An openly gay female politician is
considered the most likely candidate to step into an interim prime
minister position in Iceland.
weekly The Washington Blade is reporting that openly
lesbian Johanna Siguroardottir, a member of the Icelandic Parliament
since 1978, will most likely take over the position of prime minister
being vacated by Geir Haarde, who stepped down last week amid intense
pressure to solve the country's financial crisis.
“If Siguroardottir does become prime
minister,” daily newspaper the Icelandic Review reported,
“she will be the first woman to serve as prime minister in the
country's history and also the fist openly gay prime minister in the
Iceland does have a president, but the
position is considered mostly symbolic.
Siguroardottir's government profile
includes personal details about her life, including her marriage to
writer and playwright Jonina Leosdottir. She is the mother of two
adult sons from a previous marriage.
Siguroardottir, the country's Social
Affairs Minister, has a storied background of middle-class mom goes
to Reykjavik and does good. Free from familial political
connections, she is seen as a trusted ally of the people, a fact born
out in her whopping 73% approval rating, making her the most popular
minister in the country.
Her consideration is the result of the
collapse of Iceland's coalition government. Prime Minister Haarde,
head of the Independence Party, on Monday called for elections for
May amid boisterous demonstrations over an economy in tailspin that
has decimated the standard of living for the average Icelander, The
Associated Press reports. The country's currency, the krona,
continues to plummet.
Haarde, who is battling cancer, also
decided to step down.
The remnants of the political parties
said they would form a new interim government that would rule until
the May elections are held. The strongest party, the Social
Democratic Alliance Party, has proposed Siguroardottir to be
appointed interim prime minister.
“If she is gay, that is not an issue
at all,” said Olafur Sigurdsson, deputy chief of mission at the
Icelandic Embassy in Washington. “We are very liberal in that
sense. It has never been an issue for her as a politician.”