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Travel & Tourism . Tourist Guide to the Country

Iceland Government




Iceland    Government Top of Page
Country name: conventional long form:  Republic of Iceland

conventional short form:  Iceland

local long form:  Lyoveldio Island

local short form:  Island
Government type: constitutional republic
Capital: Reykjavik
Administrative divisions: 23 counties (syslar, singular - sysla) and 14 independent towns* (kaupstadhir, singular - kaupstadhur); Akranes*, Akureyri*, Arnessysla, Austur-Bardhastrandarsysla, Austur-Hunavatnssysla, Austur-Skaftafellssysla, Borgarfjardharsysla, Dalasysla, Eyjafjardharsysla, Gullbringusysla, Hafnarfjordhur*, Husavik*, Isafjordhur*, Keflavik*, Kjosarsysla, Kopavogur*, Myrasysla, Neskaupstadhur*, Nordhur-Isafjardharsysla, Nordhur-Mulasys-la, Nordhur-Thingeyjarsysla, Olafsfjordhur*, Rangarvallasysla, Reykjavik*, Saudharkrokur*, Seydhisfjordhur*, Siglufjordhur*, Skagafjardharsysla, Snaefellsnes-og Hnappadalssysla, Strandasysla, Sudhur-Mulasysla, Sudhur-Thingeyjarsysla, Vesttmannaeyjar*, Vestur-Bardhastrandarsysla, Vestur-Hunavatnssysla, Vestur-Isafjardharsysla, Vestur-Skaftafellssysla

note:  there may be four other counties
Independence: 17 June 1944 (from Denmark)
National holiday: Independence Day, 17 June (1944)
Constitution: 16 June 1944, effective 17 June 1944
Legal system: civil law system based on Danish law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal
Executive branch: chief of state:  President Olafur Ragnar GRIMSSON (since 1 August 1996)

head of government:  Prime Minister David ODDSSON (since 30 April 1991)

cabinet:  Cabinet appointed by the prime minister and approved by Parliament

elections:  president elected by popular vote for a four-year term; election last held 29 June 1996 (next to be held NA June 2004); President GRIMSSON ran unopposed in June 2000 so there were no elections; prime minister appointed by the president

election results:  Olafur Ragnar GRIMSSON elected president; President GRIMSSON ran unopposed
Legislative branch: unicameral Parliament or Althing (63 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)

elections:  last held on 8 May 1999 (next to be held by April 2003)

election results:  percent of vote by party - Independence Party 40.7%, The Alliance (PA, People's Party, Women's List) 26.8%, Progressive Party 18.4%, Left-Green Alliance 9.1%, Liberal Party 4.2%; seats by party - Independence Party 26, The Alliance 17, Progressive Party 12, Left-Green Alliance 6, Liberal Party 2
Judicial branch: Supreme Court or Haestirettur (justices are appointed for life by the president)
Political parties and leaders: Independence Party (conservative) or IP [David ODDSSON]; Left-Green Alliance [Steinsvimur SIGFUSSON]; Liberal Party [Sverrir HERMANNSSON]; People's Party (Social Democratic Party) or SDP [Sighvatyr BJORGIVINSSON]; Progressive Party (liberal) or PP [Halldor ASGRIMSSON]; The Alliance (includes People's Alliance or PA, Social Democratic Party or SVP, People's Movement, Women's List) [Ossur SKARPHEDINSSON]; Women's List or WL [Kristin ASTGEIRSDOTTIR]
Political pressure groups and leaders: NA
International organization participation: Australia Group, BIS, CBSS, CCC, CE, EAPC, EBRD, ECE, EFTA, FAO, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IEA (observer), IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, ISO, ITU, NATO, NC, NEA, NIB, OECD, OPCW, OSCE, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNMIBH, UNMIK, UNU, UPU, WEU (associate), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTrO
Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission:  Ambassador Jon-Baldvin HANNIBALSSON

chancery:  Suite 1200, 1156 15th Street NW, Washington, DC 20005

telephone:  [1] (202) 265-6653

FAX:  [1] (202) 265-6656

consulate(s) general:  New York
Diplomatic representation from the US: chief of mission:  Ambassador Barbara J. GRIFFITHS

embassy:  Laufasvegur 21, Reykjavik

mailing address:  US Embassy, PSC 1003, Box 40, FPO AE 09728-0340

telephone:  [354] 5629100

FAX:  [354] 5629118
Flag description: blue with a red cross outlined in white that extends to the edges of the flag; the vertical part of the cross is shifted to the hoist side in the style of the Dannebrog (Danish flag)

 

Countryfacts Information Courtesy: CIA Worldbook








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