Norway PM to step down, Labour leader expected to take over


COPENHAGEN: Norwegian Prime Minister Erna solberg She said on Tuesday that she will resign as head of a three-party center-right minority government after a left-wing bloc won parliamentary elections last month.
The leader of NorwayLabor Party, Jonas Gahr Stoere, is expected to take over later this week.
Solberg, 60, the leader of Norway’s Conservative Party, was toppled after two four-year terms when her party lost nine seats in the country’s September 13 elections.
She will remain as interim leader until Gahr Stoere has presented a new government team on Thursday for a bipartisan center-left coalition.
“Eight years is a long time,” Solberg told reporters after delivering his letter of resignation to the country’s figurehead monarch, King Harald, as required by the Constitution.
“He accepted it and I urged him to ask Jonas Gahr Stoere to form a government.”
In Norway, an outgoing prime minister only announces his departure when another party leader is ready to form a new cabinet.
In 2013, Solberg became the second Prime Minister of Norway. He first headed a bipartisan minority government with anti-immigration Progress Party. It was expanded twice: first in 2018 with the Liberal Party and a year later with the small Christian Democratic Party and then it became a majority government.
However, in January 2020, the populist Progress Party withdrew from the coalition, leaving Solberg at the helm of a tripartite minority government with its own conservatives, the centrist Liberal Party and Christian Democrats.
Gahr Stoere, 61, is about to lead a government with the Eurosceptic Center Party, Norway’s third-largest, which is expected to seek a majority in the 169-seat Stortinget.
He is expected to outline the coalition’s political platform on Wednesday and the cabinet lineup the following day.
The discovery of oil and gas in Norwegian waters in the 1960s made the Scandinavian nation one of the richest countries in the world, with a strong welfare system and a high standard of living.
It is not a member of the European Union, but trades closely with the 27-nation bloc.
Norway’s oil wealth helped it weather Europe’s financial crisis and maintain low unemployment.
The oil industry is the largest industry in the country, responsible for more than 40% of exports and directly employs more than 5% of the workforce.

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