'Trailblazing' minister Mona Røkke dies at 73

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Mona Røkke (R) with Prime Minister Kåre Willochs in 1981. Photo: Scanpix
12:48 CEST+02:00
Former Norwegian justice minister Mona Røkke has died, aged 73. The veteran politician, who first entered parliament in 1977, had fought cancer several times during her lifetime.

The conservative MP and later justice minister and county governor retired in 2010 after a long career in politics, but remained active in her party Høyre.

Party leader Erna Solberg on Monday hailed her as a feminist trailblazer and said Røkke had helped shape the party's politics during the 1970s and 1980s. 

"She has had a strong political voice all these years, and she was the most high profile woman in politics during the 1970s and 1980s," Solberg told the NTB news agency. 

Røkke, a trained lawyer, entered parliament in 1977 and joined the parliamentary justice committee. In 1981, she was appointed justice minister by Prime Minister Kåre Willochs. She went on to be county governor in Vestfold for more than two decades before retiring. 

In 1986, she published the autobiography "No time for tears", which detailed her time in the Storting and in government, but also laid bare the scars of a life spent battling recurrent cancer. 

Norwegian media on Monday had no information about the cause of the veteran politician's death. 

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