A new government in Norway
“We promise to give this country a new government,” said Solberg in her victory speech
At about 11:30 p.m. on the evening of Sept. 9, Conservative Party Erna Solberg stood in front of a group of supporters and the Norwegian media to accept her victory in the 2013 Norwegian Parliamentary Elections.
“We promise to give this country a new government,” Solberg told an excited crowd, which replied to her remarks by cheering, “ERNA! ERNA! ERNA!”
In his gracious address, Labor Party leader Jens Stoltenberg accepted defeat.
“Dear friends. Our goal was to win a majority for four more years. We knew it was a tough task. Tonight, we can state that the task was too tough,” Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg said when he went on stage just after 11 p.m. to speak to the audience at the Labor Party’s election monitoring.
Stoltenberg has served as Norway’s Prime Minister for the past eight years. He played a crucial role in the national healing process after the terrorist attacks of July 22, and many Labor Party supporters were saddened by the news of his defeat in the election.
“This is sad on behalf of my city, my province and my country,” one Twitter user wrote on the evening of Sept. 9.
But Stoltenberg himself had only gracious words for Solberg. “Tonight I congratulate Erna Solberg and thank her for a fair and good election campaign. I would also wish Erna Solberg luck with the important work that stands in front of her,” he said.
“And I’ll promise you that we will be a responsible and constructive opposition,” he added, to cheers from the audience.
Solberg made sure to thank Stoltenberg in her speech, as well.
“There is reason to thank Jens Stoltenberg. In tough times, he has stood up and been a unifying symbol for a whole nation,” she said.
VG reported a clear victory for the “borgerlig” or civil (non-socialist) parties on Sept. 9: the Conserative (Høyre), Left (Venstre), Progress (Fremskrittspartiet), and Christian Democrats (KrF) parties all did well. The Labor Party, Center Party, and Socialist Left party meanwhile didn’t have quite as successful of an election.
The Progress Party, after a rough start to their campaign, did well on election day.
“This is our third best election, and we are moving into our first government negotiations in history. That we are proud of this should surprise no one,” said leader Siv Jensen to VG reporters after her victory speech.
The Christian Democrat party also celebrated a successful election.
“This could be the beginning of a new rise,” former Christian Democrat leader and former Norwegian Prime Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik said to TV2 reporters. “Whether the Christian Democratic Party will be included in the government or sit in a crucial position in Parliament will be determined by the current leadership.”
Coalitions also have yet to be formed between the parties.
Jens Stoltenberg will resign as Prime Minister after the national budget presentation of Oct. 14.
This article originally appeared in the September 13, 2013 issue of the Norwegian American Weekly. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (800) 305-0271.