Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store has unveiled Norway’s cabinet, which includes a majority of women and two survivors from the July 22, 2011 massacre that claimed 77 lives.
Norway’s new centre-left cabinet has taken office after the incoming prime minister presented a centre-left minority government, a day after a deadly bow-and-arrow attack in a small town.
Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store, the leader of Norway’s centre-left Labour Party, stood outside the royal palace with his 19-member team — 10 women and nine men — that includes the leader of the euroskeptic Center Party, Trygve Slagsvold Vedum, who became finance minister.
Emilie Enger Mehl became Norway's youngest-ever justice minister at age 28, while the foreign minister portfolio went to another woman — Anniken Scharning Huitfeldt.
Gahr Store said it was "a special day" because of the “outrageous event” in Kongsberg, a small town outside Oslo, in which a Danish man was taken into custody after Norwegian police say he killed five people with a bow and arrows and wounded two others on Wednesday.
'It is shocking'
"It is horrible what has been revealed, it is shocking to think about what people have experienced,” Gahr Store told reporters before the swearing-in ceremony of the new government, pledging the new cabinet’s full attention on the Kongsberg case.
Authorities said the attacker was previously flagged as having been radicalised. Norway's domestic security agency says the attack appears to have been an act of terrorism.
“But although the backdrop is heavy, this is still the day to present a new government,” the 61-year-old Gahr Store said before a cheering crowd after the ceremony was over.
He took over after Erna Solberg was ousted in the September 13 election after two four-year terms.
In line with tradition, the outgoing and incoming governments were greeted by family members and well-wishers, and received flowers and Norwegian flags, after formally meeting King Harald V.
On Wednesday, Gahr Store and Slagsvold Vedum, the leader of the Center Party that is Norway’s third largest, unveiled a 83-page policy programme for 2021-2025 where climate and the environment are among key areas.
In the September vote, the Labour Party — the largest party in non-European Union member Norway — won the election with 26.3 percent of the vote while the Center Party finished third with 20.4 percent.