Here is Norway’s new minority government

Here is Norway’s new minority government
Prime Minister Erna Solberg takes a selfie with her new government. Photo: AFP
The Progress Party is officially out, with a raft of appointments to Prime Minister Erna Solberg's new minority government.

Solberg presented her new government and ministers this afternoon at Slottsplassen in Oslo, meaning Norway has been granted a minority government for the first time in 15 years.

The re-shuffle and appointment of new ministers comes after the populist Progress Party quit the coalition earlier this week.

The background for the decision was Norway's decision to allow a woman linked with the Islamic State terror group back into the country on humanitarian grounds. 

Progress leader Siv Jensen also cited ” not seeing enough of our politics implemented” as the anti-immigration party withdrew from the government on Monday.

A notable departure from the new Solberg minority government is Anniken Hauglie, who leaves her post as Minister of Labour, a change that was confirmed on Friday.

Hauglie’s ministry is at the centre of controversy surrounding Norway’s Labour and Welfare Administration, Nav, which incorrectly interpreted EU rules on certain types of social security over a number of years, resulting in a string of incorrect convictions for benefit fraud.

She is succeeded in the post by Torbjørn Røe Isaksen.

Opposition party the Socialist Left has criticizing the removal of Hauglie at the same time as parliamentary investigations into the social security scandal. At Friday’s press conference, Solberg denied that the departure is an admission of guilt on the part of the government.

“I have clearly said that we will take responsibility for the mistakes we have made,” Solberg said at the press conference, NRK reports.

When Hauglie handed over the keys to the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs to Isaksen later on Friday, she said that the departure was at her own request.

“It was my choice. I have always been open in saying that I did not want to be re-nominated to parliament, and that I did not want to be part of the team for another election campaign,” she told NRK.

Another notable ministerial change is the appointment of Knut Arild Hareide, the former leader of the Christian Democratic party who, during his leadership of that party, refused to govern alongside the Progress Party. Hareide becomes minister of transport.

The Progress Party prickled at the appointment of Hareide as well as the Liberals’ Abid Raja, who last autumn accused the populist party of engaging in “brown propaganda”. Raja will take over as Minister for Culture and Equality.

Outgoing minister of oil and energy, Sylvi Listhaug, a former immigration minister and one of the Progress Party’s most prominent anti-immigration profiles, called the appointment “pure provocation”, NRK reports.

A total of nine ministers – seven from the Progress Party along with Hauglie and outgoing climate minister Ole Elvestuen – have been replaced, with seven new appointments. Six ministers have been given new portfolios or ministries, and six, along with Solberg, continue with their current jobs.

12 of the ministers come from Solberg’s Conservative Party, with 4 each from the Liberals and Christian Democrats.

33-year-old Tina Bru from Solberg's party has been given the key post of Minister of Oil and Energy. The new Finance Minister, Jan Tore Sanner, also from the Conservatives, takes the job vacated by Jensen.

READ ALSO: Norway: Populist party quits government over jihadi spouse repatriation


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