۲۲-year old Lenya Rún becomes first Kurdish MP in the Icelandic parliament

Lenya Rún Taha Karim, a 22-year-old law student, was sworn in as the first ethnic Kurdish lawmaker on Monday in the Icelandic parliament, known as the Alþingi.

Karim was third on the libertarian Pirate Party’s list for the Reykjavík North district and was initially celebrated as the youngest person to win a seat in the Icelandic parliament.

Karim’s mother moved to Iceland in 1996 and her father in 1993, the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service (RUV) earlier reported.

The family moved to the Kurdistan Region in 2013 and then returned to Iceland three years later.

“I live with the privilege of having been born and raised here in Iceland and speaking good Icelandic,” Karim told RUV in February.

However, the Guardian reported her victory was short-lived and overturned by the recount, and in the ensuing weeks it has taken her to be sworn in, she has instead become the fifth-youngest MP in Icelandic history.

“These were a good nine hours,” said Karim in a tweet in September.

Moreover, the recount also ended the female majority in the parliament on Sunday.

The Grapevine reported that both Karim and fellow MP Gunn­hildur Fríða Hall­gríms­dóttir were called in to replace Pirate MPs Björn Leví Gunn­ars­son and Andrés Ingi Jóns­son.

“I got a seat in parliament because the MP above me needed to be replaced temporarily so I’m the one who replaces him,” Karim told Kurdistan 24.

“My focus in parliament so far has been on improvements in our judicial system so that victims of sexual assault can feel safe and their cases will be taken care of timely and professionally,” she added. “I’m focusing on the legal angle of this matter and I want to make changes to the laws which apply to sexual offenses.”

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