Seeing red over green

after a stinging defeat in an environmental vote in the Storting (Parliament), Norway's Prime Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik resigned. Bondevik's Christian People's Party had been in power for the last 28 months.

The prime minister's resignation came in the wake of the Parliament refusing to revamp a pollution law in order to make way for a proposal to build gas power plants with the available technology and without modifications. This, according to the ruling party, would only aggravate the problem of pollution.
On the other hand, the main Opposition Labour Party, under the leadership of Jens Stoltenberg, maintained that the power plants were needed because the alternative was rising imports of electricity from more polluting coal-fired power stations in Denmark and Poland. This view was supported by a majority of the members of Parliament including the Liberals and the right-wing Progress Party.

Bondevik later told the media that the Parliament had ignored his warnings about rising levels of pollution by voting for the construction of these plants.
"The anti-pollution law is a pillar of a responsible environmental policy," Bondevik said, explaining the reason for his resignation. He said he was sad that the Parliament had passed the proposal but harboured no bitter feelings.

Bondevik, 52 and a Lutheran clergyman, handed his resignation to King Harold. He advised the king to ask Stoltenberg, 40, to try and form a government.
Stoltenberg favours closer ties tothe European Union ( eu ) for non-member Norway than Bondevik'santi- eu coalition. Bondevik would continue as a caretaker prime minister till Stoltenberg is able to put together a minority government.

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