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Norway's justice minister Sylvi Listhaug resigns, averting government crisis

Sylvi Listhaug, who had been under fire for a week, announced her resignation on the social media network, sparing Conservative Prime Minister Erna Solberg from calling a vote of confidence.

Published: 20th March 2018 02:51 PM  |   Last Updated: 20th March 2018 02:56 PM   |  A+A-

Norway's Migration and Integration Minister Sylvi Listhaug. (Photo | AFP)

By AFP

OSLO: Norway's justice minister announced her resignation on Tuesday, averting a potential government crisis after she published a controversial Facebook post.

Sylvi Listhaug, who had been under fire for a week, announced her resignation on the social media network, sparing Conservative Prime Minister Erna Solberg from calling a vote of confidence in the government, whose outcome was uncertain.

Listhaug, of the anti-immigration Progress Party, denounced "a pure witchhunt" by the opposition aimed at silencing her.

"I'm resigning but I promise to not remain silent in parliament," she wrote on Facebook.

In a Facebook post on March 9, Listhaug shocked the nation when she accused the opposition Labour Party, which was targeted by rightwing extremist Anders Behring Breivik in a 2011 massacre, of considering that "the rights of terrorists are more important than the security of the nation".

She was criticising Labour's opposition to a proposal to strip the citizenship of Norwegians who pose a threat to the nation's vital interests, without a court order.

Labour members were the main victims of the bloodiest attacks on Norwegian soil since WWII. 

On July 22, 2011, Breivik, who once was a member of the Progress Party, killed 77 people in twin attacks: one targeting then Labour prime minister Jens Stoltenberg's office in Oslo and another against a Labour youth camp on the island of Utoya.

The Facebook post and the fact that her tardy apology was perceived as insincere led the opposition to call a vote of no-confidence against Listhaug, which could have brought down the entire minority government.
 



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