Ólafur Jóhannesson (politician)

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Ólafur Jóhannesson (born March 1, 1913 in Stórholt; † May 20, 1984 ) was an Icelandic politician of the Progress Party (Framsóknarflokkurinn) and two-time Prime Minister of Iceland .


Ólafur Jóhannesson received his university admission (Stúdentsprof) in 1935 at Akureyri High School and then completed a law degree at the University of Iceland , which he graduated in 1939. He then worked as legal advisor to SÍS ( Samband íslenskra samvinnufélaga ) between 1939 and 1943 , before activities in Sweden and Denmark between 1945 and 1946 . After his return he was from 1947 to 1978 Professor of Law at the University of Iceland (Háskóli Íslands), where he left his teaching post in 1971. Between 1947 and 1971 he was also admitted to the bar at the Supreme Court ( Hæstiréttur ).


His political career began in 1959 with the first election as a member of the Althing as a candidate for the Progress Party, for which he first represented the district of Skagafjarðarsýsla , then for 20 years from 1959 to 1979 the region of Norðurland vestra and finally Reykjavík in parliament until his death in 1984 . In 1968 he succeeded Eysteinn Jónsson as chairman of the Progress Party.

On July 14, 1971, he succeeded Jóhann Hafstein as Prime Minister of Iceland (Forsætisráðherra) and took over the office of Minister of Justice and Church (Dóms- og Kirkjumálaráðherra) in his cabinet, which was in office until the election was defeated on August 28, 1974. From October 4, 1971 to January 1, 1972 he was also a representative in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe . During his tenure, he managed to avoid a scandal at the World Chess Championship match in July and August 1972 in Reykjavík due to the behavior of the challenger Bobby Fischer towards the title holder Boris Spasski and the Soviet delegation. After the collapse of his three-party coalition because of differences of opinion about fighting inflation , he first dissolved parliament and called new elections for June 30, 1974. Under his leadership as Minister of Justice, the investigation into the case of Guðmundur and Geirfinnur was carried out, after which in December 1977 six accused were sentenced to long prison terms. In 2018, five of the six convicted were acquitted and rehabilitated.

After the Independence Party's defeat in the 1978 elections for Althing, he took over the post of Prime Minister from Geir Hallgrímsson on September 1, 1978 . After he had already handed over the position of chairman of the Progressive Party to Steingrímur Hermannsson on March 31, 1979 , he resigned as Prime Minister on October 12, 1979 after the ministers of the Social Democratic Party left the cabinet. Successor as Prime Minister was on October 15, 1979 the Social Democrat Benedikt Sigurðsson Gröndal as head of a minority government.

In the government of Gunnar Thoroddsen he was from February 8, 1980 to May 26, 1983 Foreign Minister (Utanríkisráðherra).

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Homepage of the Council of Europe ( Memento of February 14, 2009 in the Internet Archive )
  2. Hesse, Christian: "A great moment in chess"
  3. ^ "And Now, the '30s Look in Politics", TIME-MAGAZINE May 20, 1974
  4. Snorri Páll Jónsson Úlfhildarson: From Iceland - An End To The Neverending Nightmare? In: grapevine.is. April 15, 2013, accessed June 11, 2020 .
  5. ^ All found innocent in Guðmundur and Geirfinns case, 44 years after the supposed crimes were committed. In: icelandmonitor.mbl.is. September 27, 2018, accessed June 11, 2020 .
  6. CHRONICLE August 30, 1978
  7. CHRONICLE October 12, 1979
  8. ^ Homepage of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Web links