Norway Coalition Talks in Disarray as Socialist Left Walks Out
(Bloomberg) -- Talks to form Norway’s new ruling coalition suffered a setback after a potential junior partner said it will remain in opposition, citing disagreements over climate and welfare policies.
The decision by the Socialist Left Party to walk out means the election-winning Labor Party will continue talks with the agrarian and euro-skeptic Center Party for a potential minority government.
“Should the Socialist Left enter the government, then we must be convinced that the political platform will be clearly better than what we can achieve in opposition, and we’re simply not convinced of that,” Audun Lysbakken, leader of the Socialist Left Party, told reporters outside Oslo.
Jonas Gahr Store, the millionaire head of Labor, said after the vote he preferred a triparty alliance with Center and the Socialist Left that would have commanded a five-seat majority in the 169-member parliament, mirroring a set-up that ruled for two terms starting 2005.
While Labor managed to oust the Conservative Party after two terms in power, it was expected to have difficult talks due to differences over the oil-rich nation’s fossil fuel policies. Center and Labor are in favor of continuing oil and gas exploration, which the Socialist Left wants to end.
Store has earlier ruled out cooperation with the fringe parties, such as the communist Red Party and the Greens, which both gained support. The Greens have demanded phasing out the fossil fuel industry by 2035.
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