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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 May 1999 (next to be held by April 2003)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - NA

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

International organization participation: Australia Group, BIS, CBSS, CCC, CE, EAPC, EBRD, ECE, EFTA, FAO, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IEA (observer), IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, ISO, ITU, NATO, NC, NEA, NIB, OECD, OPCW, OSCE, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNMIBH, UNMIK, 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 Barbara GRIFFITHS
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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