Norway Right-wing party quits government over jihadi spouse repatriation

Norway's coalition government collapses amid row over repatriation of 'suspected IS supporter'

Norway's populist Progress Party said Monday it was leaving the right-wing coalition government over the repatriation of an alleged Islamic State member and her two children last week.

"Over time, politics was too much based on compromises", said Jensen, who is Norway's outgoing finance minister.

"I brought us into government, and I'm now bringing the party out", Jensen said, adding that she nonetheless thought Solberg was the right person to be prime minister and she wanted to maintain a close dialogue with her in the future.

Most of Norway's governments since the 1970s have ruled with a minority and under its constitution the next election can not be held until September 2021.

The Progress Party offered to help the woman's children, but sought to block the government from providing assistance to adults seeking to return to Norway after marrying foreign fighters or joining Islamist groups overseas.

To stay in office until then and pass legislation in the 169-seat parliament, Solberg needs the support of parties outside the government, including the Progress Party.

The 29-year-old woman, who was born in Oslo to a Norwegian-Pakistani family, arrived in Norway on Saturday after being recovered from a Kurdish-controlled detention camp in Syria. In November, Germany repatriated a woman suspected of being an IS member along with her three children.

The decision to allow her back into Norway had triggered heated debate.

Shortly after the announcement, Solberg said she intends to stay in office as the head of a minority government, although the situation is likely to make it more hard for her to govern.

The Progress Party had been in favour of bringing back the children but opposed her return. The parties won renewed support for the steering the country in the 2017 election.

At the Finance Ministry, the new appointee to replace Jensen will chart the course for the world's largest sovereign wealth fund, with assets of $1.1 trillion US.



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