Decisive Days for Listhaug & Government

Justice Minister Sylvi ListhaugJustice Minister Sylvi Listhaug.Photo: Heiko Junge / NTB scanpix

Decisive Days for Listhaug and the Government

Surrounded by roses and tulips from her followers, Sylvi Listhaug (Progress Party) faces the weekend, knowing that the future of the Government and her is at stake.


The office of the Minister of justice has been turned into a sea of flowers in the wake of a Facebook campaign where her followers are encouraged to send her supportive greetings. The campaign was started night before Friday on the Facebook page, Slå “Ring om Norge” (Embrace Norway), which is characterized by scepticism towards immigration  and very crass utterings regarding Labour politicians as well as Listhaug’s boss, ie Prime Minister Erna Solberg (Conservatives). It is unclear who is responsible for the page.

Listhaug tells NTB that she is overwhelmed by the support.

– I would like to thank everyone who sent me flowers. It means a lot to me, and I’m touched by all the support. I would also like to thank you for all the support I have received by email, SMS, telephones, letters and on Facebook. I’m so happy for the support you show me, she says.

May ask Listhaug to resign

Listhaug has canceled a planned trip to Svalbard on Sunday and Monday. On Tuesday, the Parliament (Stortinget) will vote over a proposal of no confidence against her, and there is a great deal of suspense regarding what stance the Christian Democrats will take on this matter. In the wake of that Labour Party leader, Jonas Gahr Støre, Thursday said that the party will support the motion, a crisis in Government has become a real possibility.

The Centre Party asks Prime Minister Solberg to intervene.

– We will not protect Listhaug, but it is the Prime Minister who decides who is part of her Government. We are prepared to vote for the vote of no confidencel on Tuesday, but Erna Solberg has an opportunity to avoid such a issue being raised in Parliament, says Chairman of the Centre Party, Trygve Slagsvold Vedum, to NTB.

If the vote of no confidence obtains the majority vote, Listhaug must resign. The protocol indicates that the Government then also has to follow suit.

– The question on how the Government handles votes of no confidence, I will answer in the Parliament, says Prime Minister Erna Solberg (Conservatives) to NTB.

During a visit to Alta on Friday, Solberg told TV 2 that she still had confidence in Listhaug.

No one in the Progress Party (Frp) that NTB has talked to, believes Listhaug will resign on her own initiative. The alternative is that Solberg and the leader of the Progress Party, Siv Jensen, ask Listhaug to reign. As late as on Thursday, Jensen however stated that Listhaug still has her confidence.

– It’s human to err, even in politics. Hardly anyone has kow-towed in such as manner as Sylvi did today. I therefore think it’s time to put this behind us she told VG.

KrF decides on Monday

The parliamentary group of the Christian Democrats (KrF) discussed the question of no confidence on Friday, but did not come to a decision. Instead, the party’s Central Committee is called in for an extraordinary meeting at the Parliament at noon on Monday.

– This is a very demanding and serious matter that we must discuss thoroughly before reaching a decision, leader of Krf, Knut Arild Hareide, tells NTB.

Still, it is likely that KrF will not want to vote against the Government, but several in the party think that enough is enough. Parliamentary representative, Geir J. Bekkevold, states on Twitter:

– If Sylvi Listhaug wishes her own Government well, she might approach the Prime Minister and tell her that she was willing to resign on her own accord.

The backdrop of the matter is Listhaug’s Facebook post regarding the Labour Party and rights of terrorists, as well as the Government’s handling of it in the six days it took before the apology was made to the Norwegian Parliament. On Thursday, Listhaug repeatedly apologized to the Parliament, but that was not heartfelt enough to satisfy the opposition parties.

The Progress Party’s parliamentary group is asked to be ready from 3 pm on Monday onwards, informs parliamentary leader of the party, Hans Andreas Limi. The party’s Parliamentary group may also be assembled.

– We await the decision of Krf, and take it from there. I still hope the conclusion will be that KrF does not want to support the vote of no confidence, but that they settle for the criticisms that has ben expressed and the apology the Parliament has received, he says.

Siv Jensen says Listhaug is a solid Cabinet Minister who has her complete confidence

On her Facebook page, Party leader Siv Jensen Friday night writes  that Minister of Justice, Sylvi Listhaug, has her complete confidence.

– Now it’s time to calm down. Sylvi has provided an unreserved apology. She is a solid Cabinet Minister working for a safe and secure Norway. She has my full confidence, and I hope we can concentrate on managing the country from now on, writes Jensen on Facebook.

On Tuesday, she noticed that there was a lot of debate about Listhaug’s Facebook post, defending the Cabinet Minister and states that Labour leader Jonas, Gahr Støre, overstepped the line of what is acceptable.

– I understand it has become a discussion about words and use of images. The Progress Party (Frp) can tolerate a tough debate. The timing was still wrong. When Jonas Gahr Støre says that Sylvi “consciously, calculatedly, fuel the hate that took so many lives on July 22”,  is by far overstepping the line for what is a civilized debate. That’s why I think it’s fair and square to defend Sylvi! She wrote.


© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today