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Norway vote winners start coalition talks with climate focus
Norway's centre-left opposition parties started coalition talks on Tuesday to try to form a majority government after winning a decisive parliamentary election victory, with climate change expected to be central in discussions.

Labour leader Jonas Gahr Stoere must address voters' concerns over global warming and a widening wealth gap, while ensuring any transition away from oil production – and the jobs it creates – is gradual, Reuters reported.

Stoere's goal is to convince both the rural-based Centre Party and the mostly urban Socialist Left to join him, which would give his cabinet 89 seats, four more than what is needed for a majority in the 169-seat assembly.

"I believe it's worth attempting to form a majority government," Stoere told reporters after votes were counted late on Monday.

Norway's left-wing opposition won Monday's general election after a campaign dominated by questions about the future of the key oil industry in Western Europe's largest producer.

The left-wing unseated a centre-right coalition headed by Conservative Prime Minister Erna Solberg since 2013, according to AFP.

"We waited, we hoped, and we have worked so hard, and now we can finally say it: We did it!," Store, in all likelihood the next prime minister, told cheering supporters after Solberg conceded defeat.

The five left-wing opposition parties were projected to win 100 of the 169 seats in parliament.

"Norway has sent a clear signal: the election shows that the Norwegian people want a fairer society," said the 61-year-old millionaire who campaigned against social inequalities.

The five countries in the Nordic region – a bastion of social democracy – will thus all be governed by left-wing governments soon.

"The Conservative government's work is finished for this time around," Solberg told supporters.

The Greens had said they would only support a left-wing government if it vowed an immediate end to oil exploration in Norway, an ultimatum Store had rejected.

Store has like the Conservatives, called for a gradual transition away from the oil economy.

The August "code red for humanity" report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) put the issue at the top of the agenda for the election campaign and forced the country to reflect on the oil that has made it immensely rich.

The report energised those who want to get rid of oil, both on the left and, to a lesser extent, the right.

The oil sector accounts for 14 percent of Norway's gross domestic product, as well as 40 percent of its exports and 160,000 direct jobs.

 

 

 

 

 

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