The government of Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir will formally step down after a state council meeting with President of Iceland Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson at his residence Bessastaðir at 11 am today. At 3 pm, the new government of Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson will attend a state council meeting and afterwards formally take power.
Sigmundur at yesterday’s meeting with the president. Photo: Geir Ólafsson/Iceland Review.
The new ministers were announced yesterday.
Four ministers are from the Progressive Party, three men and one woman: chair Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson will be prime minister, Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson minister for foreign affairs, Eygló Harðardóttir minister for social affairs and Sigurður Ingi Sveinsson minister of fisheries, agriculture and the environment.
A fifth minister from the party may join the cabinet later in the term.
The Independence Party has five ministers, three men and two women: chair Bjarni Benediktsson will be minister of finance and economic affairs, Hanna Birna Kristjánsdóttir minister of the interior, Kristján Þór Júlíusson minister of health, Illugi Gunnarsson minister of education and culture and Ragnheiður Elín Árnadóttir minister of industry and trade.
Ragnheiður and Sigurður will both work within the Ministry of Industries and Kristján and Eygló both within the Ministry of Welfare.
Einar K. Guðfinnsson of the Independence Party will be speaker of parliament.
None of the new ministers have been ministers before and such an inexperienced government has never been at the helm since Iceland became a republic in 1944, Fréttablaðið reports.
On three occasions before Iceland became fully independent from Denmark the country’s governments consisted only of ministers who had never held such posts before, in 1917, 1927 and 1934.