Wenche Pedersen Challenges Labor Party Leader Jonas Gahr Støre in Speech to National Board

Wenche Pedersen Challenges Labor Party Leader Jonas Gahr Støre in Speech to National Board

CLEAR SPEECH: Wenche Pedersen was very frank in his speech to the national board on Monday afternoon. Here she greets Støre, who heard it. Photo: Frode Hansen / VG

SAMFUNNSSALEN (VG) Vadsø mayor Wenche Pedersen spoke opposite Labor party leader Jonas Gahr Støre in his speech to the Labor party’s national board on Monday afternoon.


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Vadsø mayor Wenche Pedersen from the Labor Party (Ap) challenged party leader Jonas Gahr Støre during the party’s national meeting on Monday, by describing Ap’s latest election result as a crisis. Støre has previously avoided describing the situation as a crisis, which Pedersen believes is part of Ap’s communication problem .- The population does not have trust – and that is the trust we must have. People no longer trust Ap, but referral to both Støre and Ap. Show more

The National Board of Labor – the leading body in the party between the national meetings – has gathered on Monday for self-examination and to talk about the way forward after the election defeat 14 days ago, when the Conservative Party won an election for the first time in 99 years.

Støre does not want to call the crisis they are in a crisis.

– Must be described as a crisis

But Pedersen did in his speech:

– In politics, everything is about trust. In Finnmark, we say that “people should trust Ap”. Now it is the case that people do not trust Ap. Miserable election results that must be described as a crisis, we use other words for, she said to illustrate what she believes to be the party’s communication problem.

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Støre, party leader and prime minister, has all along refused to call it a crisis and that line was made clear on Politisk kvarter on NRK radio on Monday morning, when Ap deputy leader Jan Christian Vestre was challenged to take the word in his mouth. He refused.

CRISIS: Pedersen is not afraid to use the word crisis. She did that in the Community Hall at Youngstorget on Monday. Photo: Frode Hansen / VGInfo

Here are Støre’s crisis numbers

Here are Støre’s and Ap’s electoral figures after he became party leader in 2014:

Municipal elections in 2015: 33.2 percent General elections in 2017: 27.4 percent Municipal elections in 2019: 24.8 percent General elections in 2021: 26.3 percent Municipal elections in 2023: 21.6 percent Show more

Pedersen managed to retain the position of mayor in Vadsø and has previously signaled that Støre should not be the party’s candidate for prime minister before the general election for two years.

She was not alone in that – there is also dissatisfaction in the trade union movement. But none of the three LO leaders in the central board will stand at Monday’s national board meeting. They are on a long-planned trip to the USA, where they will meet the American LO.

– No trust

Pedersen gave his speech on Monday afternoon.

The press is not allowed to be present during the debate, but she has given VG permission to reproduce the speech.

From the podium, she said that she thought Støre was “more humble today and more open about his responsibilities”, but the conclusion was just as tough.

HUGGED: Støre and Pedersen gave each other a hug before the debate this afternoon. Photo: Frode Hansen / VG

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– When you Jonas came out of the first central board meeting you said: The central board has confidence in me, the county party leaders have confidence in me, the national assembly elected me. But then there was the simple fact that since the national meeting there has been an election – and elections are basically the most important thing that political parties deal with, she said and passed the following judgment on Støre and the party:

– The population does not have trust – and that is the trust we must have, she said and added:

– People no longer trust Ap.

TRUST?: Støre received a standing ovation after his speech. Pedersen believes he was more humble today than in the past, but believes that the population has no confidence in him or the party at the moment. Photo: Frode Hansen / VG

– No make-up

She also said that the party must engage in thorough discussions with itself.

– Honest and unvarnished. We must dare to have the most difficult discussions: Do we have the right crew, she asks:

– Our leaders must look at themselves in the mirror.
She also said that people do not trust Ap to solve everyday problems, electricity prices, interest rates and expensive time.

– We must remind ourselves that our problems are not only due to global trends, war and impartiality. Our problem as a party started long before that. It has not been going well for us for a long time, she said and pointed out, among other things, that the party has not been above 30 per cent in six years.

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WON, THE MANAGEMENT SPEAKS IN THE MIDDLE AGAINST: Wenche Pedersen managed to retain the post of mayor in Vadsø. Photo: Frode Hansen / VG

She continued:

– That is why we have to look at the policy, the strategies, the competence and the management. We are now planning for the next six years. Then we have to take the right steps.

Pedersen said that the party must dare to take the discussions in full transparency.

– Our voters will understand and appreciate that, she said and aired a proposal:

– Perhaps a separate reference group from the movement – in addition to the central board – should help lead the processes.

OPENNESS: Pedersen asks that the discussions take place openly in the party. Here in conversation with Oil and Energy Minister Terje Aasland at the meeting. Photo: Frode Hansen / VG

The evaluation

The National Board of the Labor Party must take a decision on how the evaluation in the party will take place:

Here are the main lines recommended by the party’s central board meeting:

The members must have their say: All municipal teams are invited to evaluate locally and submit. This also applies to the county teams. The Storting group and the party apparatus must also give their feedback. The voters must be heard through a broad voter survey.

The debate at the national board meeting is scheduled to take place until 4.30 p.m.


Published: 25/09/23 at 15:53

Updated: 25/09/23 at 17:35

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2023-09-25 13:53:27

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