Government & Public Services

Iceland is a republic, has a written constitution and a parliamentary form of government. The president is elected by direct popular vote for a term of four years, with no term limit. Most executive power rests with the Government, which is elected separately from the presidential elections every four years.

Althingi is a legislative body of 63 members elected for a term of four years by popular vote. Anyone who is eligible to vote, with the exception of the President and the judges of the Supreme Court, can stand for parliament. After every election, the President gives one of the parliamentary leaders of the political parties the authority to form a cabinet, usually beginning with the leader of the largest party. If he is not successful, the President will ask another political party leader to form a government.

A cabinet of ministers stays in power until the next general election or a new government is formed. The ministers sit in Althingi, but if they have not been elected, they do not have the right to vote in parliament.

Judicial power lies with the Supreme Court and the district courts.

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