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Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Criminals infiltrate party lists

Nearly 500 of the candidates seeking voter confidence in Norway’s municipal elections this year have criminal records, reports newspaper Aftenposten. A dozen of them were even convicted of assaults on children, but their parties themselves aren’t made privvy to their background.

“They seek power and the confidence of voters,” wrote Aftenposten in a series of stories prior to Monday’s election. At the same time they’ve been convicted of crimes ranging from assault to financial fraud and storage of illegal weapons, and they can’t be prohibited from going into politics. Convicts who have served prison sentences are given the opportunity to get on with their lives.

Press practice in Norway can also prevent Aftenposten from identifying them in some cases, not least out of consideration for their victims. The newspaper did, however, interview several ex-cons running for office and identified both them and their parties in some cases.

Some said they were ashamed, others angry that the paper had uncovered their backgrounds. One candidate for the new party INP that champions business and industry even initially denied he’d been convicted of bankruptcy fraud before eventually admitting to it.

In Norway, however, people vote for parties, not individual candidates, and it’s up to the parties to decide who will actually serve on local councils or in Parliament. Some parties may be reconsidering. staff



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