Mon, 25 Oct 2021

OSLO, Norway: The man expected to become the next prime minister of Norway, 61-year-old Jonas Gahr Stoere, was born into a wealthy background, but became the leader of the Labour Party, traditionally the party of the working class.

As polls are indicating a decisive swing towards the centre-left, Stoere is expected to take over from Conservative Prime Minister Erna Solberg, 60.

Because of his elite background, Stoere was once deemed unlikely to lead a party associated with the struggles of the working class, but he has pledged to reduce inequality, support public services and increase taxes on the rich, declaring it is the "common people's turn."

Stoere, a former foreign minister and health minister, has led Labour since 2014, though his first attempt to win power in 2017 failed when Solberg's Conservative-led coalition won a second term.

However, a combined centre-left recently achieved its largest victory in almost 30 years, with Labour taking the largest number of seats in parliament.

Stoere, however, must still hold crucial post-election coalition negotiations with two other parties, the rural-based Centre Party and the Socialist Left.

These two parties, which have contradictory policies on many issues, such as oil production and taxes, must be won over to give Stoere the chance of forming a majority government.

With an estimated 48 seats out of a total 169 in parliament, Stoere could govern with a parliamentary minority, but this would make his government vulnerable to falling.

Labour has been out of power for eight years, the longest since it formed its first government in 1928.

Despite losing the election in 2017, Stoere remained Labour leader, after promising to raise taxes.

His pledge to only increase the taxes of the top 20 percent of earners and the very wealthy won the support of middle-class voters in 2021.

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