Norway’s far-left Reds party (Rødt) was celebrating its best results ever in the latest mid-term municipal elections this week. When the final tallies came in, the Reds could claim fully 15 percent of the vote in Tromsø and an average 2 percent nationwide.
In Oslo, the Reds won 3 percent of the vote and may be part of forming a new Labour-led city government. “We’re glad!” claimed Reds leader Bjørnar Moxnes. “It looks like there will finally be a change of government in Oslo,” he added, after 18 years of Conservative control.
In Tromsø, voters were so disenchanted with the Conservatives’ leadership and the party’s internal conflicts that some Conservatives actually voted for the Reds, which defines itself as a revolutionary socialist and Marxist party. That’s how the Reds’ Jens Ingvald Olsen suddenly ended up as a leading contender to take over as mayor of Tromsø in a government led by Labour and including the Socialist Left party (SV). Labour won 29 percent of the Tromsø vote and SV around 8 percent.
Moxnes also got the good news this week that a court in Oslo had acquitted him of charges he’d violated a confidentiality oath as a city official when he revealed deficient operations at a local city health care facility. Moxnes called his acquittal “a victory for freedom of expression” and said he hoped it would contribute to more openness among civil servants.