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EXPLAINED: Why Norway's government has unveiled a new look cabinet

Frazer Norwell
Frazer Norwell - [email protected]
EXPLAINED: Why Norway's government has unveiled a new look cabinet
Norway's PM has announced a cabinet reshuffle. File photo: Norway's prime minister Jonas Gahr Store arrives for the Joint Expeditionary Force (JEF) Leaders’ Summit.( Photo by Jonathan NACKSTRAND / AFP)

Norway's PM Jonas Gahr Støre unveiled a new look cabinet on Monday, hoping to address a poor set of local election results and attempt to put scandals involving several ministers to bed.


The new look cabinet was unveiled outside the Royal Palace in Oslo on Monday. Labour Party leader and PM Jonas Gahr Støre made several ministerial changes, while the Centre Party opted to make just one.

"We want to make changes in our team to increase our strength going forward," Støre told the press.

The headline change is Espen Barth Eide, former Climate and Environment Minister, who replaced the outgoing Anniken Huitfeldt as Minister of Foreign Affairs. 

Huitfeldt had been under pressure since it was revealed that her husband had traded shares while she was a minister.

Under Norwegian parliamentary guidelines, the share trading potentially constituted a conflict of interest.

Støre said that the share-trading scandal had played a part in the decision to relieve Huitfeldt of her post.

"The matters concerning the purchase and sale of shares and competence are part of the justification. I believe Anniken's presentation of this case. At the same time, we agree that the matter is serious, and it is now with the Control and Constitution Committee," Støre said.

The outgoing foreign minister had been the most experienced member of Støre's government.


Tonje Brenna, who has faced conflict of interest accusations over the appointment of an acquaintance to a public board, has been shuffled –and was moved from the Education Ministry to the Jobs Ministry.

A series of conflict-of-interest cases have engulfed Norway's political class since the summer. Former ministers Ola Borten Moe, trade sharing, and Anette Trettebergstuen, appointment of people she knew to public boards, lost their jobs in the summer.

Conservative Party Leader and former PM Erna Solberg has also been under intense pressure after it was revealed that her husband, Sindre Finnes, traded thousands of shares while she was PM.

READ MORE: Why Norway's former PM is in hot water over impartiality claims

The PM will hope to address a lack of popularity for the current government after the new government was revealed.

Poor polling for the government parties translated to the Conservatives replacing Labour as Norway's largest party in terms of total votes in a set of local or national elections for the first time in 99 years.

Kari Nessa Nordtun, the outgoing mayor of Stavanger, will take over the education post vacated by Brenna.


Karianne Tung, a former MP for south Trøndelag, has been drafted in to head a new ministry as Minister for Digitisation and Administration.

The Fisheries Ministry will be headed by Cecille Myrseth, who replaces the outgoing Bjørnar Skjæran.

Andreas Bjelland Eriksen will take over Espen Barth Eide's former post in the Climate and Environment Ministry. The 31-year-old had previously been a state secretary in the oil ministry.

After a decade's service as an MP for the Centre Party, Erling Sande has replaced Sigbjørn-Gjelsvik as Local Government Minister.

Trygve Slagsvold Vedum (finance, Centre Party), Anne Beate Tvinnereim (development, Centre), Jan Christian Vestre (industry, Labour), Kjersti Toppe (children and families, Centre), Bjørn Arild Gram (defence, Centre), Jon-Ivar Nygård (transport, Labour), Ingvild Kjerkol (health and social care, Labour), Sandra Borch (higher education, Centre), Emilie Enger Mehl (justice, Centre), Terje Aasland (oil and energy, Labour), Lubna Jaffery (culture, Labour) and Geir Pollestad (agriculture and food, Centre), would remain in their current posts.


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