Greenland Government 2017

Greenland Government 2017

Page last updated on January 12, 2017

Country name:
conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Greenland
local long form: none
local short form: Kalaallit Nunaat
note: named by Norwegian adventurer Erik THORVALDSSON (Erik the Red) in 985 in order to entice settlers to the island

Dependency status:
part of the Kingdom of Denmark; self-governing overseas administrative division of Denmark since 1979

Government type:
parliamentary democracy (Parliament of Greenland); part of the Kingdom of Denmark

name: Nuuk (Godthaab)
geographic coordinates: 64 11 N, 51 45 W
time difference: UTC-3 (2 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
note: Greenland has four time zones

Administrative divisions:
4 municipalities (kommuner, singular kommune); Kujalleq, Qaasuitsup, Qeqqata, Sermersooq
note: the North and East Greenland National Park (Avannaarsuani Tunumilu Nuna Allanngutsaaliugaq) and the Thule Air Base in Pituffik (in northwest Greenland) are two unincorporated areas; the national park's 972,000 sq km - about 46% of the island - makes it the largest national park in the world and also the most northerly

none (extensive self-rule as part of the Kingdom of Denmark; foreign affairs is the responsibility of Denmark, but Greenland actively participates in international agreements relating to Greenland)

National holiday:
June 21 (longest day)

previous 1953 (Greenland established as a constituency in the Danish constitution), 1979 (Greenland Home Rule Act); latest 21 June 2009 (Greenland Self-Government Act) (2016)

Legal system:
the laws of Denmark apply where applicable and Greenlandic law applies to other areas

see Denmark

18 years of age; universal
[see also: Suffrage country ranks ]

Executive branch:
chief of state: Queen MARGRETHE II of Denmark (since 14 January 1972), represented by High Commissioner Mikaela ENGELL (since April 2011)
head of government: Premier Kim KIELSEN (since 30 September 2014)
cabinet: Home Rule Government elected by the Parliament (Landsting) on the basis of the strength of parties
elections/appointments: the monarchy is hereditary; high commissioner appointed by the monarch; premier indirectly elected by Parliament
election results: Kim KIELSEN elected premier; Parliament vote - Kim KIELSEN (S) 34.3%, Sara OLSVIG (IA) 33.2%, Anda ULDUM (D) 11.8%, other 20.7%

Legislative branch:
description: unicameral Parliament or Inatsisartut (Landsting) (31 seats; members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote to serve 4-year terms)
note: two representatives were elected to the Danish Parliament or Folketing on 18 June 2015 (next to be held by June 2019); percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - Siumut 1, Inuit Ataqatigiit 1
elections: last held on 28 November 2014 (next to be held by 2018)
election results: percent of vote by party - S 34.6%, IA 33.5%, D 11.9%, PN 11.7%, A 6.6%, other 1.7%; seats by party - S 11, IA 11, D 4, PN 3, A 2 (2013)

Judicial branch:
highest court(s): High Court of Greenland (consists of the presiding professional judge and 2 lay assessors); note - appeals beyond the High Court of Greenland can be heard by the Supreme Court (in Copenhagen)
judge selection and term of office: judges appointed by the monarch upon the recommendation of the Judicial Appointments Council, a 6-member independent body of judges and lawyers; judges appointed for life with retirement at age 70
subordinate courts: Court of Greenland; 18 district or magistrates' courts

Political parties and leaders:
Democrats Party or D (Demokraatit) [Randi VESTERGAARD] Forward Party or S (Siumut) [Kim KIELSEN] Inuit Community or IA (Inuit Ataqatigiit) [Sara OLSVIG] Inuit Party or PI (Partii Inuit) [Nikku OLSEN] Partii Naleraq or PN [Hans ENOKSEN] Solidarity Party or A (Atassut) [Knud KRISTIANSEN]

Political pressure groups and leaders:
other: conservationists; environmentalists; those wanting independence

International organization participation:
Arctic Council, ICC, NC, NIB, UPU

Diplomatic representation in the US:
none (self-governing overseas administrative division of Denmark): note - Greenland has an office in the Danish Embassy to the US; it also has offices in the Danish consulates of Chicago and New York

Diplomatic representation from the US:
none (self-governing overseas administrative division of Denmark); note - the US embassy in Copenhagen has an office devoted to Greenland

Flag description:
two equal horizontal bands of white (top) and red with a large disk slightly to the hoist side of center - the top half of the disk is red, the bottom half is white; the design represents the sun reflecting off a field of ice; the colors are the same as those of the Danish flag and symbolize Greenland's links to the Kingdom of Denmark

National symbol(s):
polar bear; national colors: red, white

National anthem:
name: "Nunarput utoqqarsuanngoravit" ("Our Country, Who's Become So Old" also translated as "You Our Ancient Land")
lyrics/music: Henrik LUND/Jonathan PETERSEN
note: adopted 1916; the government also recognizes "Nuna asiilasooq" as a secondary anthem

NOTE: The information regarding Greenland on this page is re-published from the 2017 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Greenland Government 2017 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Greenland Government 2017 should be addressed to the CIA.

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This page was last modified 22-Feb-17
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