The Ministers Søviknes and Solvik-Olsen depart
The Cabinet Ministers Ketil Solvik-Olsen and Terje Søviknes withdraw from office. They are replaced by Jon Georg Dale and Kjell-Børge Freiberg, all from the Progress Party (Frp).
– My family moves to the United States for a year. My wife has been offered a position at a large children’s hospital in Birmingham, Alabama. When this amazing opportunity appeared, We had to grab it with both hands, says Ketil Solvik-Olsen to Dagbladet.
The 46-years-old Minister of Transport says that his spouse has adapted to his political career for a long time.
– The wife has sacrificed herself for me, now it’s my turn to return the favour. It is an agreement we have made. That is why I rejected re-election to the Parliament in 2013. An MP position binds you for the whole term, he says.
Solvik-Olsen says on the party’s website that he is prepared to continue as deputy leader of the party but has asked the central committee to take into account that he will live in the United States for a time.
He goes on to says he is prepared to be back in Norway for next year’s election campaign.
Dale and Hoksrud
Several sources confirm that the Minister of Agriculture, Jon Georg Dale, takes over the Ministry of Transport and Communications after Solvik-Olsen. With these changes, it is only party leader and Minister of Finance, Siv Jensen, who is left of the original Progress Party contingent who entered the Government after the elections in 2013, writes Aftenposten.
According to Dagens Næringsliv’s sources is it the Member of Parliament, Bård Hoksrud, who takes over as the Minister of Agriculture after Dale.
Hoksrud is present in the Health and Care Committee in the Norwegian Parliament (Stortinget). He, however, has experience from the Government apparatus as state secretary in the Ministry of Transport and Communications.
The Prime Minister’s Office confirms that there will be changes to the Government on Friday, but no names are confirmed yet.
The Minister of Oil and Energy, Terje Søviknes, also resigns as a Cabinet Minister, according to Dagens Næringsliv. His departure is related to a wish to return to local politics according to himself. NRK is informed by Søviknes that he is intending to play an important role in the county and municipal elections next year for Hordaland.
The man who takes over Søviknes is supposedly MP Kjell-Børge Freiberg (47). Freiberg was for many years the mayor of Hadsel in Nordland before becoming a State Secretary in the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy in 2015. In 2017 he was elected to the Parliament, and he is present in the Industry Committee at present.
Siv Jensen thanks the departing Minister
The leader of the Progress Party, Siv Jensen, comments on Solvik-Olsen’s departure on their website on Thursday and thanks him for his contribution.
– Ketil is a resource the party will benefit greatly from for many years to come – even during the time he is in the United States of America. I would like to thank him for his efforts as a Cabinet Minister thus far, and I am looking forward to campaigning with Ketil in a year’s time, says Jensen.
Solvik-Olsen emphasizes in a blog statement on Nettavisen that he will be back in Norway for the general election campaign in 2019.
© NTB scanpix / #Norway Today