Norway's conservative government quits after election defeat |  Abroad

Norway’s conservative government quits after election defeat | Abroad

Norway bids farewell to the Conservative government under Prime Minister Erna Solberg after eight years. The opposition Social Democratic Party led by Jonas Gahr Store won the parliamentary elections on Monday evening. Solberg indicated that she had succumbed to defeat and announced the resignation of her government. According to the prime minister, there is a “clear majority that wants another government”.

For a majority government, Støre still needs support from other parties. In his victory speech, the Social Democrat said he was looking for other center-left parties to form a coalition with.

About 3.9 million Norwegians were able to vote for the new parliament on Sunday and Monday in a political battle centered on rising income inequality, climate change and a shift to other sources of energy in the oil-rich country. More than 1.6 million voters cast their ballots by mail.

Store promised to cut taxes on low- and middle-income people and raise interest rates for wealthier Norwegians. Also, a government under his leadership will reduce carbon emissions as required under the Paris climate agreement, but he has yet to support proposals to limit oil and gas exploration due to massive job losses. The Green Party, an apparent coalition partner of the Social Democrats, wants to completely halt Norwegian oil production by 2035.

Solberg, 60, has been in power with her conservative party since 2013 with some coalition partners. Store, 61, previously served as foreign minister under Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg, who now heads NATO. Norway is not a member of the European Union. The EU’s neighbors Sweden, Finland and Denmark have already chosen a slightly more leftward path.

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Social Democratic Party leader Jonas Gahr Stoer during a pre-election debate in Norway. © AFP

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