The government of Jóhanna Sigurdardóttir, Iceland’s first female PM and the world’s first lesbian PM, was formally appointed at the presidential residence of Bessastadir yesterday. Sigurdardóttir said her government will “allow our actions to speak for us.”
At Bessastadir the new ministers were presented with keys to their ministries from the hands of their predecessors, Morgunbladid reports.
Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurdardóttir. Photo by Páll Kjartansson.
Vice-chairperson of the Independence Party, Thorgerdur Katrín Gunnarsdóttir, handed the keys to the prime minister’s office to Sigurdardóttir on behalf of former Prime Minister Geir H. Haarde, who flew to the Netherland yesterday to undergo surgery because of a malign tumor in his throat.
At the ceremony, Sigurdardóttir said she was fond of Haarde, a man of many good qualities, and wished him all the best. She also thanked Gunnarsdóttir, former minister of education, for her cooperation and said the coalition with the Independence Party had been satisfying although it had come to an abrupt end.
One week has passed since the Independence Party-Social Democrat coalition was terminated and the Social Democratic Alliance and the Left-Green Movement began talks for a new coalition.
The Social Democrats and the Left-Greens form a minority government with the support from the minority of MPs in parliament, but the Progressive Party has declared its intention to defend the coalition from a motion of no confidence.
The Social Democrat-Left-Green coalition will only be in power for a short period of time, until the upcoming parliamentary elections, scheduled for April 25.
There are ten ministries in the new government. Four ministers come from the ranks of the Social Democrats, four from the ranks of the Left-Greens and two from outside parliament. The new ministers are as follows:
Prime Minister: Jóhanna Sigurdardóttir of the Social Democrats.
Minister of Social Affairs: Ásta Ragnheidur Jóhannesdóttir of the Social Democrats.
Minister of Industry and Foreign Affairs: Össur Skarphédinsson of the Social Democrats.
Minister of Transport: Kristján Möller of the Social Democrats.
Minister of Finance, Fisheries and Agriculture: Steingrímur J. Sigfússon of the Left-Greens.
Minister of Health: Ögmundur Jónasson of the Left-Greens.
Minister of Education: Katrín Jakobsdóttir of the Left-Greens.
Minister of the Environment: Kolbrún Halldórsdóttir of the Left-Greens.
Minister of Business Affairs: Gylfi Magnússon, associate professor of economics at the University of Iceland.
Minister of Justice and Ecclesiastical Affairs: Ragna Árnadóttir, the ministry’s former undersecretary.
Former Minister for Foreign Affairs Ingibjörg Sólrún Gísladóttir is retiring from the cabinet but will continue working as the chairperson for the Social Democratic Alliance.
Click here to read the new government’s seven-point task list.