Iceland Government

What is the capital of Iceland?

Country Name Iceland
Full Country Name Republic of Iceland
Local - Long Lydveldid Island
Local - Short Island
Etymology- history of name Floki VILGERDARSON, an early explorer of the island (9th century), applied the name "land of ice" after spotting a fjord full of drift ice to the north and spending a bitter winter on the island; he eventually settled on the island, however, after he saw how it greened up in the summer and that it was in fact habitable
Government Type parliamentary republic
Capital Name Reykjavik
Capital - geographic coordinate 64 09 N, 21 57 W
Capital Time Difference UTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
Independence 1 December 1918 (became a sovereign state under the Danish Crown); 17 June 1944 (from Denmark; birthday of Jon SIGURDSSON leader of Iceland's 19th Century independence movement)
National Holiday Independence Day, 17 June (1944)
Constitution history: several previous; latest ratified 16 June 1944, effective 17 June 1944 (at independence)

amendments: proposed by the Althingi; passage requires approval by the Althingi and by the next elected Althingi, and confirmation by the president of the republic; proposed amendments to Article 62 of the constitution – that the Evangelical Lutheran Church shall be the state church of Iceland – also require passage by referendum; amended many times, last in 2013

Iceland Capital City Map

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Iceland Government and Politics

Who is the president of Iceland?

Executive Branch:

chief of state: President Gudni Thorlacius JOHANNESSON (since 1 August 2016)

head of government: Prime Minister Katrin JAKOBSDOTTIR (since 30 November 2017)

cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president upon the recommendation of the prime minister

elections/appointments: president directly elected by simple majority popular vote for a 4-year term (no term limits); election last held on 25 June 2016 (next to be held in June 2020); following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or majority coalition becomes prime minister

election results: Gudni Thorlacius JOHANNESSON elected president; percent of vote - Gudni Thorlacius JOHANNESSON 39.1%, Halla TOMASDOTTIR 27.9%, Andri Snaer MAGNASON 14.3%, David ODDSSON 13.7%, Sturla JONSSON 3.5%, invalid 1.5%

Citizenship Criteria:

citizenship by birth: no

citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Iceland

dual citizenship recognized: yes

residency requirement for naturalization: 3 to 7 years

Legal System:

civil law system influenced by the Danish model

Suffrage:

18 years of age; universal

Legislative Branch:

description: unicameral Althingi or Parliament (63 seats; members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote to serve 4-year terms)

elections: last held on 28 October 2017 (next to be held in 2021)

election results: percent of vote by party - IP 25.2%, LGM 16.9%, SDA 12.1%, CP 10.9%, PP 10.7%, Pirate Party 9.2%, People's Party 6.9%, Reform Party 6.7%. other 1.5%; seats by party - IP 16, LGM 11, SDA 7, CP 7, PP 8, Pirate Party 6, Reform Party 4, People's Party 4

Judicial Branch:

highest court(s): Supreme Court or Haestirettur (consists of 9 judges)

judge selection and term of office: judges proposed by Ministry of Interior selection committee and appointed by the president; judges appointed for an indefinite period

subordinate courts: 8 district courts; Labor Court

Regions or States:

8 regions; Austurland, Hofudhborgarsvaedhi, Nordhurland Eystra, Nordhurland Vestra, Sudhurland, Sudhurnes, Vestfirdhir, Vesturland

Political Parties and Leaders:

Bright Future (Bjort framtid) or BF [Ottarr PROPPE]

Independence Party (Sjalfstaedisflokkurinn) or IP [Bjarni BENEDIKTSSON]

Left-Green Movement (Vinstrihreyfingin-graent frambod) or LGM [Katrin JAKOBSDOTTIR]

Pirate Party (Piratar) or PIP [Birgitta JONSDOTTIR]

Progressive Party (Framsoknarflokkurinn) or PP [Sigmundur David GUNNLAUGSSON]

Social Democratic Alliance (Samfylkingin) or SDA [Arni Pall ARNASON]

International Law Organization Participation:

has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction

International Organization Participation:

Arctic Council, Australia Group, BIS, CBSS, CD, CE, EAPC, EBRD, EFTA, FAO, FATF, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, NATO, NC, NEA, NIB, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW, OSCE, PCA, Schengen Convention, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO

Diplomatic Representation in the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Geir Hilmar HAARDE (since 23 February 2015)

chancery: House of Sweden, 2900 K Street NW

telephone: [1] (202) 265-6653

FAX: [1] (202) 265-6656

consulate(s) general: New York

Diplomatic Representation from US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Robert C. BARBER (since 23 January 2015)

embassy: Laufasvegur 21, 101 Reykjavik

mailing address: US Department of State, 5640 Reykjavik Place, Washington, D.C. 20521-5640

telephone: [354] 595-22-00

FAX: [354] 562-9118

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