Europe

Faroe Islands profile - Leaders

  • 19 February 2015
  • From the section Europe

Queen: Margrethe II of Denmark

Prime minister (Lagmand) Kaj Leo Johannesen

Kaj Leo Johannesen, prime minister of the Faroe Islands
Prime Minister Kaj Leo Johannesen

Kaj Leo Johannesen of the Union Party became prime minister in September 2008, a week after the collapse of former prime minister Joannes Eidesgaard's coalition.

Mr Johannesen's coalition government consists of nine members representing the Union Party, the People's Party and the Social Democratic Party. Each party has three members in the government. The three parties also jointly hold 20 of the 33 seats in parliament.

The prime minister has pledged to seek closer ties with Europe and to preserve the fishing sector, which is a major source of income for the country.

His centre-right, pro-Denmark Union Party and its coalition partner, the centre-right and pro-independence People's Party both received an increased share of the vote in elections in October 2011.

Mr Johannesen's predecessor, Joannes Eidesgaard, had stepped down after quarrels with his foreign minister and disagreements within the coalition.

The Faroes have traditionally been governed by coalitions.

The Danish government controls defence policy, foreign affairs, monetary matters, the church and the police. The islands send two representatives to the Danish parliament, the Folketing.