As expected, Guri Melby was elected as the new leader of the Liberal Party at the party’s national meeting on Saturday.
Sveinung Rotevatn and Abid Raja were elected as deputy leaders.
The three had no opposing candidates.
Melby received standing ovations in the banquet hall of the conference hotel at Gardermoen, where the national meeting was held.
“Thank you very much for your trust,” Melby said, clearly moved, when she addressed the crowd after the election process.
“I’m really sorry that I can hug you right now,” Melby said, referring to the coronavirus restrictions.
The leadership trio was unanimously nominated by the nomination committee on August 2.
Melby thanked that her deputies, who were the first to congratulate her when she was nominated.
“This is big. But it has been a strange process for all of us who have been involved in it,” Melby, who has been a party member for over 21 years, said.
“It is no secret that I had doubts about whether I should run for election as the party leader. However, I didn’t doubt my commitment to the Liberal Party,” Melby said during the speech.
She explained that she wasn’t sure whether she was willing to spend so much time at work while she had children at home.
“But what I decided is that I’m doing this precisely for them,” Melby said to more applause from the audience.
Taking over from Grande
Gury is taking over the leadership baton from Trine Skei Grande.
The Liberal Party is thus the first party in Norway where the leadership position will shift from one woman to another.
“It is as it should be in a party that has always fought for equality. Equality and women’s rights,” Melby said when she and Grande spoke with NTB after the national meeting.
“We were the first party with a female party leader,” Grande added.
Several other members were elected to the party’s central board, including Iselin Nybø from Rogaland, Petter Toldnæs from Agder, Gunnhild Berge Stang from Vestland, and Solveig Schytz from Viken.
© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today