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Iceland Swears in
Sigurdardóttir as Prime Minister

Iceland Swears in
Sigurdardóttir as Prime Minister

Iceland swore in its first openly gay and first female head of government when the new Social Democratic Alliance chose Johanna Sigurdardottir to be its leader on Sunday.

Iceland swore in its first openly gay and first female head of government when the new Social Democratic Alliance chose Johanna Sigurdardottir to be its leader on Sunday.

Icelanders had once named Sigurdardottir the country's mot popular politician, with 73% saying that they were satisfied with her work as minister of social affairs.

While Norway's finance minister Per-Kristian Foss, who is gay, was that country's acting prime minister for a brief period in 2002 while both the prime minister and foreign minister were traveling abroad, Sigurdardottir is the first gay person to be chosen for a full term as head of government.

Sigurdardottir entered politics through union activism as a flight attendant for IcelandAir. She became minister of social affairs in the outgoing cabinet for the Social Democrat leader, former prime minister Geir H. Haarde.

Haarde stepped down from Iceland's highest political seat after the nation entered financial devastation and political unrest in fall 2008.

Sigurdardottir's stint as prime minister may not last very long, according to CNN. The government forming under her party is required to last only through April 25, when an election must take place.

Sigurdardottir said one of her first acts as prime minister will be to "change the leadership of the central bank," according to the Associated Press. After Iceland's financial collapse in October, the nation was forced to seek a $10 billion bailout from the International Monetary Fund and other countries. Iceland is also eyeing a move to join the European Union. (Advocate.com)

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