KrF veteran: Drop Solberg deal

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The Christian Democrats’ (Kristelig Folkeparti, KrF) former deputy and state secretary Odd Anders With called on Friday for a reevaluation of the party’s support agreement with the ruling Conservative/Progress Party (Høyre/Fremskittspartiet, Frp) government coalition. With said the gulf was too great between the parties’ positions on several social policy issues, and KrF should discuss dropping the deal at their upcoming national party meeting.

Top Christian Democrat politicians celebrate at last year's national meeting, from left Bjørg Tysdal Moe, party leader  Knut Arild Hareide, and Dagrun Eriksen. Veteran KrF politician Odd Anders With said this year's party congress should debate whether to continue working with the coalition government, arguing their standpoints were too different. PHOTO: facebook.com/kristeligfolkeparti

Top Christian Democrat politicians celebrated at last year’s national meeting, from left Bjørg Tysdal Moe, party leader Knut Arild Hareide, and Dagrun Eriksen. Veteran KrF politician Odd Anders With said this year’s party congress should debate whether to continue working with the coalition government, arguing their standpoints were too different. PHOTO: facebook.com/kristeligfolkeparti

The party is losing many voters to the left, reported Christian newspaper Vårt Land. With said the coalition had prioritized several issues against the wishes of KrF, and the party should no longer offer its blanket support. He said the Christian Democrats were being blamed by supporters for decisions they were bound to support under the agreement with Erna Solberg’s government.

“It has been a big trial with regards to the prioritization KrF has traditionally done,” he said. “This is no criticism of the party’s leadership. At the same time, it is so demanding to support a government with Høyre and Frp that is senselessly compromising.”

“You should not just have debates before you enter into a partnership agreement with a controversial government, but must also have a debate about how it’s working,” With told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK). “We cannot wait four years.”

With said the parties had different stances on issues including equitable distribution, solidarity with the world’s poorest, and immigration, refugee, drug and regional policy. “There is a lot of good in the cooperation agreement, but they make many poor priorities in relation to questions of values in our area,” he explained. “It limits the freedom to act, and they undermine the intention of the agreement.”

“The case areas stand in queue, and they are important issues where I feel KrF has not come as far as we should have,” With said.

The Christian Democrat’s acting leader Dagrun Eriksen told NRK it was too early to talk about reevaluating the support agreement. She rejected With’s calls to use the national party meeting as a forum to discuss tearing up the deal.

newsinenglish.no/Emily Woodgate