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Iceland's New Prime Minister Is an Anti-War Democratic Socialist

Katrín Jakobsdóttir has an uphill battle ahead of her. (NordForsk / CC BY 2.0

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Katrín Jakobsdóttir, Iceland’s newest leader, took office in November after a litany of political scandals, including one involving pedophilia, led to a snap election in October. In early December, the 41-year-old formed a coalition between her Left-Green party, the right-leaning Progressive Party and the conservative Independence Party, pulling across the political spectrum in an attempt to restore stability to a nation that’s been struggling to maintain its political institutions for the past decade.

Jakobsdóttir, however, leans much further to the left than either of the party leaders she’ll be working with to govern the island nation. She identifies as a pacifist, feminist and environmentalist, and has some interesting views about the Icelandic constitution.

From The New York Times:

Ms. Jakobsdottir, a former education minister, is often cited by opinion polls as being one of the most trusted and well-liked politicians in Iceland, a popularity that far outstrips that of her party. She had campaigned on pledges to restore welfare benefits and to make Iceland carbon neutral by 2040.

Her party also called for the adoption of a new Constitution partly crowdsourced through social media. She, like her party, opposed Iceland’s continued membership in NATO. …

Before getting into politics, Ms. Jakobsdottir wrote her thesis on an Icelandic crime novelist, Arnaldur Indridason, and worked at the national broadcaster, RUV. She hails from a prominent Icelandic family of poets, professors and politicians.

She is Iceland’s second female prime minister, after Johanna Sigurdardottir, who took the post in 2009. Iceland also had the world’s first directly elected female president, Vigdis Finnbogadottir, who served from 1980 to 1996.

Ms. Jakobsdottir also stressed … the importance of gender equality, vowed further steps to counter climate change and expressed a willingness to have Iceland take in more refugees.

Natasha Hakimi Zapata
Assistant Editor and Poetry Editor
Natasha Hakimi Zapata holds a Creative Writing M.F.A. from Boston University and both a B.A. in Spanish and a B.A. in English with a creative writing concentration from the University of California, Los…
Natasha Hakimi Zapata

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