Parliament opens to a new reality

NEWS ANALYSIS: Flags were flying in downtown Oslo and both Norwegian politicians and journalists dressed unusually well on Wednesday. It was time for the highly ceremonial opening of an entirely new session of Parliament (Stortinget), with new faces and new politics but questions nonetheless over where Norway’s political power really lies. With a new non-socialist […]

Reaction rolls in to platform priorities

Critics were quick to blast the political priorities set by Norway’s incoming Conservatives-led government coalition Monday night. While new government leaders Erna Solberg and Siv Jensen stressed individual freedom, lower taxes and less bureaucracy, even their supporters in Parliament were surprised they didn’t mention the climate as a top issue. Knut Arild Hareide of the […]

‘Historic’ coalition presents platform

Erna Solberg of the Conservatives and Siv Jensen of the Progress Party finally started rolling out their new government platform on Monday evening, promising to make Norwegians’ lives simpler and offer them more individual freedom. Solberg said the government she’ll lead “will have more confidence” in ordinary folks, and let them make their own decisions. […]

Bells ring over boxing ban repeal

An intention by Norway’s new Conservatives-led government to end a ban on professional boxing in Norway is drawing both cheers and protests. In one corner is Norway’s own international boxing champion Cecilia Brækhus, and in the other, brain surgeon Ingunn Rise Kirkeby, who fears a rise in serious head injuries. “I’m advising Erna (Solberg) and […]

Minister posts now up for grabs

Government talks got underway this week at an historic hotel outside Oslo, with the Conservative and Progress parties trying to reconcile their differences on a long list of issues. They also need to agree on how many ministerial posts their new two-party government will have and who will hold them. Few of the candidates have […]

New government defies skeptics

NEWS ANALYSIS: The ink had barely dried on the political agreement signed by Norway’s non-socialist party leaders Monday night before tongues started wagging that Norway’s new Conservatives-led government may not last very long. Prime Minister-elect Erna Solberg can only hope to prove the skeptics wrong. Tuesday’s Norwegian newspapers were full of dire warnings that Norway’s […]

Erna and Siv get down to business

Conservative Party leader Erna Solberg and Progress Party leader Siv Jensen will launch negotiations this week to form a government on their own for the first time ever. They called it an “historic” event, since they’ll also have the support on several issues from the country‘s two other non-socialist parties, the Liberals and the Christian […]

Parties due to clarify new government

UPDATED: After two weeks of talks and a final get-together on Monday, Norway’s four non-socialist parties formally ended their first round of talks on forming a new government. They then moved on to meetings with their own party fellows Monday afternoon, with a decision expected soon on whether they’ll all move forward with forming a […]

Rape report rocks the Progress Party

UPDATED: Two Progress Party officials have been suspended after a female party colleague reported to police that they’d raped her after a pre-election event in August. She complains party leadership hasn’t sufficiently come to her aid, but party leader Siv Jensen wasn’t informed of the alleged sexual assault until Thursday. Jensen broke away from intense […]

Solberg’s sweets strike sour note

Prime Minister-elect Erna Solberg has made a point of carrying large plastic shopping bags full of chocolates, snacks and other sweets into the talks she’s leading to form a new Conservatives-led government. The goodies, she told reporters, are meant to help boost spirits during the intense negotiations. The sweets, though, struck a sour note with […]