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First lesbian prime minister wins Iceland election under left-wing coalition

PinkNews Staff Writer April 27, 2009
Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir (Getty Images)

Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir (Getty Images)

Johanna Sigurdardottir, the world’s first openly gay leader, has won Iceland’s general election.

The Social Democrat leader formed a left-wing coalition with the Left-Green Movement.

The Social Democrats won 30.5 per cent of the vote, or 20 parliamentary seats, while the Left-Green Movement won 21.5 per cent, or 14 seats. Both parties have said they will form a coalition government.

Ms Sigurdardottir, 66, will lead the first left-wing government in the country after almost 18 years of conservative Independent party domination.

She has already signalled her plans for Iceland to join the European Union, saying: “We want Iceland as soon as possible to join the European Union and adopt the euro.”

She added: “I should emphasise that this is a priority issue for the Social Democrats.”

Ms Sigurdardottir has been an MP since 1978 and was recently voted the most popular politician in Iceland.

Well-known for keeping her private life out of the spotlight, she has never given any interviews about her sexuality or her family.

Her partner is Jónína Leósdóttir, a well known playwright, author and a journalist and the couple are registered in Iceland (the equivalent of a civil partnership).

Together they have three grown up children.

In 2002 a gay man did act as prime minister of Norway, but only for a matter of hours. Ms Sigurdardottir is the first ever openly gay head of government.

More: Europe

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