Norway leaves leftist coalition in power

Sept. 15, 2009 at 9:45 AM
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OSLO, Norway, Sept. 15 (UPI) -- Norwegian voters returned their Labor-dominated leftist government to office, election returns indicate.

Voters in Monday's elections approved Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg's three-party, leftist coalition, with coalition members winning 86 seats in the 169-seat parliament, The New York Times reported Tuesday.

Stoltenberg said Tuesday voters showed a clear desire "to renew, strengthen and improve the Norwegian social welfare."

Analysts told the Times Norwegian voters seemed to favor expanding social benefits that already include public day care, free college tuition and extensive mass transit.

"This election, like the three previous ones, was all about schools, higher education, children, families, health care, the elderly and the environment -- everything that touches on quality of life," said Tor Bjorklund, a University of Oslo political science professor.

The preliminary results indicate the conservative Progress Party won an estimated 41 seats while the moderate Conservative Party tentatively claimed 30 seats.

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