Norwegian Justice Minister Sylvi Listhaug on Tuesday resigned from her post to avoid an opposition no-confidence vote that would have toppled the ruling minority government.
Listhaug, member of the Progress party, who served as Minister of Immigration and Integration from 2015 to 2018, before becoming Justice Minister in January 2018, enraged the opposition Labor party a week ago, when she accused them of putting “terrorists’ rights” above Norway’s national security.
It should be noted that Labor was in power in 2011, when neo-Nazi terrorist Fjotolf Hansen, a.k.a. Anders Behring Breivik, detonated a van bomb in Oslo that killed eight people, then shot dead 69 children and adults in a summer camp.
Breivik said the purpose of the attack was to save Norway and Western Europe from a Muslim takeover, and that the Labor Party had to “pay the price” for “letting down Norway and the Norwegian people.”
In other words, Sylvi Listhaug stepped on some very bruised toes.
Conservative prime minister Erna Solberg said that if there was a majority against Listhaug’s continuing to hold her ministerial post, she would call for a parliamentary vote of confidence (or, as she put it, a kabinettsspørsmål), which could result in new elections, or in one of the opposition parties being asked to form a new government.
Listhaug posted several messages on Facebook, before and after her “voluntary” resignation, thanking her followers for “the absolutely amazing support you have given me! Especially this week, with the worst storm. It’s been a very demanding time for both me and my family… and completely surreal.”
She also accused Labor and the Christian Democrats of suppressing free speech, forcing her out of office instead of allowing for a national debate. “The national debate has been turned into something of a kindergarten dispute,” Listhaug said, ignoring the inflammatory tone of her own comments. She did promise to “continue to pursue the fight from parliament.”