He served as mayor of Reykjavík from 1982 to 1991 as head of an Independence Party (Sjálfstæðisflokkurinn) majority, then became Prime Minister of Iceland as head of four coalition governments. After the elections of 2003, it was agreed that Davíð would cede his office in September 2004 to Halldór Ásgrímsson, the head of the junior coalition partner Progressive Party (Framsóknarflokkurinn).
Although educated as a lawyer and serving as politician for most of his working life, Davíð Oddsson has never laid aside his literary enthusiasm: during his days in office he has authored several plays and short stories, as well as some poetry.
Politically, Davíð has championed the Icelandic right-wing cause presiding over privatization of multiple government owned corporations. He is the only member of parliament in the history of Icelandic politics who has never held a seat without being a minister as well (mainly as prime-minister). Opposition critics have maintained that he may be held responsible for obscuring the triadic distinction between the legislative, judiciary and executive powers. Furthermore, he has been critisised for disregarding proper democratic processes in recent controversies over political issues as the fish quota, legislative constraints on the free media, the participation of Iceland in the U.S. led invasion of Iraq, the building of Hydro-electric power-plants and U.S. aluminium factories in nature resorts, by many ecological activists considered the last great nature sites in Europe untouched by man. Although these matters have raised considerable public controversy it has not affected Davíð Oddson's popularity within his own party, where he got an unanimous vote of 98% as the party's leader at the latest party conference. Given that the Independence Party (Sjálfstæðisflokkurinn) has had a pivotal role in past coalition governments, Davíð Oddson's influence will remain important.
In foreign affairs Davíð has been pro-American from the start and a staunch NATO supporter. He supported the American invasion of Iraq despite general opposition among the population and several protests. He is opposed to Icelandic membership of the European Union.
|Prime Minister of Iceland|