MPs face stricter rules for travel

Norway’s Parliament has imposed stricter accounting rules on MPs claiming travel expenses, just before another Progress Party politician was found to have submitted questionable compensation claims. The new rules require more documentation, but it’s still up to the politicians themselves to decide whether a trip and its costs can be justified. Helge André Njåstad, a […]

Parliament’s building costs jump again

The construction cost scandal around an already controversial remodeling project at the Norwegian Parliament (Stortinget) keeps getting worse. Now it’s due to cost taxpayers another NOK 219 million after years of major overruns. The project, to build a new post- and delivery terminal and upgrade an adjacent office building, has turned into an enormous mess […]

Nobel Committee ‘deserves better’

NEWS ANALYSIS: The Norwegian Nobel Committee will be awarding this year’s Nobel Peace Prize next weekend, after having to put up with weeks of unprecedented political debate in Norway over how Parliament chooses committee members. Now calls are going out that both the committee and its professional support apparatus at the Norwegian Nobel Institute deserve […]

Parliament leaders in trouble again

Members of the Norwegian Parliament (MPs) were not happy on Monday to read that their president and his secretary general have spent time and money hiring a special baker who can make French pastries for them and a machine that can emboss their business cards in gold. The small luxuries, among others, have emerged just as embattled President […]

Parliament’s leader denies wrongdoing

The president of the Norwegian Parliament, already tied to a huge budget overrun, has now landed in more trouble for allegedly exceeding his powers and then withholding information. Olemic Thommessen of the Conservative Party denies any wrongdoing but now faces questions from the national assembly’s disciplinary committee. Thommessen has led the Parliament (Stortinget) since the Conservatives won […]

MP’s career traces great change

No woman has been a Member of Parliament (MP) in Norway longer than Marit Nybakk, who just took part in her 30th and last ceremonial opening of the legislative body. Her tenure also offers a chance to look back on those 30 years, and see how much the country has changed. When Nybakk won her first […]

Parliament opens for lots of debate

Flags were flying, politicians were unusually dressed-up and customary royal pomp reigned inside and out as the 16oth session of the Norwegian Parliament formally opened on Friday. The gloves will soon come off, though, as debate starts flying over issues like the refugee crisis, tax reform and the government’s proposed state budget for next year. As […]

King missed some of his opening lines

It’s not easy being a king. On Friday, Norway’s 78-year-old monarch spoke loudly and clearly as he customarily read aloud the government’s annual proclamation from the throne, but then he skipped over an entire chunk of text. It was news bureau NTB that first noticed the royal blunder, as King Harald V read what’s known as the […]

Parliament cancels its ‘snobbish’ ball

There will be no fancy dining and dancing for Members of Parliament and their partners just after New Year. Controversial plans to spend NOK 770,000 on a New Year’s Ball have been dropped, in favour of a summer party. Newspaper Dagens Næringliv (DN) had first brought the news that the Parliament’s leadership, including two top […]

Parliament Ball called ‘snobbish and old-fashioned’

Plans by the President of the Parliament’s staff to hold a winter ball right after New Year have been met by sneers and snickering by several of the Members of Parliament expected to come. “I think this has balled up a bit,” commented the head of the Christian Democrats, while other top politicians had worse […]