Former Prime Ministers of the Faroe Islands

The Faroe Islands are a self-governing nation with extensive autonomous powers and responsibilities within the Kingdom of Denmark.

The Faroese political system is a variation of the Scandinavian style of parliamentary democracy. The legislative assembly, the Løgting, is the oldest parliaments in the world. The executive government, Føroya Landsstýri, is headed by the Prime Minister, known in Faroese as løgmaður.

The Faroese term “Løgmaður (plural: Løgmenn)” literally means "Lawman." It originally covered the legal function as lawspeaker. The office was abolished along with the Faroese parliament in 1816. When the Faroe Islands obtained Home Rule in 1948, the old title was reintroduced as a title for the head of government.

In recent decades, the Faroese government has used Prime Minister as the official English translation of Løgmaður.

Since 1948, thirteen different Prime Ministers have held office, twelve men and one woman.

 

Aksel V. Johannesen (born 8 November 1972) was the Prime Minister of the Faroe Islands representing the Social Democratic Party (Javnaðarflokkurin). He took office on 15 September 2015 and left office on 14 September 2019, after his party and the coalition with the Republican Party (Tjóðveldi) and the Progress Party (Framsókn) lost the general election.

Aksel V. Johannesen was born in Klaksvík. He is a lawyer and a solicitor by trade, and worked as a lawyer in Tórshavn from 2007 until he became an active politician. He graduated as Master of Law from the University of Copenhagen in 2004.

Johannesen was first elected to the Løgting, the Faroese Parliament, in 2011. He is still a member of the Løgting.

From 2011 he has been the leader of the Social Democratic Party.

 

 

Kaj Leo Holm Johannesen (born 28 August 1964) was the Prime Minister of the Faroe Islands representing the Unionist Party (Sambandsflokkurin). He took office on 26 September 2008 and left office on 15 September 2015, after his party and the coalition with the People’s Party (Fólkaflokkurin) and the Centre Party (Miðflokkurin) lost the general election.

Kaj Leo Holm Johannesen was born in Tórshavn, the capital of the Faroe Islands. He is educated shipmaster from Føroya Sjómansskúli (Centre of Maritime Studies).

For several years, he was a sales representative and later sales manager in fish exports companies. 

Johannesen was first elected to the Løgting, the Faroese Parliament, in 2002. He is still a member of the Løgting.

From 2004 to 2015, he was the leader of the Unionist Party.

 

Jóannes Dan Eidesgaard (born 19 April 1951) was the Prime Minister of the Faroe Islands representing the Social Democratic Party (Javnaðarflokkurin).

From 2004 he led a coalition government between the Social Democratic Party, Unionist Party and the People’s Party. After the 2008 elections, he led a center-left separatist government consisting of his Social Democratic Party, the Republican Party (Tjóðveldi) and the Centre Party. In autumn 2008, he left office, when he decided to end the cooperation with the Republican Party, and a new coalition was formed with Kaj Leo Johannesen as Prime Minister. Eidesgaard was the Minister of Finance in the new government coalition. 

Jóannes Eidesgaard was born in Tvøroyri on the island of Suðuroy, where he later became a senior-school teacher.

Eidesgaard was first elected to the Løgting, the Faroese Parliament, in 1990. From 1991 to 2011, he served as Minister under different coalition governments. 

From 1996 to 2011, Eidesgaard was the leader of the Social Democratic Party

 

Anfinn Kallsberg (born 19 November 1947) was the Prime Minister of the Faroe Islands representing the People’s Party (Fólkaflokkurin).

From 1998, he led a coalition government between the People’s Party, Republican Party and the Self-Government Party (Sjálvstýri). In 2002, the coalition went through parliamentary elections that resulted in the entry of the Center Party into the government, which was the second cabinet of Anfinn Kallsberg.

Anfinn Kallsberg was born in Klaksvík, the second largest town of the Faroe Islands, where he later worked as a bookkeeper. He has a commercial education.

Kallsberg was first elected to the Løgting, the Faroese parliament, in 1980. From 1980 to 2011, he served as Minister under different coalition governments. 

From 1993 to 2007, Kallsberg was the leader of the People’s Party.

 

Edmund Esbern Johannes Joensen (born 19 September 1944) was the Prime Minister of the Faroe Islands, representing the Unionist Party (Sambandsflokkurin).

From 1994, he led a coalition government between the Unionist Party, Social Democratic Party (Javnaðarflokkurin), the Self-Government Party (Sjálvstýrisflokkurin) and the Worker’s Union (Verkamannafylkingin). In 1996, the cooperation with the Social Democratic Party ended, and a new coalition was formed between the Unionist Party, the People’s Party (Fólkaflokkurin), the Self-Government Party and the Worker’s Union

Edmund Joensen was born in the small village of Oyri on the second-largest island of the Faroe Islands, Eysturoy. For many years, he worked within trade and industry. Until 1994, he was the director of P/F O.C. Joensen, having previously managed a fish-breeding plant in Oyrabakki and been involved with breeding activities and the establishment of Fiskaaling (A research facility and major supplier to the fish-farming industry).

He was first elected to the Løgting, the Faroese Parliament, in 1988. He is still a member of the Løgting.

From 1991-2001 he was the leader of the Unionist Party.

 

 

Marita Petersen (21 October 1940 in Vágur – 26 August 2001) was the first and to date only female Prime Minister of the Faroe Islands, representing the Social Democratic Party (Javnaðarflokkurin).

In January 1993, she was chosen as Prime Minister, a post, which she held until September 1994. In this short period, she led two coalition governments. First between the Social Democratic Party and the People’s Party (Fólkaflokkurin) and later between the Social Democratic Party, the Republican Party (Tjóðveldisflokkurin) and the Self-Government Party (Sjálvstýrisflokkurin).

