First Foreign-Born MP in Iceland Skip to content

First Foreign-Born MP in Iceland

Deputy member of parliament, Paul F. Nikolov, will enter the Althingi parliament as an MP early next year when Katrín Jakobsdóttir, the vice-chairman of and an MP for the Left Greens (Vinstri graenir) goes on maternity leave. He will become the first foreign-born Icelandic citizen to sit in parliament.

“This is very exciting and I’m very much looking forward to this project,” Nikolov told Morgunbladid. The soon-to-become MP was born in the US in 1971, but has lived in Iceland since 1999.

“I’ve worked hard on forming the party’s [Left Greens’] policy on immigration and I will do my best to put these issues through in parliament,” Nikolov said, adding that he also has strong opinions on foreign affairs and health care.

Nikolov is fluent in Icelandic, which he learnt by watching television. “When I arrived here I couldn’t afford to go on a course, so I learnt Icelandic by watching television. It is not the best way to learn the language and I don’t especially recommend it.”

Apart from Nikolov, one other foreign-born Icelandic citizen stood as a candidate for a seat in parliament in the elections last spring: Grazyna Marina Okuniewska, who is in the Independence Party (Sjálfstaedisflokkurinn). She is originally from Poland, but has lived in Iceland since 1991.

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