'I was cursed by a Sami politician': deputy mayor

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17:22 CET+01:00
A deputy mayor plagued by sleeping problems and infections in the throat, ears, eyes and sinuses believes a Sami politician cast a spell on him over local school closures in the far north of Norway.

Thorvald Aspenes, the deputy mayor of Porsanger, said his health woes began after a February visit to the Sami parliament, a representative body for Norway’s indigenous population.

During a guided tour of the building, the Progress Party politician bumped into the Centre Party's Sami representative Olaf Eliassen.

“I greeted Olaf and saw that he was upset,” Aspenes told newspaper Finnmark Dagblad.

“I don’t remember if he greeted me back but he did say this: ‘You’ll pay for what you’re doing in Porsanger’. Then he said something in the Sami language. And he said it a full three times.

“I took it as a bit of a joke at the time and replied that he shouldn’t get himself worked up. I also asked if he was trying to put a spell on me.”

Eliassen disapproved of the fact that Aspenes had voted in favour of the closure of a school in Børselv, as well as green-lighting cutbacks at another school in Billefjord.

“I didn’t immediately see a connection between the incident in the Sami parliament and the pains I later felt, but the notion of a curse did strike me. One never knows,” said Aspenes.

Likening the alleged act of sorcery to death threats made by the Muslim extremist Mullah Krekar against Conservative Party leader Erna Solberg, Aspenes expressed his misgivings to the Sami parliament.

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Eliassen told Finnmark Dagblad he is opposed to the idea of witchcraft and doesn’t have the power to cast spells on people.

The Sami politician said that while he was angry over steps taken by the Progress Party to cut back on local Sami schools, he was also sorry Aspenes had taken the criticism so personally.

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