Norway’s prime minister presents his new government
COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Norway’s new center-left Cabinet has taken office after the incoming prime minister presented a center-left minority government Thursday, a day after a deadly bow-and-arrow attack in a small town.
Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere, the leader of Norway’s center-left Labor Party, stood outside the royal palace with his 19-member team — 10 women and nine men — that includes the leader of the euroskeptic Center Party, Trygve Slagsvold Vedum, who becomes finance minister.
Emilie Enger Mehl became Norway’s youngest-ever justice minister at age 28, while the foreign minister portfolio went to another woman — Anniken Scharning Huitfeldt.
Gahr Stoere said it was “a special day” because of the “outrageous event” in Kongsberg, a small town outside Oslo, in which a Danish man was taken into custody after Norwegian police say he killed five people with a bow and arrows and wounded two others on Wednesday.
“It is horrible what has been revealed, it is shocking to think about what people have experienced,” Gahr Stoere told reporters before the swearing-in ceremony of the new government, pledging the new Cabinet’s full attention on the Kongsberg case.
Authorities suspect that the attacker is a Muslim convert who was previously flagged as having been radicalized. Norway’s domestic security agency says the attack appears to have been an act of terrorism.
“But although the backdrop is heavy, this is still the day to present a new government,” the 61-year-old Gahr Stoere said before a cheering crowd after the ceremony was over.
He took over after Erna Solberg was ousted in the Sept. 13 election after two four-year terms.
In line with tradition, the outgoing and incoming governments were greeted by family members and well-wishers, and received flowers and Norwegian flags, after formally meeting King Harald V.
On Wednesday, Gahr Stoere and Slagsvold Vedum, the leader of the Center Party that is Norway’s third largest, unveiled a 83-page policy program for 2021-2025 where climate and the environment are among key areas.
In the September vote, the Labor Party — the largest party in non-European Union member Norway — won the election with 26.3% of the vote while the Center Party finished third with 20.4%.