Members of Parliament Snorre Valen and Hallgeir Langeland have called on Norway to change the constitution in order to turn the country into a republic, replacing King Harald with an elected head of state.
“It should not be possible to inherit power and positions. It’s high time this was changed,” said Valen.
Although this is the twelfth time the Socialist Left (Sosialistisk Venstreparti – SV) has motioned for the monarchy to be dismantled, never before has it offered the option of a transition phase.
The two politicians hope other parties will sign up to their plan, which would put the issue to a referendum. Should the people vote to get rid of the monarch, King Harald would be given some time to adjust before his notice period elapses.
“Previously, SV’s proponents have perhaps been more concerned with principles than finding feasible proposals,” said Valen.
Ideally, the changeover could be timed to coincide with the bicentenary of the Norwegian constitution in 2014, Valen said.
"A transition to a republic would be the natural end point to the democratization process that started in 1814 and was finalized when parliament took away the last remnants of formal power from the king when the union [with Sweden] was dissolved," according to the proposal.
Valen and Langeland asked parliament to decide what sort of powers a president should have were their proposal to become a reality.
They also requested legislators to figure out how often a presidential election should be held.
“Most people are really republicans. Now it’s time to change this old-fashioned form of governing a modern country, said Valen.
This may be wishful thinking on Valen’s part: studies have shown that the monarchy enjoys the support of 60-70 percent of the Norwegian population.