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Norwegian left-wing opposition wins climate-driven elections in landslide, coalition talks next

OSLO – Norwegian center-left opposition parties are set to win a majority in parliament after Monday’s election and will now negotiate how to form a coalition, with climate change and a growing wealth gap to be at the center discussions.

Conservative Prime Minister Erna Solberg has conceded the election and will step down after eight years in power, while Labor leader Jonas Gahr Stoere has said he intends to form the next government.

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Norway’s status as a major oil and gas producer has been at the heart of the campaign, although a transition away from oil – and the jobs it creates – is likely to be gradual despite progress in the world. pro-environmental parties.

To form a viable cabinet, Stoere must persuade potential center-left partners to compromise on policies ranging from oil and private property to Norway’s relations with the European Union.

“We, as the bigger party, will ensure that Norway has a new government and a new course,” Stoere said in a speech to party members.

“In the coming days, I will invite the leaders of all parties who want a change,” he said, adding that he would start with the Center Party and the socialist left.

The Norwegian krone currency was largely unchanged, trading at 10.20 against the euro.

“There will be tax increases for example and there will be a different set of priorities … but the total size of the public budget will not be significantly different from if the current government remains in place,” the chief economist said. by DNB Markets. Kjersti Haugland.

With 97.5% of the vote counted, Labor and four other center-left parties could achieve a combined majority of 100 seats, up from 81 currently, according to the Election Directorate’s projections.

A minimum of 85 seats is required to obtain a majority out of the 169 seats in parliament.

If the projections turn out to be correct, Stoere could form a majority made up of the Labor Party, the Center Party and the Socialist Left, which are on track to accumulate 89 seats, and avoid having to work with the Red Marxist Party or the anti-oil Greens.

Getting the Rural Center Party and predominantly urban socialists to govern together, however, could be difficult, as the two have different views on issues ranging from oil to taxes.

Reigning in the minority could also be an option for Labor. Stoere said his government would focus on reducing CO2 emissions in line with the 2015 Paris agreement, but rejected any ultimatum on energy policy.

Stoere is committed to tackling inequality by lowering taxes for low- and middle-income families and raising rates for the rich.