• Wednesday, Oct 20, 2021
  • Last Update : 12:29 pm

Norwegians start voting in election focused on oil, equality

  • Published at 07:12 pm September 12th, 2021
Norway votes
FILE PHOTO: The three candidates for Norway's prime minister Erna Solberg from the Conservatives, Jonas Gahr Stoere from Labour Party and Trygve Slagsvold Vedum from the Centre Party attend a debate in central Oslo, Norway August 9, 2021 Reuters

Opinion polls show the opposition Labour party on course to replace the Conservative-led coalition, though Labour would need support from at least two more parties to secure a majority

Norwegians went to the polls on Sunday for the first of two days of voting in a parliamentary election dominated by the widening gap between rich and poor, climate change and how the oil-producing nation should adapt to the energy transition.

Opinion polls show the opposition Labour party on course to replace the Conservative-led coalition of Prime Minister Erna Solberg, though Labour would need support from at least two more parties to secure a parliamentary majority.

The man projected to become prime minister after the Sept. 12-13 ballot, Labour leader Jonas Gahr Stoere, has pledged to address inequality offering tax relief for low- and middle-income families and hiking rates for the rich.

The wealthiest 1% of Norwegians pay a lower income tax rate than do those earning a median salary, according to Statistics Norway, while the proportion of children persistently living in low-income households grew from 3.3% in 2001 to 11.7% in 2019.

"We must have a society with fewer differences, which have increased with the past government," Stoere told Reuters on the sidelines of a recent campaign event.

Difficult coalition talks

Complicating matters for Labour, climate change has surfaced as a key issue, and the polls show a growing minority of seats in parliament could go to parties and lawmakers who want to curtail Norway's oil and gas drilling, a major source of jobs.

Stoere hopes Labour, the Centre Party and the Socialist Left will between them win a majority, and that post-election negotiations will enable a comeback for the three-party coalition that ran Norway between 2005 and 2013.

But this outcome is far from certain. Opinion polls show Stoere could become dependent on either the Red Party, which wants social reforms based on Marxist ideology, or the Green Party, which wants to shut down Norway's oil production by 2035.

Stoere says his government would focus on cutting the country's CO2 emissions in line with the 2015 Paris Agreement, but has rejected any ultimatums over oil, arguing that Norway must avoid major job losses in its biggest export industry.

51
Facebook 51
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail