King Harald prepares for governmental crisis due to road toll

Oskar Aanmoen/Royal Central

His Majesty King Harald of Norway may need to accept the resignation of the Norwegian government and ask the leader of the opposition to form a new government sometime the next few weeks. This happens only a few weeks before Norway has its regional elections. The reason behind the new governmental crisis in Norway is due to a road toll.

After several cities in Norway increased their road tolls drastically in recent weeks, the Liberal Progress Party has demanded that the state go in to lower the road tolls. The “Venstre” Party, which also sits in the government, on the other hand, is for a further increase in road tolls. This can result in either “Venstre” or the Progressive Party leaving the government. If this happens, there is no majority for the current government in the Norwegian parliament, and this means the King must intervene.

If the government steps down, this must happen in an ordinary or extraordinary Council of State with the King present, at the Royal Palace in Oslo.

His Majesty King Harald and often His Royal Highness Crown Prince Haakon are present in the Council of State, along with the entire Norwegian government. 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. 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.

The King attends the solemn opening of the parliament every autumn and plays an important role in the change of government. According to the Norwegian Constitution of 1814, Norway’s executive power lies with His Majesty the King.

About author

Senior Europe Correspondent Oskar Aanmoen has a master in military and political history of the Nordic countries. He has written five books on historical subjects and more than 700 articles for Royal Central. He has also interview both Serbian and Norwegian royals. Aanmoen is based in Oslo, Norway.