Norway's government retains majority

15th September 2009, Comments 0 comments

The outgoing coalition, made up of Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg's Labour Party and two junior partners, was credited with 85 of the 169 seats in parliament, according to official projections based on 48 percent of votes counted.

Oslo -- Norway's left-wing government retained a slim parliamentary majority in general elections Monday, preliminary official results showed with almost half of votes counted.

The outgoing coalition, made up of Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg's Labour Party and two junior partners, was credited with 85 of the 169 seats in parliament, according to official projections based on 48 percent of votes counted.

The right-wing opposition was seen garnering 84 seats, including 39 for the populist Progress Party.

A total of 85 seats are needed for an absolute majority.

The results are in line with two exit polls broadcast on television, which gave Stoltenberg's government a slim majority of 85 and 87 seats respectively.

The government welcomed the results cautiously.

"These are good results but we need to keep a cool head," Labour Party secretary Raymond Johansen said.

"We can't say anything certain about the results," said Kristin Halvorsen, the leader of junior coalition member Socialist Left Party.

"But victory seems within reach," she added.

Stoltenberg's government, in power since 2005, vowed during the election campaign to improve the welfare state and prioritise employment.

The right-wing opposition, dominated by the populist Progress Party, meanwhile vowed to cut taxes and launch a privatisation programme in a social democracy where the state is omnipresent and taxes are among the highest in the world.

AFP/Expatica

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