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Iceland Government

    Country name:
    conventional long form: Republic of Iceland
    conventional short form: Iceland
    local long form: Lyoveldio Island
    local short form: Island

    Data code: IC

    Government type: constitutional republic

    Capital: Reykjavik

    Administrative divisions: 23 counties (syslar, singular—sysla) and 14 independent towns* (kaupstadhir, singular—kaupstadhur); Akranes*, Akureyri*, Arnessysla, Austur-Bardhastrandarsysla, Austur-Hunavatnssysla, Austur-Skaftafellssysla, Borgarfjardharsysla, Dalasysla, Eyjafjardharsysla, Gullbringusysla, Hafnarfjordhur*, Husavik*, Isafjordhur*, Keflavik*, Kjosarsysla, Kopavogur*, Myrasysla, Neskaupstadhur*, Nordhur-Isafjardharsysla, Nordhur-Mulasys-la, Nordhur-Thingeyjarsysla, Olafsfjordhur*, Rangarvallasysla, Reykjavik*, Saudharkrokur*, Seydhisfjordhur*, Siglufjordhur*, Skagafjardharsysla, Snaefellsnes-og Hnappadalssysla, Strandasysla, Sudhur-Mulasysla, Sudhur-Thingeyjarsysla, Vesttmannaeyjar*, Vestur-Bardhastrandarsysla, Vestur-Hunavatnssysla, Vestur-Isafjardharsysla, Vestur-Skaftafellssysla

    Independence: 17 June 1944 (from Denmark)

    National holiday: Anniversary of the Establishment of the Republic, 17 June (1944)

    Constitution: 16 June 1944, effective 17 June 1944

    Legal system: civil law system based on Danish law; does not accept compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

    Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

    Executive branch:
    chief of state: President Olafur Ragnar GRIMSSON (since 1 August 1996)
    head of government: Prime Minister David ODDSSON (since 30 April 1991)
    cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president
    elections: president elected by popular vote for a four-year term; election last held 29 June 1996 (next to be held NA June 2000); prime minister appointed by the president
    election results: Olafur Ragnar GRIMSSON elected president; percent of vote—41.4%

    Legislative branch: unicameral Parliament or Althing (63 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
    elections: last held on 8 April 1995 (next to be held by April 1999)
    election results: percent of vote by party—Independence Party 37.1%, Progressive Party 23.3%, Social Democratic Party 11.4%, Socialists 14.3%, People's Movement 7.2%, Women's Party 4.9%; seats by party—Independence 25, Progressive 15, Social Democratic 7, Socialists 9, People's Movement 4, Women's Party 3

    Judicial branch: Supreme Court or Haestirettur, justices are appointed for life by the president

    Political parties and leaders: Independence Party (conservative) or IP [David ODDSSON]; Progressive Party (liberal) or PP [Halldor ASGRIMSSON]; Social Democratic Party or SDP [Sighvatur BJORGVINSSON]; People's Alliance (left socialist) or PA [Margret FRIMANNSDOTTIR]; Women's Party or WL [Kristin ASTGEIRSDOTTIR]; People's Movement (centrist) [leader NA]; National Awakening (People's Revival Party) or PR [Johanna SIGURDARDOTTIR]

    International organization participation: Australia Group, BIS, CBSS, CCC, CE, EAPC, EBRD, ECE, EFTA, FAO, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, ISO, ITU, MTCR, NATO, NC, NEA, NIB, OECD, OPCW, OSCE, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNMIBH, UNU, UPU, WEU (associate), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTrO

    Diplomatic representation in the US:
    chief of mission: Ambassador Jon-Baldvin HANNIBALSSON
    chancery: Suite 1200, 1156 15th Street NW, Washington, DC 20005
    telephone: [1] (202) 265-6653
    FAX: [1] (202) 265-6656
    consulate(s) general: New York

    Diplomatic representation from the US:
    chief of mission: Ambassador Day Olin MOUNT
    embassy: Laufasvegur 21, Reykjavik
    mailing address: US Embassy, PSC 1003, Box 40, FPO AE 09728-0340
    telephone: [354] 5629100
    FAX: [354] 5629118

    Flag description: blue with a red cross outlined in white that extends to the edges of the flag; the vertical part of the cross is shifted to the hoist side in the style of the Dannebrog (Danish flag)

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Revised 1-Mar-99
Copyright © 1999 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)