Norwegian polls indicate change of Government
[TamilNet, Tuesday, 13 September 2005, 12:09 GMT]
The Norwegian Labour Party led three-party Red-Green coalition has won the public elections in Norway. The change of Government will not directly impact the peace process in Sri Lanka although the ministerial portfolios are expected to change in about a month, sources in Oslo said.
The incumbent Prime Minister of Norway, Mr. Kjell Magne Bondevik, a Christian Democrat informed Tuesday that he will leave his office after presenting the draft budget for year 2006 to the assembly in mid-October.
Mr. Jens Stoltenberg, 46, leader of the Labour Party and a former Prime Minister is expected to be the new Prime Minister of the country.
Labour won 61 seats, Socialist Leftist won 15 seats and the environmentalist Centre Party got 11 seats, giving the coalition 87 seats of the 169-member stortinget assembly.
Mr. Bjřrn Tore Godal, who has held two ministerial portfolios, Norwegian Foreign Minister (1994-1997) and Defence Minister
(2000-2001), and UN's Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Mr. Jan Egeland, are the two politicians who have been tipped to hold the Foreign Minister portfolio.
The Red-Green alliance also comprises of Socialist Leftist party which was previously headed by Mr. Erik Solheim. Mr. Solheim got a temporary leave from the Sri Lankan engagement to function as special advisor to Socialist Leftist party.
Negotiations on portfolios to be shared among the coalition partners are expected to begin Wednesday, according to local media reports in Norway.
As a world humanitarian power, Norway has always sought active engagement in peacemaking. This policy is also promoted as a programme of the Red Green coalition.