The news that Abid Raja has been elected as the Vice President of the Norwegian Parliament has reached his parents’ country of Pakistan.
“They were very proud in the village that my parents emigrated from in the early 1970s. Especially that, as a Muslim, I can be elected as the Vice President of Parliament, I am perceived as an acceptance of all people from all kinds of backgrounds in Norway,” says Raja to NTB.
The left politician who himself was born and raised in Norway, says that the news is featured in a series of newspapers, both on the web and print, as well as broadcasted by several television channels. He is enjoying the attention.
“Should I get the opportunity, I would like to raise the issue of equality between women and religious minorities with Pakistani politicians,” said Raja, who reveals that he may speak Urdu or Panjabi rather than English if an issue with language was to arise.
In connection with the constitution of Parliament, Raja was elected as the fifth vice president of Parliament.
It is the first time in 48 years that the left has a representative in the presidency, but Raja is not the first in the presidency of Norwegian-Pakistani background. The milestone was first reached by SVs Akhtar Chaudhry in 2009.
© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today