A conservative government narrowly won Norway’s general election on Monday. Prime Minister Erna Solberg and her right-of-center coalition government won 89 seats in the Scandinavian country’s 169-seat parliament. The election allowed Solberg’s Conservative Party and the Progress Party -- an anti-migration, populist party -- to remain in power. In her victory speech, Solberg proclaimed, “We have received support for four new years because we have delivered on what we pledged.” This is the first time a government from the center-right has won reelection since 1985.

Labour Party leader Jonas Gahr Støre, Solberg’s main opponent, said he had had “a huge disappointment.” In his post-electoral speech, he vowed that his party is destined for a “comeback” by which it will “set the agenda for this country.” Støre is the scion of a wealthy manufacturing clan who cites Norwegian “values” for his outspoken defense of open borders. He said he is set upon creating “a modern multicultural society that welcomes immigrants and new traditions.” It was Støre who, in 2015, demanded a further 10,000 Syrian refugees be brought to live in the nation of just 5 million people.

Third-World immigrants are an increasingly vocal part of Norway’s Labour Party, which is backed by 80 per cent of Muslim voters. Muslims now constitute a third of the population of Norway’s capital city, Oslo.

During the campaign, Støre denounced Solberg and the Conservative Party for aligning with Progress, which he labelled “far right” because of its opposition to open borders. “This has changed Norway,” he said. Echoing his confreres in other European countries and the US, the Labourite said that stricter border controls and criticism of migration has created a climate of hostility and “hate” in Norway.  In response, Solberg told Støre that his accusations of Norwegian having “become colder” had no basis in reality. She said, “You must stop tagging the population of Norway as being hateful for your own political benefit.”

Fake news

Back in March, Norway’s minister for migration, Sylvi Listhaug denounced “agenda”-driven “liberal media” after she was accused of wearing a crucifix necklace merely as a “prop” to promote “xenophobic” views. She responded to accusations by former newspaper editor Sven Egil Omdal claimed that Listhaug (who represents the Progress Party) had never before wore the crucifix necklace in question before her government appointment. 

Listhaug called Omdal’s criticism a “vile attack” and accused the “media mogul” of “spreading fake news that was “invented to make me look evil and cynical.” To prove her point, she exhibited three photos from a Scanpix websearch that showed her wearing the crucifix in 2006 and 2007. “It’s no wonder a growing number of people have seen through many of the leftist media and are relying less on journalists. They have an agenda, which is attacking the right. They have no standards and they don’t care about the facts – everything is okay as long as I or the Progress Party is the target.”
 



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Spero News editor Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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