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Norway’s PM, opposition claim 'chaos' in each other’s camps

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Norway’s PM, opposition claim 'chaos' in each other’s camps
Composite: Trond Giske, photo: Terje Pedersen / NTB scanpix; Erna Solberg, photo: Håkon Mosvold Larsen / NTB scanpix
10:38 CEST+02:00
Labour’s deputy leader has said that the conservative coalition is ‘falling apart’, after Prime Minister Erna Solberg claimed the opposition red-green alliance of parties was in ‘chaos’.

On Thursday, the Christian Democrat party announced that it would not be participating in a planned joint media appearance with the other conservative parties.

While Christian Democrat leader Knut Arild Hareide and Solberg both downplayed the significance of the announcement, the PM later admitted that it is not yet clear which parties would take part in a formal Conservative alliance following the September 11th general election.

Hareide was involved in an ill-tempered debate with the nationalist Progress Party’s immigration minister Sylvi Listhaug earlier this week, with the latter accusing the Christian Democrat leader of pandering to radical elements of society.

But Solberg denied that the conservative parties were in chaos, and pointed to a lack of clarity on the part of her opponents.

“In this election campaign, there is more chaos on the red-green side with regard to what opitions they have for government. It is not certain who will be in coalition on the conservative side either, but it is very clear that everyone must be involved for us to have good, conservative politics, which we have shown for the last four years,” she told NRK.

Labour Party deputy leader Trond Giske told the broadcaster that the Christian Democrat decision was a sign that the party’s alliance with the government was on borrowed time.

“My assessment is that Solberg needs to point the finger at others because the four-way conservative alliance is falling apart. But I think that most people that remember the eight years of red-green government centred around [former Labour prime minister] Jens Stoltenberg remember that as a completely different kind of stability to what we’re seeing now,” Giske said.

Although both the Socialist Left Party and the Centre Party have issued demands on a potential coalition with Labour, Giske said that alliance with those two parties in the event of a red-green majority was a completely viable option.

“We have said that we are ready to govern with the three red-green parties, but that we are also prepared to bring the Christian Democrats in to the alliance,” he said.

The Labour deputy leader confirmed that his party would not expect to work with either the Greens or the far-left Red Party.

“We will work with all parties in individual instances, but a government partnership will first and foremost be with the Socialist Left and Centre, and the Christian Democrats if they so wish,” he told NRK.

READ ALSO: All the news from the build-up to Norway's general election

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