Politics of the Faroe Islands

Politics of the Faroe Islands takes place in a 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. There are currently 36 municipalities.

Executive branch

High Commissioner
Dan M. Knudsen|
Prime Minister
Kaj Leo Johannesen
Union Party
4 February 2004The high commissioner is appointed by the Queen of Denmark. Following legislative elections, the leader of the party that wins the most seats is usually elected is, unless the current Løgmaður ("Prime Minister" in English) is still in power, given the initiative to establish a new coalition by the Faroese Parliament. However, if he fails, the Chairman of the parliament asks all chairmen to 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 member. 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.

Legislative branch

The Faroese Parliament ("Løgtingið in Faroese") has 33 MPs (members of parliament), elected for a four year term by proportional representation.

Election of 2 seats to the Danish Parliament was last held on 8 February 2005: Republican Party 1, People's 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 a"sýslur", while Streymoy is divided in a northern and southern part (Tórshavn region), but since 2008, the Faroes constitute a single district.

Administrative divisions

The islands are administratively divided into 34 municipalities with about 120 cities and villages.

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 an own ting, the so called "várting" (spring ting).

International affairs

The islands participate in the Nordic Council, NIB, International Maritime Organization, International Whaling Commission
[http://www.faroeislands.org.uk/Default.asp?d=8D6305E5-11A4-4D39-8262-8A7B41E1F330 Complete list]

Further reading

* 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.

External links

* [http://www.tinganes.fo Prime Minister’s Office]

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