is Katrín Jakobsdóttir. The prime minister and cabinet ministers are responsible for most all executive functions as the president has very limited powers.

 

Here are is information about the current ruling coalition ministers.

 

Constitution of the Republic of Iceland

Municipalities

There are two levels of government in Iceland, the federal or state and municipalities. Every four years, residents of the various electoral districts elect their representatives to the local government to oversee the implementation of services and local democracy. Local municipality governing bodies are elected officials working nearest to the public and they are responsible for local services for the inhabitants of the municipalities. The municipalities have equal status and legal obligations, in regad to legally binding obligations for providing services and governance regardless of the number of inhabitants.

 

The municipalities are responsible for policy implementation in local services for example many key social welfare services, educational institutions such as pre and primary schools and public transportation and safety measures. They are also responsible for the technical infrastructure in each municipality, such as drinking water, heating, and waste treatment. Finally, they are the responsible for planning development and building authorities in addition to carrying out health and safety inspections.

 

Iceland divided into 72 municipalities, each with its own local government. Municipalities have rights and obligations towards their residents and the state. An individual is considered a resident of the municipality where his or her legal domicile is registered. Municipalities provide services for residents registered of that municipality meaning it is a requirement to register with the relevant local municipality office when moving to a new area.

 

Foreign nationals, 18 years of age and older, have the right to vote in local government elections after having been legally domiciled in Iceland for five consecutive years. Danish, Finnish, Norwegian and Swedish citizens aged 18 and over, who have been domiciled here for three consecutive years, acquire the right to vote.

 

Find your municipality (interactive image below). 

Find your municipality

The president

The President of Iceland is the country’s head of state and the only representative chosen by the entire electorate in a direct election. The office of President was established in the Constitution of the Republic of Iceland which took effect on 17 June 17 1944.

 

The current president is Guðni Th. Jóhannesson.

 

The president is elected to a four-year term by popular vote, and there is no limit to how many terms a president in can serve. The office of presidency has limited powers and serves as a figurehead. The presidential residence is situated in Bessastaðir in Garðabær, near the capital city Reykjavík.  

Courts

The judicial power in Iceland is in the hands of the district courts which are courts of the first instance, an appeals court and of the Supreme Court.

 

Iceland is governed by rule of law; the judiciary is autonomous, and the courts are to judge solely on the basis of law, and are not subject to any authority of the executive branch. Those who hold executive power are without exception to comply with the law, and they are bound by the law.

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