Wednesday, September 20th, 2017
Home »General News » World » Bittersweet election victory for Norway PM
After clinching a narrow victory in Norway's legislative elections, Prime Minister Erna Solberg will start out with a fragile second mandate, given her weaker majority and less conciliatory allies. "You can never be confident that you will survive for four years," Solberg told AFP on Tuesday.

"There was a lot of speculation that this (government) would not last, after the last election in 2013. We have managed to do this and I think it's possible to do it for the four next years," she said. The popular and experienced 56-year-old is the first Conservative in oil-rich Norway to win a second straight mandate in more than 30 years.

In Monday's nail-biting election, her coalition - made up of the Conservatives and the mildly populist anti-immigration Progress Party - and two smaller centre-right allies took home a thin majority of 89 of the 169 seats in parliament. The Conservatives campaigned on a vow to pursue further tax cuts to bolster the economy.

The opposition, led by Labour leader Jonas Gahr Store, meanwhile wanted to raise taxes, especially for the richest, seeking to reduce inequalities and beef up the Norwegians' cherished welfare state. Credited with successfully steering the country - Western Europe's biggest crude producer - through the oil industry slump and the migrant crisis, Solberg now looks set to have her work cut out, simple arithmetic shows.

The rightwing bloc lost seven seats in the new parliament. It will need to stand more united than ever to govern - and that is easier said than done. Until now, Solberg's coalition had held a minority in parliament and needed the support of only one of the two smaller centre-right parties - the Christian Democrats or the Liberals - to pass legislation. But now Solberg needs the support of both parties to do that, and they have both expressed growing dissatisfaction with the populists on issues such as the climate and immigration.

the author