OSLO (Reuters) – Nine political parties are expected to win seats in the Norwegian parliamentary elections on September 12 and 13, but only three leaders are running for prime minister.
Here are brief profiles of those vying for the top position:
Jonas Gahr Stoere (Labor) – The undisputed leader, Stoere, 61, became leader of the Labor Party of Norway – the traditional home of the working class – in 2014. Born into a well-to-do family, he said after eight years government by Conservative-led coalitions is âthe people‘s turn,â promising tax breaks for low- and middle-income families and increases for the rich.
A former foreign minister, Stoere failed in his first attempt to become prime minister in 2017 and would likely need to navigate difficult coalition talks with two or more center-left parties to secure the post this time around.
Erna Solberg (Conservatives) – Solberg, 60, in power since 2013, hopes to become the first Norwegian prime minister to win a third consecutive term, but lags behind in the polls. It cut taxes, expanded oil exploration, and sought to make public administration more efficient, while sharply increasing government spending to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Her reputation took a hit when she was fined by police https://www.reuters.com/world/norway-prime-minister-fined-by-police-over-virus-rules-violation- 2021-04-09 in April for breaking social distancing rules on her birthday.
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Trygve Slagsvold Vedum (Center) – Vedum, 42, farmer and since 2014 leader of the Eurosceptic Center of Norway party https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/norway-should-reclaim-energy-regulation-eu- eurosceptic -opposition-says-2021-08-10, is the foreign candidate. Popular for his down-to-earth style and promise to spend more government money in rural areas, the former agriculture minister hopes to lead a coalition government with Labor. Late last year, the Center Party competed with Labor and Tories https://www.reuters.com/article/norway-politics-idINL8N2IH41A in the polls, but its support has since waned.
(Report by Terje Solsvik, edited by Gwladys FouchÃ© and John Stonestreet)
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