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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 79

Centre-left wins in Norway ousting centre-right government..

[b]Centre-left wins in Norway ousting centre-right government of Bondevik[/b]

From our Oslo correspondent

[b]Oslo, 13 September, ([/b] The centre-left alliance led by Jen Stoltenberg, Labor Party, is reported to have won the election held yesterday. He campaigned on increasing welfare as opposed to the ruling centre-right alliance of Prime Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik who promised tax-cuts.

Early results indicated that the centre-left alliance is set to win 85 of the 169 seats in Stortingten (Parliament) and the centre right is likely to end up with 83 seats.

Norway, the third largest oil producing country, has had a windfall with the increase in oil prices. In the last 12 months its income has increased by 51 per cent.

The main issue was whether to spend the money on welfare or on tax cuts. “Shall we continue with tax reductions, or shall we not cut taxes and instead spend more on the elderly and to improve schools?''

Stoltenberg told a news conference in Oslo Sept. 9. “Polls show there is great support in Norway for spending more on these great challenges than on tax cuts.''

Stoltenberg was the prime minister for 18 months in 2000-2001. The new government will be Labor's first in coalition with other parties since World War II.

The change of government is not likely to change Norway’s role in Sri Lanka.

Erik Solheim, the pro-LTTE facilitator, is one of candidates tipped to be the foreign minister. If he is picked to be the foreign minister he will push the LTTE line all the way leading to the edge of separation.

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