Norway’s Red-Green coalition to present platform for new government

The election-winning Red-Green coalition was to present a joint platform for oil-rich Norway's first majority government in 20 years on Thursday. The left-leaning alliance, with Labor party leader Jens Stoltenberg, 46, as designated prime minister, is expected to take over from the current center-right government on Monday.

After two weeks of negotiations, Labor, the Socialist Left and the Center Party were finalizing details of their political platform and were to present it at a news conference Thursday afternoon. The current government led by Prime Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik was expected to announce its resignation Friday.

The Red-Green bloc won a majority with 87 seats in the 169-seat Parliament in last month's elections.

Stoltenberg became Norway's youngest prime minister in March 2000 with a minority government that stepped down after a disappointing national election in September 2001. He has also been minister of oil and energy and finance minister in Labor governments.

The new government would represent several political firsts in the Nordic country of 4.6 million people.

Labor has long been Norway's largest party, but in this year's election campaign it set aside its policy of always ruling alone. The Socialist Left will be part of a government for the first time, after 30 years in the political opposition. And the agrarian Center joins the Socialist-led government after traditionally being part of the center-right bloc.

"This is a historic document," Socialist Left leader Kristin Halvorsen said before reviewing the platform with her party. "I am glad to be able to present it with great enthusiasm," reports the AP. I.L.

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