Winner of the Norwegian election is rich champion of the ‘frequent individuals’ | World information

By Gwladys Fouche and Terje Solsvik

OSLO (Reuters) – Norway’s likely next Prime Minister is a man born of wealth and privilege who became an unusual leader of the Labor Party, traditionally seen as the political voice of the working class and who built the country’s welfare state.

Jonas Gahr Stoere, 61, overcomes his 2017 election defeat and the internal party unrest and is expected to replace 2021-09-13 The conservative Prime Minister Erna Solberg, 60, showed a decisive swing in favor of the center-left after the balance sheets.

Son of a shipbroker and heir to a fortune valued at around $ 16 million, Stoere’s elitist background was once seen as a hindrance to his ambition to lead a party rooted in the struggle for workers’ rights, according to business magazine Kapital.

He has promised that “it will be the turn of the common people” by promising to reduce inequality through tax breaks for low and middle income families, lower public service costs and lower taxes for the rich – including himself – to increase.

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Stoere, former foreign minister and health minister, has led Labor since 2014 but stumbled on his first attempt to seize power in 2017 when Solberg’s conservatively-led coalition came from behind to win a second term.

This time the combined center-left party has won its biggest victory in nearly three decades, with Labor as the largest party in parliament. However, Stoere still has tough coalition talks with two other parties after the election.

To form a majority government, he would need the support of the rural Center Party and the Socialist Left, which pursue conflicting policies from oil exploration to taxes.

He could rule in a minority, but with an estimated 48 seats out of 169 in parliament, his government would be vulnerable.

The Labor Party’s eight years of powerlessness is the longest since it first formed a government in 1928. The party has ruled for about 50 of its 76 years since the end of World War II.

Stoere says the class differences he observed while studying in Paris in the 1980s led him to social democracy.

“I’ve learned what kind of society I want to live in. In France, the differences between people are big, bigger than in Norway – between rich and poor, between education and training, between urban and rural areas, ”he wrote in a column for Norway’s ABC News website in 2017.

Stoere told Reuters last month that a more even distribution of the economic burden would facilitate the introduction of tougher climate policies – a major issue in Norway, which has gotten rich with oil, still the country’s largest industry.

“We have to avoid yellow vests. We have to make sure that we reduce emissions and create jobs,” said Stoere, referring to the French anti-government movement “yellow vests”.

Norway is “good at negotiating these transitions,” he said, “but we need to have a society with fewer differences, which have increased with the last government”.

While studying at Sciences Po, one of the best universities in France, Stoere traveled to the Soviet Union as part of the movement in support of Soviet dissidents.

After returning home, he worked closely with Norway’s first female prime minister, Gro Harlem Brundtland, and was later her chief of staff at the World Health Organization.

In 2010, as Foreign Minister in the government of his friend Jens Stoltenberg, Stoere ended a four decades-long dispute over the Arctic offshore border with Russia. He was then health minister before becoming Labor leader in 2014 when Stoltenberg was appointed NATO leader.

Norway is a founding member of NATO. It is not a member of the European Union, but has close economic ties to the bloc that could become a sticking point in coalition talks.

Stoere managed to hold the Labor leadership beyond 2017, when the party started the year by a big lead in opinion polls but lost an election after pledging to raise taxes and fueling an economic recovery in Solberg.

For the 2021 campaign, he kept middle class voters on his side by making it clear that only the top 20% of earners and the very rich would raise their taxes if Labor won.

(Adaptation by Catherine Evans)

Copyright 2021 Thomson Reuters.

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