Johansen to form new Oslo city government

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Raymond Johansen has, as expected, been asked by Oslo Mayor Marianne Borgen to form another new city government, after his former one resigned en masse last week. Borgen noted that election results from 2019 still apply and Johansen’s Labour Party (Ap) could once again lead a new left-green coalition with her own Socialist Left Party (SV) and the Greens.

The new government will be without the Greens’ Lan Marie Berg, who’d held political control over the city agency in charge of environmental and transport issues. She was hit last week by a lack of confidence vote, though, when the conservative bloc on the City Council won support from the Reds Party that also was upset over a NOK 5 billion budget overrun on a major city water project. That prompted the entire city government to resign in an alleged show of solidarity with Berg, after she’d refused to resign herself.

Now she’s out and turning her attention to an election campaign for a seat in Parliament, leaving Johansen likely to simply reassemble his coalition with someone else from the Greens in Berg’s former position. Commentators have called the entire drama a “political farce” and a government crisis that the city didn’t need as it tries to emerge from the Corona crisis.

Newspaper Aftenposten editorialized that Berg should have just resigned herself, instead of damaging both the government and her own party by refusing to admit having done anything wrong. Johansen said he’d now be talking with politicians from his own Labour Party, SV, the Greens and the Reds before unveiling a new line-up probably later this week.

newsinenglish.no staff