Norway’s Christian Democrats quit government negotiations
The Christian Democrat Party will no longer participate in multilateral discussions with Norway’s other conservative parties over the new government after declining to support the populist Progress Party.
The Christian Democrats (Kristelig Folkeparti, KrF) made the announcement after confirming that they would neither support or be part of a coalition involving the nationalist Progress Party, a coalition partner since 2013.
“We are aware that the Christian Democrats do not want to be part of discussions on a government collaboration or [parliamentary support] agreement from this point onwards. That means that we will not move forward with KrF with political discussions of issues,” Prime Minister Erna Solberg told NRK.
KrF will, however, still meet with Solberg’s Conservative Party, the Liberal Party and the Progress Party next week to discuss the coming budget and new speaker of parliament, according to the report.
“The Liberals will think the situation over. They are interested in political discussion, so we will see where that takes us,” Solberg said.
Both KrF and the Liberal Party entered the post-election negotiations over the make-up of Norway’s new government with the aim of forming a ‘blue-green’ government that excluded the Progress Party, according to NRK’s report.
The parties have now rejected this as an unrealistic option.
“The alternatives for this government are to continue with the current government or an expansion to three or four parties. As such, we feel it is natural to confirm that our government proposal was not successful,” KrF leader Knut Aril Hareide told NRK.
“We wish to work together constructively and positively. I have made that clear. We want good solutions and for our policies to have impact,” Hareide added.
Liberal leader Trine Skei Grande meanwhile told the broadcaster that her party was yet to make a final decision on partnering the Conservatives and Progress in coalition.
Without either one of the two smaller conservative parties, the Solberg-led government will not have a parliamentary majority and will depend on cross-floor votes to pass proposals on an issue-by-issue basis.