Ólöf Nordal will replace Hanna Birna Kristjánsdóttir as minister of the interior, as the party’s chair Bjarni Benediktsson announced at a party meeting this morning. Ólöf will formally be appointed at presidential residence Bessastaðir today.
Ólöf will also take over judiciary affairs, which have been the responsibility of Prime Minister Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson since last summer, mbl.is reports.
Hanna Birna decided to step down last month after her political assistant Gísli Freyr Valdórsson confessed to having leaked confidential information from her ministry.
Ólöf had not been mentioned as a likely successor; the top candidates were considered to be Speaker of Parliament Einar K. Guðfinnsson and chair of the Independence Party’s parliamentary group Ragnheiður Ríkharðsdóttir.
Ólöf served as MP for the Independence Party 2007-2013 and as the party’s vice-chair 2010-2013. She is a lawyer by education and also holds a MBA degree from Reykjavík University. Ólöf worked as a teacher and lawyer and in the administration before entering politics. She is married and has four children.