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Norwegian Prime Minister, Conservative Erna Solberg, admitted defeat in the legislative elections on Monday evening, paving the way for the left to come to power under the aegis of Labor Jonas Gahr Støre. At 61, the latter should take the reins of the rich Scandinavian kingdom, which is considering its exit from the oil economy.
The left-wing opposition led by Labor Jonas Gahr Støre won on Monday, September 13, legislative elections dominated by the fate of the country’s oil activities, ending eight years of right-wing rule in Norway.
“We waited, we hoped and we worked so hard, and now we can finally say it: we did it!”, Declared Jonas Gahr Støre, the probable next Prime Minister, to the cheers of activists.
>> To see: “Legislative in Norway: what future for the oil sector?”
The five opposition parties are expected to win 100 of the 169 seats in the Storting, Norway’s unicameral parliament, enough to oust conservative Erna Solberg’s right-wing coalition, according to projections.
With 89 terms so far, Labor seems even on its way to securing an absolute majority with their favorite allies, the Center Party and the Socialist Left.
The trio could thus do without the other two opposition forces, the environmentalists of MDG and the communists of Rødt, with whom Jonas Gahr Støre still said he was determined to discuss.
“Norway has sent a clear message: the elections show that the Norwegian people want a fairer society,” said the 61-year-old millionaire who campaigned against social inequalities.
For a smooth exit from the oil economy
The five Nordic countries, bastions of social democracy, should soon all be ruled by the left.
“The work of the Conservative Party in government is over for this time,” admitted Erna Solberg, at the helm since 2013, a record for the right.
“I want to congratulate Jonas Gahr Støre who at this time seems to have a clear majority to change the government,” added the 60-year-old leader, a victim of a usury of power after leading the country through multiple crises (migrants, fall in the price of the barrel, Covid-19).
If it is confirmed, this absolute three-way majority will facilitate negotiations to form a coalition government, even if they promise to be long and delicate.
MDG had conditioned its support on the immediate end of oil exploration in the country, the largest exporter of hydrocarbons in Western Europe, an ultimatum rejected by Jonas Gahr Støre.
The latter advocates – like his conservative opponents – a gentle and gradual exit from the oil economy.
Thorny tractations in sight
The “red alert for humanity” launched in early August by the UN climate experts (IPCC) placed the issue of global warming at the heart of the electoral campaign and forced the kingdom to reflect on the fate of activities oil companies that made him immensely rich.
The report galvanized those on the left and, to a lesser extent, on the right, wanting to end oil.
The petroleum sector accounts for 14% of Norwegian gross domestic product, more than 40% of exports and 160,000 direct jobs.
Black gold has also enabled the kingdom of 5.4 million inhabitants to amass the largest sovereign wealth fund in the world with nearly 12,000 billion crowns of assets (1,166 billion euros).
A graduate of Sciences Po Paris and Minister of Jens Stoltenberg between 2005 and 2013, Jonas Gahr Støre will now have to engage in thorny negotiations with, first of all, the Center Party, which mainly defends the interests of the rural world, and the Socialist left, more concerned with environmental issues.
These allies, who once ruled together under Jens Stoltenberg, have often opposing positions, especially on the urgency to end the oil age, and the centrists of Trygve Slagsvold Vedum have said during the campaign that they do not want to sit with the Left. socialist of Audun Lysbakken.