Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg said Tuesday she would step down as chairman of a tripartite minority center-right government after a left-wing bloc won parliamentary elections last month. The chairman of the Norwegian Labor Party, Jonas Gahr Stoere, is expected to take office this week.
60-year-old Solberg, leader of the Norwegian Conservative Party, was ousted after two four-year terms when her party lost nine seats in the country’s September 13 elections. She will remain as the caretaker until Gahr Stoere presented a new government team for a two-party center-left coalition on Thursday.
“Eight years is a long time,” Solberg told reporters after handing her constitutional resignation letter to King Harald, the country’s leading monarch, a government. ”
In Norway, an outgoing prime minister does not announce his resignation until another party leader is ready to form a new cabinet
In 2013, Solberg became Norway’s second female Prime Minister. She initially headed a two-party minority government with the anti-immigrant 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 became the majority government.
In January 2020, however, the populist Progressive Party withdrew from the coalition, leaving Solberg to lead a tripartite minority government with its own Conservatives, the centrist Liberal Party and the Christian Democrats.
Gahr Stoere, 61, is about to head a government with the Eurosceptic Center Party, Norway’s third largest party, which is expected to aim for a 169-seat majority in the Stortinget. He is expected to outline the coalition’s political platform on Wednesday and the cabinet line-up the following day.
The discovery of oil and gas in Norway’s waters in the 1960s made the Scandinavian nation one of the richest countries in the world with a strong social system and a high standard of living. It is not a member of the European Union, but it is closely related to the 27-nation bloc.
Norway’s oil wealth helped him weather Europe’s financial crisis and keep unemployment low. The oil industry is the country’s largest industry, accounting for over 40% of exports and directly employing more than 5% of the workforce.