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Faroe Islands

The Faroe Islands have two members in the Danish parliament and there are Faroese advisers in the Danish ministries of state and foreign affairs. In addition, the islands have their own representation in Copenhagen.

The parliament in Tórshavn, the parliament, has 33 members. The number of seats can be increased by up to five if it is necessary for a fair distribution of seats between the parties. The legislature appoints the government, the government, which consists of seven people and a chairman, the legislator.

The political parties are divided between right and left on the current political scale but can also be grouped according to their views on the relationship with Denmark. The Socialist Party Republicans work for full independence. So does the small bourgeois Self-Government Party, while the Conservative People's Party oscillates between increased self-government and independence. The Liberal Union Party, also called the Union Party, as well as the Social Democrats want to maintain ties with Denmark. The Center Party has taken a middle position.

Prior to the 1998 election, the desire for increased self-government had gained strength, mainly because of a conflict with Denmark over the handling of an economic and financial crisis in the Faroe Islands (see Economics). The People's Party, the Autonomous Party and the Republicans went ahead in the election, forming a government with the main goal of giving the Faroe Islands an independent state within four years. Negotiations with Denmark began in May 2000, but they got stuck after a few months. Denmark did not oppose Faroese independence, but in that case it intended to treat the Faroe Islands like any other Nordic country and within four years to liquidate the extensive financial support to the archipelago. The Government of the Faroe Islands had hoped for a gradual reduction of aid over a period of 15 years. A planned referendum on a timetable for independence was canceled when public opinion had become negative.

The change of government in Denmark in the autumn of 2001 improved the negotiating climate between Copenhagen and Torshavn. In February 2002, it was agreed that the Faroe Islands would take over responsibility for immigration and refugee issues as well as the police system. The legislative elections in April of that year became a dead race between the left and the bourgeois as well as between independence supporters and opponents. The government coalition had lost its majority and became dependent on the Center Party's sole mandate. In the new government declaration, the demands for independence were toned down which the Republicans reluctantly accepted. In 2003, it was agreed with Denmark that the Faroe Islands themselves decide when they want to take over the responsibility for and financing of the social areas that are still managed by Copenhagen.

Growing disagreement between the People's Party and Republicans led to the coalition rupturing, and new elections were held in early 2004. The favorable period of the 1990s had been replaced by economic crisis and diminished public belief that the islands could manage on their own. The Social Democrats went ahead in the election, and its leader Jóannes Eidesgaard became the new member of a coalition government with the Unionist Party and the People's Party.

In the January 2008 elections, the issue of independence was dimmed. The Social Democrats lost a mandate but the others retained their positions. Eidesgaard chose to form a new coalition with the Republicans and the Center Party. For the first time, the government received a foreign ministry. However, government co-operation crackled, especially when Republicans voted against a proposal to reduce fishing quotas. A new government with the Social Democrats, the Union Party and the People's Party was formed in September. Kaj Leo Johannesen from Sambandspartiet became a new teammate.

In the legislative elections in October 2011, the Samband Party increased its representation by 1 mandate to 8. The People's Party also increased by 1 mandate to 8. The Republicans backed by 2 seats to 6. Kaj Leo Johannesen continued as a layman in a new government coalition with his own party the Samband Party, the Folk Party and the small parties Center Party and Self-Government Party.

The September 2015 legislative elections led to a shift in power, with the Social Democrats becoming the largest party with 25 percent of the vote (8 of 33 seats). Republicans came second with 21 percent (7 seats), the People's Party ended up in third place with 19 percent (6 seats) along with the Union Party, which received 19 percent (6 seats). Progress gained 7 percent (2 seats), the Center Party 5 percent (2 seats), while the New Self-Government Party received 4 percent (2 seats). The turnout was 89 percent. Under the leadership of Social Democrat Aksel V Johannesen, the Social Democrats formed government with the Republicans and Progress.

The election to the legislature in August 2019 led to a change of power. A bourgeois government was formed between the People's Party, the Union Party and the Center Party. After the election, the People's Party controlled eight seats in the legislature, the Union Party seven and the Center Party two. The head of government became the Bárđur of the Union Party on Steig Nielsen. The Social Democrats had won seven seats in the legislature and the Republicans six. Among other things, the new government wanted to withdraw a much-debated fishery reform that the former central-left government had implemented. It had made it more difficult for foreigners to obtain fishing licenses. The government also wanted the Faroe Islands to gain greater self-determination when it comes to foreign policy and planned to enter into negotiations with the Danish government.

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