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New extraordinary Council of State held in Oslo

There was another meeting held yesterday in the form of an extraordinary Council of State in Norway following the political crisis that occurred before Easter. The meeting was announced just a few hours before it was held in the Council of State Hall at the Royal Palace in Oslo. His Royal Highness Crown Prince Haakon and His Majesty King Harald were present, along with the entire Norwegian government.

An extraordinary Council of State was also held on Tuesday before Easter. The Prime Minister and all of the members of government left the palace after an unusually short meeting. The King then officially, in consultation with his son, approved that the Prime Minister change 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, was appointed Norway’s temporary justice minister.

Following the extraordinary Council of State yesterday, it became publicly known that His Majesty the King had approved the appointment of Tor Mikkel Wara as the permanent Minister of Justice in Norway. Tor Mikkel Wara is from the most northern part of Norway. He was appointed as Justice, Preparedness and Immigration Minister in Erna Solberg’s government on 4 April 2018. Prior to this, he was a communications consultant, lobbyist and the parliamentary representative of the Progress Party.

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

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 convenes typically 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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