Left-wing coalition set to win Norwegian parliamentary vote

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Left-wing coalition set to win Norwegian parliamentary vote


Norway’s left-wing opposition toppled the country’s conservative-led government in parliamentary elections, exit polls show, but the exact form of the “Red-Green” coalition that will lead the Nordic country is far from clear. ‘be clear.

Labor leader Jonas Gahr Støre is set to be the next prime minister after the center-left party won 48 seats out of the 169 seats in the Norwegian parliament, with its favorite tripartite coalition on track for a weak majority of 88. deputies.

However, Støre’s potential alliance with the Agrarian Center Party, with 26 seats, and the Socialist Left, with 13 seats, is divided on key issues, including whether to seek support from two small left-wing parties as well. , the Red Communist Party and the Greens.

Even a left-wing tripartite coalition would demand that the future prime minister convince his potential partners to compromise on a range of policies, from the future of the oil industry and private property to Norway’s relations with the EU.

“We will take a long time to talk to the other parties, and we respect the fact that this has not been decided until it has been decided,” said Støre, 61, former Norwegian foreign minister. , on his way to Labor’s electoral party on Monday.

Anniken Huitfeldt of Labor said the victory was “beyond all expectations. I have never seen such a large majority to change. It means a lot to form a government with the Socialist Left and Center Party, and I hope that will be the result. “

But Audun Lysbakken, leader of the socialist left, which favors a broader five-party alliance, predicted the coalition talks would be difficult. “Everything indicates that there is no way to gain power and a majority in the new parliament that does not come through us – and we will use that power,” he told his supporters.

The negotiations could have a major impact on fossil fuel production in Western Europe’s largest oil and gas producer, with the socialist left opposing further exploration and the Greens, en route for seven MPs, demanding production will stop by 2035.

Climate change and economic inequality dominated the election campaign after the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued a stern warning last month that global warming is dangerously on the verge of Become uncontrollable.

Støre, who said he had a ‘good feeling’ when he voted at a school in central Oslo on Sunday, rejected the Greens’ ultimatum and expressed reluctance to enter government with the Red Party, which is expected to have eight MPs . The center party does not want a formal coalition with the socialist left either.

Outgoing Prime Minister Erna Solberg’s Conservatives won 37 seats, eight fewer than in 2017, along with their coalition partners, the Christian Democrats, and the anti-immigrant Progress party, which left government in 2019, also losing deputies.

Both the Conservative Party, whose center-right coalition has ruled Norway for eight years, and Labor advocates a phasing out of oil and gas, which accounts for 14% of Norway’s GDP and 40% of exports, provide 160,000 direct jobs and have helped the country set up a 1.2 billion euros (£ 1 billion) sovereign wealth fund.

They argue that oil companies need time to adapt their engineering prowess to pursue green technologies. “I think shutting down our oil and gas industry is bad industrial policy and bad climate policy,” Støre said after the vote.

“The demand for oil is on a downward trajectory. We don’t need to decree it, but instead [use the revenues] to build bridges to future activities, ”Labor spokesperson Espen Barth Eide told Agence-France Presse.

Observers said potential coalition divisions on the issue could result in a compromise that would result in the exclusion of some waters for future oil exploration, especially in the Arctic.

Europe is another possible bone of contention in a left coalition, Norway’s membership of the European Economic Area (EEA) strongly favored by Labor but opposed by the Eurosceptic Center Party, the Socialist Left and the red.

Støre said his government would focus on reducing the country’s CO2 emissions in accordance with the 2015 Paris Agreement, but rejects any ultimatum on energy policy.

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