Iceland flag Iceland: Economic and Political Overview

The political framework of Iceland

Political Outline

Current Political Leaders
President: Guðni Th. JÒHANNESSON (since 1 August 2016) – independent
Prime Minister: Katrín JAKOBSDÒTTIR (since 30 November 2017) – Left-Green Movement
Next Election Dates
Presidential: 2024
Parliamentary: 2025
Main Political Parties
The political parties in the ruling coalition are:
- Independence Party (IP): centre-right, conservative, opposes joining the European Union
- Progressive Party (PP): centre-right, agrarian, liberal
- Left‑Green Movement (LGM): left-wing, advocates traditional socialist values, feminism and environmentalism

The main oppositions party are:
- Social Democratic Alliance (SDA; nine seats): centre-left, social-democratic party, based on the merger alliance of the People's Alliance (PA), Social Democratic Party (SDP) and Women's List
- People's Party: left-wing, socialist, populist
- Pirate Party (PIR): centre-left
- Reform Party: liberal
- Centre Party (CP): populist, euro-scepticism
Executive Power
The President is the head of the state and is elected by popular vote for a four-year term. The President’s role is largely ceremonial. Following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or the leader of the majority coalition is usually appointed as the Prime Minister by the President for a four-year term.

The Prime Minister is the head of the government and holds the executive powers which include implementation of the law in the country and running the day-to-day affairs. The Prime Minister also appoints the Cabinet.

Legislative Power
The legislature in Iceland is unicameral. The Parliament (called "Althing") consists of 63 seats, its members are elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms. The executive branch of government is directly or indirectly dependent on the support of the parliament, often expressed through a vote of confidence. The Prime Minister cannot dissolve the parliament directly but can recommend the same to the President. Legislative power is vested in both the government and the parliament. The people of Iceland enjoy considerable political rights.
 

Indicator of Freedom of the Press

Definition:

The world rankings, published annually, measures violations of press freedom worldwide. It reflects the degree of freedom enjoyed by journalists, the media and digital citizens of each country and the means used by states to respect and uphold this freedom. Finally, a note and a position are assigned to each country. To compile this index, Reporters Without Borders (RWB) prepared a questionnaire incorporating the main criteria (44 in total) to assess the situation of press freedom in a given country. This questionnaire was sent to partner organisations,150 RWB correspondents, journalists, researchers, jurists and human rights activists. It includes every kind of direct attacks against journalists and digital citizens (murders, imprisonment, assault, threats, etc.) or against the media (censorship, confiscation, searches and harassment etc.).

World Rank:
16/180
Evolution:
15/180
 

Indicator of Political Freedom

Definition:

The Indicator of Political Freedom provides an annual evaluation of the state of freedom in a country as experienced by individuals. The survey measures freedom according to two broad categories: political rights and civil liberties. The ratings process is based on a checklist of 10 political rights questions (on Electoral Process, Political Pluralism and Participation, Functioning of Government) and 15 civil liberties questions (on Freedom of Expression, Belief, Associational and Organizational Rights, Rule of Law, Personal Autonomy and Individual Rights). Scores are awarded to each of these questions on a scale of 0 to 4, where a score of 0 represents the smallest degree and 4 the greatest degree of rights or liberties present. The total score awarded to the political rights and civil liberties checklist determines the political rights and civil liberties rating. Each rating of 1 through 7, with 1 representing the highest and 7 the lowest level of freedom, corresponds to a range of total scores.

Ranking:
Free
Political Freedom:
1/7
Civil Liberties:
57/60

Political freedom in the world (interactive map)
Source: Freedom in the World Report, Freedom House

 

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Latest Update: November 2022