Jonathan Jakob Jørgen Otto Motzfeldt was a Greenlandic priest and politician. He is considered one of the figures in the establishment of Greenland Home Rule. Jonathan Motzfeldt was the first and third Prime Minister of Greenland and he was Greenlands prime minister from 1979 until 1991 and again from 1997 until 2002. He is Greenlands longest serving minister and has won the most elections of any prime minister of Greenland. Jonathan Junnuk Motzfeldt was born in 1938 in the settlement of Qassimiut in southern Greenland as son to the hunter Søren Motzfeldt and his wife Kirsten Klemmensen. After his teachers exam at Ilinniarfissuaq in Nuuk in 1960, he studied theology at the University of Copenhagen until 1966, subsequently working as a pastor in Qaqortoq, in 1992, Jonathan Motzfeldt married Kristjana Guðrún Guðmundsdóttir from Iceland. However, from a partnership with Margit Kock Petersen, he had two children, Karen Motzfeldt and Claus Motzfeldt. Greenlandic handball player Hans Peter Motzfeldt-Kyed is Motzfeldts nephew, already in the mid-1950s, Jonathan Motzfeldt started his battle for Greenlands autonomy with a group of young Inuit activists. In the early 1970s Motzfeldt became involved in the democratic independence movement Siumut. In these purges old comrades like Lars Emil Johansen, Moses Olsen, Lars Chemnitz, in 1977 he was elected Chairman of Siumut party for the first time. In addition, he served as Chairman of the Greenland Landsting from 1979 to 1988, in 1997, on 1 May 1979, Jonathan Motzfeldt became the first Prime Minister of Greenland. He led the government for almost twelve years until 18 March 1991, however, he was awarded a number of key positions in the publicly owned portion of Greenlands economy. The post of Prime Minister thereafter went to Lars Emil Johansen, due in part, but not exclusively, to the latters own alcoholism, Motzfeldt took the post of Prime Minister again in 1997. He held this post until 2002, when he was forced to call new elections because of criticism from the parliament of management of the Home Rules economy. Unilingual party fellow Hans Enoksen was elected Prime Minister of Greenland on December 14,2002, josef Tuusi Motzfeldt, the leader of IA, became deputy prime minister in the new government. Jonathan Motzfeldt was then chairman of the Greenland Parliament. In this post he marked himself mostly as a political figure who failed to contribute positively to Greenlands continuing political development. His last political year were marked by renewed abuse and uncontrolled economic consumption on travel, mr. Motzfeldt resigned as speaker of Greenland’s Parliament on 18 January 2008 amid allegations that he had groped a female civil servant who reported him to the police
Image: Jonathan Motzfeldt 2003
Jonathan Motzfeldt at a book fair in Copenhagen in November 2008.