HRH King Harald V's days as monarch may be numbered if government politicians succeed with their suggestion.
For the twelfth time, now tri-partite coalition members the Socialist Left (SV) would like to see Norway become a republic.
“We’ve been suggesting this happen for the past 11 terms in parliament,” Snorre Valen tells The Foreigner.
The MP, who sits on parliament’s Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence, states that his Party has no vested interest in who should become president, but says the move is because “there hasn’t been a proper debate about how the government should look in Norway for many years."
“We’ve made a road map towards a republic, and asked the government to look into different forms of this. It’s a five-year plan. Parliament would consider it in the next term (from 2013), and if approved, a referendum would be called for 2017 at the latest.”
Norway has recently loosened ties with the church, abolishing an official state religion, and Mr Valen considers this particular question of a republic only natural. He believes the move has a greater chance of success this time around.
“The proposition is more thorough than before. Whilst it includes matters such as how much power a president should have, whether the individual is to be elected by the people or parliament, and have presidential powers or not, it’s a debate about the principle of a republic,” he says, undeterred by the past 11 failures.
How well do you think it will succeed this time around?
“The Monarchy has a very strong standing in Norway. It will take time. We’re very confident we’ll succeed in drawing broader attention to the matter as it has been well thought through.”
Mr Valen adds he has no particular candidates in mind, but “I’m a Humanist and believe in democracy, and people’s ability to elect proper leaders.”
“Our proposal will probably meet the usual anti-republic arguments because people fear who would be leader instead. It’s a case of ‘better the devil you know',” he concludes.
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