Politics of the Faroe Islands
|This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
the Faroe Islands
The politics of the Faroe Islands function within the framework of a parliamentary representative democratic dependency, whereby the Prime Minister of the Faroe Islands is the head of government, and of a multi-party system. The Faroe Islands are politically associated with the Kingdom of Denmark, but have been self-governing since 1948. Executive power is exercised by the government. Legislative power is vested in both the government and the Løgting. The Judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature and the responsibility of Denmark. As of October 25, 2007, the Faroe Islands became one electoral district.
|High Commissioner||Dan M. Knudsen||January 1, 2008|
|Prime Minister||Kaj Leo Johannesen||Union Party||September 26, 2008|
The high commissioner is appointed by the Queen of Denmark. The High Commissioner has a seat in the Løgting, he or she is allowed to speak in the Løgting regarding common Danish/Faroese affairs, but he or she is not allowed to vote. Following legislative elections, the leader of the party that wins the most seats is usually given the initiative to establish a new coalition by the Faroese Parliament, unless the current Løgmaður (Prime Minister in English) is still in power. However, if he fails, the Chairman of the parliament asks all chairmen of the parties elected to the parliament, and asks them to point to another chairman who they feel can rightly form a new coalition. The chairman with the most votes is then handed the initiative. After forming the coalition, the løgmaður leads the landsstýri. The landsstýri will often consist of around 7 members. The coalition parties divide the various ministries among themselves and after this, the parties elect their representative to these ministries. Any other member of the cabinet is called a landsstýrismaður if the person is a man, or landsstýriskvinna if the person is a woman. The word ráðharri is also used for a member of the cabinet, i.e. mentamálaráðharri (minister of culture) or heilsumálaráðharri (minister of health).
Kaj Leo Johannesen's second government consists of a coalition between Union Party (Sambandsflokkurin), People's Party (Fólkaflokkurin) and Centre Party (Miðflokkurin). Until 5 September 2013 the coalition also included the Self-Government Party (Sjálvstýrisflokkurin), but the party left the coalition after their minister was sacked. Kári P. Højgaard was minister of internal affairs. The Ministry of Internal Affairs was closed after that.
|Prime Minister||Kaj Leo Johannesen||SB||14 November 2011|
|Deputy Prime Minister||Annika Olsen||FF||14 November 2011|
|Ministry of Finance||Jørgen Niclasen||FF||14. November 2011|
|Ministry of Health||Karsten Hansen||MF||14. November 2011|
|Ministry of Culture||Bjørn Kalsø||SB||14. November 2011|
|Ministry of Internal Affairs||Kári P. Højgaard||SF||14 November 2011||5 September 2013|
|Ministry of Fisheries||Jacob Vestergaard||FF||16 February 2012|
|Jákup Mikkelsen||FF||14 November 2011||15 February 2012|
|Ministry of Trade and Industry||Johan Dahl||SB||14 November 2011|
|Ministry of Social Affairs||Annika Olsen||FF||14 November 2011|
Election of 2 seats to the Danish Parliament was last held on September 15, 2011: Social Democrats 1, Union Party 1.
Political parties and elections
The Faroe Islands have a multi-party system (disputing on independence and unionism as well as left and right), with numerous parties in which no one party often has a chance of gaining power alone, and parties must work with each other to form coalition governments. The Faroese Parliament (Løgting) has 33 seats. Members are elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms. For the Løgting elections there were seven electoral districts, each one comprehending asýslur, while Streymoy is divided in a northern and southern part (Tórshavn region), but since 2008, the Faroes constitute a single district.
The centre-right parties gained significantly, with both the pro-union Union Party and pro-independence People's Party gaining a seat each, while the new Progress movement (classical liberal) – formed seven months earlier as a breakaway from the People's Party – entered the Løgting with two seats. The left-wing and centrist parties all lost ground in consequence.
|Union Party (Sambandsflokkurin)||7,545||+1,016||24.7||+3.7||8||+1|
|People's Party (Fólkaflokkurin)||6,882||+642||22.5||+2.4||8||+1|
|Social Democratic Party (Javnaðarflokkurin)||5,417||−601||17.7||−1.6||6||±0|
|Centre Party (Miðflokkurin)||1,882||−728||6.2||−2.2||2||−1|
|Self-Government Party (Sjálvstýrisflokkurin)||1,289||−995||4.2||−3.0||1||−1|
|Total (turnout 86.6%)||30,532||−580|
|Source: Kringvarp Føroya (Faroese)|
Traditionally, there are also the 6 sýslur (Norðoyar, Eysturoy, Streymoy, Vágar, Sandoy and Suðuroy). Sýsla means district and although it is only a police district today, it is still commonly understood as a geographical region. In earlier times, each sýsla had its own ting, the so-called várting (spring ting).
Along with diplomatic missions to Iceland, the Court of St. James and the European Union, the Faroe Islands participate in the Nordic Council, NIB, International Maritime Organization, International Whaling Commission
- Debes, Hans Jacob. 1988. "Reflections on the Position, Participation and Co-Operation of Small Nations in International Politics Case The Faroe Islands". Nordic Journal of International Law. —. 573: 365–368.
- Cabinet of the Faroe Islands
- List of Prime Ministers of the Faroe Islands
- Politics of Denmark
- List of Danish High Commissioners in the Faroe Islands
- Mfa.fo, Prime Minister's Office, Government
- Stm.dk, the website of the High Commissioner of the Faroe Islands, as part of the Danish Prime Minister's Office
- Retsinformation.dk (at the bottom of the page, Section C, Vedrørende valget på Færøerne)
- Logting.elektron.fo, 5 Uppskot til løgtingslóg um broyting í løgtingslóg um val til Føroya Løgting (in Faroese)
- Framsokn.fo (Formansfrágreiðing Endalig)
- Kringvarp.fo, Valúrslit (The result of the election of 2011 compared with the results from 2008. On the bottom of the page, where the headline says "Mandatbýti" shows the people who were elected for the Løgting, which party they belong to and how many votes they got.)
- Sudurras.fo, Allar kommunur í Føroyum savnaðar í eitt kommunufelag