Current Minister of Social Affairs and Social Security, Johanna Sigurdardottir, is to become the interim Prime Minister of Iceland until new elections are held (probably) in May this year. Social Democrat Sigurdardottir will lead the government in coalition with the Left-Green Movement after the preceeding PM, Geir H. Haarde, stepped down. Her new administration is to be sworn this Saturday.
“Now we need a strong government that works with the people,” she commented.
Uniquely among politicians these days, her popularity rose to 73% last November, Times Online reported opinion polls as revealing. The new PM is popular for granting generous funds to help the disabled, the elderly and organisations tackling domestic violence. She has also been recognised by many as a unifying character capable of solving tensions in Iceland.
She has many years of experience in Icelandic liberal politics, as she held the post of Minister of Social Affairs already between 1987-1994 before being reappointed in May 2007 and has been a memeber of Althing, the Icelandic Parliament, since 1978. Besides that, she is a very active member in the opposition.
„She holds no fancy foreign diplomas – she has a Commercial degree from the Commercial College of Iceland – nor extensive family or wealth connections like many Icelandic politicians, but has diligently worked her way up the political ladder through hard work and determination,“ commented Iris Erlingsdottir, an Icelandic writer, on The Huffington Post.
Johanna Sigurdardottir is the world’s first openly gay Prime Minister and the first female PM in Iceland’s history.