The exchange of power in Iceland took place yesterday when the government of Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson formally took over from that of Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir and ministers exchange keys.Alþingi, the Icelandic parliament. Photo copyright Icelandic Photo Agency.
At the occasion, Jóhanna gave Sigmundur a present, a book about equality in society. “When I arrived with my government, society was greatly unequal bit now the situation is different,” the former PM said, according to Fréttablaðið.
Bjarni Benediktsson accepted the keys to the Ministry of Finance from Katrín Júlíusdóttir. He thanked her and commented, “I know that we will continue to have good cooperation and I’m sure everything is left in good order here, towards the project [of improving the economic situation], those who are taking over and the people who work here.”
Earlier in the day, Jóhanna and her government asked to be released from their duties at presidential residence Bessastaðir. Another state council meeting followed where Sigmundur’s government formally took over.
Having turned 38 in mid-March, Sigmundur is the youngest prime minister in the history of the Republic of Iceland and the youngest ruling democratically-elected state leader in the world.
At 70, Jóhanna will now retire from politics. She was first elected to Alþingi, the Icelandic parliament, in 1978.