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Iceland Appoints Openly Gay Woman Minister to Serve as Interim Prime Minister

Johanna Sigurdardottir was sworn in as Iceland's prime minister Sunday, becoming the world's first openly gay premier and the first woman prime minister in Iceland.

Sigurdardottir, 66, takes office less than a week after the country's Cabinet resigned amid fallout from the country's financial collapse after huge debts amassed during years of rapid economic growth in Iceland.

“Now we need a strong government that works with the people,? Sigurdardottir said.

Both parties forming Iceland's new coalition government support her appointment.

Sigurdardottir is a former flight attendant who made her way into politics via the union movement. She was minister of social affairs and social security in the former Cabinet, which resigned Monday.

Polling company Capacent Gallup said Sigurdardottir was Iceland's most popular politician in November, with an approval rating of 73 percent. She was the only minister who's approval rating improve on the previous year, said Capacent Gallup.

CNN.com reports that Sigurdardottir lists Jonina Leosdottir, 54, an author and playwright, as her spouse on her ministry Web site. She has two children from a previous marriage.

Sigurdardottir's time as prime minister may be short-lived because the government she is forming is only due to last until the next elections, which must take place in May and could be held in April.

Information also obtained from:
The Star Tribune