She was educated schoolteacher and worked as teacher in both Denmark and the Faroe Islands. From 1989 to 1994, she was head of the teaching department of Landsskúlafyrisitingin, managed Sernámsfrøðiliga ráðgevingin between 1994-98, and from 1998 until her death in 2001, she was the manager for Sernámsdepilin, providing education for children with mental disabilities.

From 1993 to 1996, Petersen was the leader of the Social Democratic Party

 

Atli Pætursson Dam (12 Septemer 1932 – 7 February 2005) was the Prime Minister of the Faroe Islands representing the Social Democratic Party (Javnaðarflokkurin). He was Prime Minister of the Faroe Islands on five separate occasions, which is the longest period for any Faroese prime minister (løgmaður). He was prime minister in the periods: 1970–1981, 1985–1989 and 1991–1993.

He was born in Tvøroyri in 1932. He was educated engineer and worked for the Danish company Haldor Topsøe until he became prime minister in 1970. He was vice president of the Faroese Mortgage Institution (Føroya Realkreditt) from 1981–1985 and again from 1989 until his death.

He was first elected to the Løgting, the Faroese Parliament, to the Løgting in 1970.

From 1972 to 1993, Dam was the leader of the Social Democratic Party

 

Jógvan Sundstein (born 25 May 1933) was the Prime Minister of the Faroe Islands representing the People’s Party (Fólkaflokkurin).

From 1989 to 1991, he led two coalition governments. The first coalition was between the People’s Party, Republican Party (Tjóðveldi), the Self-Government Party (Sjálvstýri) and The Christian People's Party, Faroese Progress and Fisheries Party (Kristiligi Fólkaflokkurin, Føroya Framburðs- og Fiskivinnuflokkur). The second coalition consisted of the People’s Party, the Unionist Party (Sambandsflokkurin) and the Republican Party.

Jógvan Sundstein was born in Tórshavn, the capital of the Faroe Islands. He is a certified accountant and has been a member of numerous boards of directors.

He was first elected to the Løgting, the Faroese Parliament, in 1979. From 1991 to 1993, he served as Finance Minister.

From 1980 to 1993, Sundstein was the leader of the People’s Party.

 

Joen Pauli Højgaard Ellefsen (20 April 1936 – 24 August 2012) was the Prime Minister of the Faroe Islands representing the Unionist Party (Sambandsflokkurin).

From 1981 to 1985 he led led a coalition government between the Unionist Party, People’s Party (Fólkaflokkurin) and the Self-Government Party (Sjálvstýri)

Pauli Ellefsen was born in Miðvágur, a village on the island of Vágar. He was a certified accountant and for many years had his own accounting firm. Before starting his business school education, he worked as a fisherman and a telecommunications technician.

From 1974 to 1990 Ellefsen was elected to the Løgting, the Faroese Parliament.

From 1974 to 1990, he was the leader of the Union Party.

 

Kristian Djurhuus (12 February 1895 – 20 November 1984) was the Prime Minister of the Faroe Islands representing the Unionist Party (Sambandsflokkurin).

He served as Prime Minister of the Faroe Islands on two separate occasions. From 1950 to 1958, he led a coalition government between the Unionist Party and People’s Party (Fólkaflokkurin) and from 1968 to 1970 a coalition between the Unionist Party, the Social Democratic Party (Javnaðarflokkurin) and the Self-Government Party (Sjálvstýri).

Kristian Djurhuus was born in Tórshavn, the capital of the Faroe Islands.

He was a member of the Løgting from 1932 to 1962 and again from 1966 to 1970. He served as a cabinet minister from 1948 to 1950, 1959 to 1963 and 1967 to 1968.

 

Peter Mohr Dam (11 August 1898 – 8 November 1968) was the Prime Minister of the Faroe Islands representing the Social Democratic Party (Javnaðarflokkurin).

He was Prime Minister of the Faroe Islands on two separate occasions. From 1959 to 1963 and again from 1967 to 1968 he led a coalition government between the Unionist Party, the Social Democratic Party (Javnaðarflokkurin) and the Self-Government Party (Sjálvstýri).

He was born in Skopun, one of the southern islands. Later, Dam became a teacher in Tvøroyri.

Dam was one of the founders of the Social Democratic party in 1926. From 1926 until his death in 1968, he was member of the Løgting, the Faroese Parliament. He was the father of five-time Prime Minister Atli P. Dam.

From 1936 to 1968, Petur Mohr Dam was the leader of the Social Democratic party.

 

Hákun Djurhuus (11 December 1908 – 22 September 1987) was the Prime Minister of the Faroe Islands representing the People’s Party (Fólkaflokkurin).

From 1963 to 1967, he led a coalition government between the People’s Party, the Republican Party (Tjóðveldi), the Self Government Party (Sjálvstýri) and the Progress Party (Framburðsflokkurin).

He was born in Tórshavn.

He was first elected to the Løgting, the Faroese Parliament in 1946. Djurhuus withdrew from politics after the 1980 elections. He served as a cabinet minister from 1951-54

He was the leader of the People’s Party (Fólkaflokkurin) from 1951-80.

 

Andrass Samuelsen (1 July 1873 – 30 June 1954) was the first Prime Minister of the Faroe Islands after the Home Rule Arrangement (Heimastýrislógin) was established in 1948. He represented the Unionist Party (Sambandsflokkurin).

From 1948 to 1950, he led a coalition government between the Unionist Party, the Social Democratic Party (Javnaðarflokkurin) and the Self-Government Party (Sjálvstýri).

Between 1906 and 1950, Samuelsen was a member of the Faroese parliament (Løgting).

From 1924 to 1948, Samuelsen was the leader of the Unionist Party.