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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 80

Sri Lankan peace process will be further strained if Labour

[b]Sri Lankan peace process will be further strained if Labour Party wins Norwegian elections next week[/b]

By H.L.D.Mahindapala -

Norwegian general elections for the Stortington (parliament) will be held on September 12. All 169 seats are contested. Sri Lanka has hardly figured in the national debate between the Conservatives and the Labor Party. Both sides have maintained a prudent silence as the role of the Norwegians has been under fire from international and Sri Lankan sources. As in most elections both parties concentrate on domestic issues.

Polls predict that the ruling center-right coalition of the Conservative, Christian Democrat and Liberal parties are likely to lose. Not all polls agree though. Norsk Gallup indicated Labor led 'red-green' alliance leading, but an other poll conducted by Aftenposten and NRK (Norwegian Broadcasting) said that their potential majority is dwindling.

But the most likely scenario is for a Labour-led alliance to form the next government. The new Prime Minister will then be Jens Stoltenberg. It is also speculated that Jan Egeland will be the new Foreign Minister, replacing Jan Petersen. Egeland is currently working as Deputy General Secretary in the UN and has been in charge for the UN emergency relief programs.

The names of Erik Solheim and Jagland too have been mentioned as other candidates for the post of Foreign Minister.

LTTE is playing an active role in this election. Their candidate Balasingham Yogarajah is running on the same ballot as Stoltenberg and the Labour Party is expected win six seats from Oslo. Balasingham is eighteenth in the list.

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