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King Harald approves changes in the government after extraordinary Council of State

An extraordinary Council of State was held on Tuesday afternoon in Oslo. The decision to hold the meeting was made after Norway faced a political crisis that ended with the nation’s justice minister seeking his resignation.

Early this morning a message the Royal Court said in a statement: “His Majesty the King will receive the Prime Minister in the audience 11:45. His Royal Highness, the Crown Prince, will also be present.”

The second statement from the Royal Court said: “His Majesty the King will preside over the extraordinary Council of State at the Royal Palace. His Royal Highness, the Crown Prince, will also be in attendance.”

The Norwegian government arrived at the Royal Palace from between 11:30 to 11:45. By 12:12, the Prime Minister and all of the members of government left the palace after an unusually short meeting. The king has now officially, in consultation with his son, approved that the Prime Minister changes the composition of her government.

King Harald approved the former Minister of Justice, Sylvi Listhaug’s, resignation and confirmed that former Minister for Fisheries, Per Sandberg, is appointed Norway’s temporary justice minister.

An ordinary Council of State will take place on Friday. Due to the Easter break, this will be the last time The Royal Family will meet members of the government before the holidays come to an end.

Queen Sonja, King Harald and Prime Minister Erna Solberg. Photo: Oskar Aanmoen.

The extraordinary Council of State came following a Norwegian governmental crisis when Justice Minister Listhaug left the government. Listhaug stood above a vote of disapproval in parliament after she published a post on Facebook claiming that the Norwegian Labor Party put terrorists’ rights before Norwegian security.

The Council of State in Norway is a formal body composed of the most senior government ministers chosen by the Prime Minister, and it functions as the collective decision-making organ constituting the executive branch of the Kingdom of Norway.

With the exception of the Prime Minister and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, who retain their ministerial ranking in their own right, all the other members of the Cabinet concurrently hold the position of statsråd, meaning Councillor of State, and that of Chief of the various departments. They are not formally considered ‘ministers’, although they are commonly addressed as such. The Cabinet normally convenes every week, usually on Fridays at 11:00 a.m. at the Royal Palace, Oslo, and is presided over by the monarch.

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