Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 18 February 2020

Norway Prime Minister shakes up cabinet after right-wing party exit

The Progress Party left the coalition after the repatriation of a suspected ISIS member to Norway

Prime Minister Erna Solberg lost her parliamentary majority. EPA
Prime Minister Erna Solberg lost her parliamentary majority. EPA

Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg on Friday announced her biggest cabinet reshuffle since taking power in 2013, replacing or repositioning two-thirds of ministers in the hope of reviving the Conservative-led coalition's prospects.

Ms Solberg this week lost her majority in parliament following the shock exit from government by the right-wing Progress Party over a decision to bring a woman suspected of being a member of ISIS home to Norway from Syria.

While Progress vowed to still back Ms Solberg as prime minister, opinion polls point to an overwhelming lead for Norway's centre-left opposition parties ahead of a general election in 2021.

The overall size of the cabinet was cut to 20 from 22, and 13 out of the 20 posts would see a new appointee, either from inside or outside the current government lineup, including those of finance, oil and energy, justice and transport.

Veteran Conservative Party lawmaker Jan Tore Sanner was appointed finance minister, moving from the education ministry, putting him in charge of fiscal policy and of overseeing the world's largest sovereign wealth fund with $1.1 trillion in assets.

Meanwhile, 33-year-old Tina Bru, a rising star among the Conservatives, will take charge of the oil and energy portfolio, charting the course for western Europe's largest petroleum industry at a time of rising concern over climate change.

Updated: January 24, 2020 02:50 PM

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