Iceland’s new Prime Minister Katrin Jakobsdottir takes office

Katrin Jakobsdottir, leader of Iceland’s Left-Green movement, has taken the office of prime minister.

Katrin Jakobsdottir, new prime minister of Iceland, took office on Wednesday. Photo by Birgir Thor Hardarson/EPA
Katrin Jakobsdottir, new prime minister of Iceland, took office on Wednesday. Photo by Birgir Thor Hardarson/EPA

On Wednesday, Jakobsdottir, 41, took office as the second woman to head Iceland’s three-party coalition government consisting of the Left Green Movement, the Independence Party and the Progressive Party.

She previously served as chairperson of the Left Green Movement in 2003 and simultaneously served as Iceland’s minister of Education, Science and Culture and minister of Nordic Cooperation from 2009 to 2013.

Jakobsdottir said her administration will focus on investing more in healthcare, education and transport infrastructure, continuing to help Iceland recover from the 2008 financial crash, and improving gender equality and LGBT rights.

She has been voted Iceland’s most trusted political leader in opinion polls.

Jakobsdottir became prime minister after outgoing Prime Minister Bjarni Benediktsson’s Independence Party lost five of its 21 Parliament seats in October.

Benediktsson called for the snap election after his coalition collapsed amid allegations that his father attempted to clear the record of a convicted child sex offender.

By Daniel Uria