Europe

Defense Minister shyly resigns

Norwegian Defense Minister Odd Roger Enoksen had to resign in the midst of a war in Europe, the greatest security threat facing Norway in decades. Enoxen could not fend off allegations of sexual misconduct, which left Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støle with another crisis of trust in his government.

Odd Roger Enoksen will no longer represent Norway in NATO or any other position after resigning from Defense Minister on Saturday. Photo: Forsvarsdepartementet / Marita Isaksen Wangberg

Storre announced Saturday morning that he had accepted Enoxen’s resignation as “necessary and correct.” After two separate reports of sexual harassment and illegal activity a few years ago, Stole determined that the claims made by the two women were “inconsistent with the confidence needed to be a government minister.” ..

At a brief press conference, Stole, who heads the Norwegian Labor Party, confirmed that he had communicated it “directly” to Enoxen. “Therefore, it is correct for him to apologize and resign,” Stole said. 67-year-old Enoxen was a former leader of the Labor Party’s government partner, the Center Party, and was ranked as the oldest and most experienced member of the government. He has been busy in the role of Defense Minister until late yesterday. Announced new projects and priorities linked to strengthening Norway’s defenses in response to Russia’s aggression..

His sudden resignation under pressure is another blow to Stole’s labor center government. Since taking office last fall, I’ve jumped from one crisis to another... In addition to dealing with the pandemic, record high electricity and fuel prices, and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Stole’s own Minister of Labor, Hadia Tajik, Had to resign in JanuaryAfter admitting to take advantage of housing benefits for ministers and members of parliament. Storre admitted that during the war and important NATO meetings, the scandal over the defense minister was the last thing he needed. “I can only express my regrets about this,” Støre said. “I would have been happy without this.”

Cases of both Enoxen’s harassment and sexual misconduct It dates back to the 2000s, when Enoxen was the leader of the Central Party and an early minister of government. Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) first reported that former Center Party politician Hilde Lengali filed a formal complaint against Enoksen. She left politics quietly for 20 years, but suddenly after Enoxen returned to power last fall, many bad memories came back after appearing on television and radio in connection with Russia’s Ukrainian war. rice field. She filed her formal complaint last week.

It has arisen since Enoxen recently took office as leader of the Center Party, and said he would work to help her win one of the party’s seats in parliament after the 2001 elections. But when he came to the hotel room during a party meeting in Bod and discussed her future at her party, she claimed that he pushed her to bed. “All my confidence in him will disappear and I will be fooled myself,” she told NRK.

Odd Roger Enoksen was the Minister of Petroleum and Energy of Norway in 2007 and was involved with “a very young woman”.Photo: Wikipedia

Asked why she didn’t report the incident, she said she thought it was “too embarrassing and I was stupid” to agree to the meeting in her room. She told NRK that Enoxen didn’t remember the encounter in the hotel room at all.

Then the second incident happened. There she said Enoxen entered the women’s shower room after a joint men’s and women’s sauna session during another party meeting at a hotel in Trondelag and stripped her naked. “He told me that I looked more like a movie star than a mother of five,” Rengari said. “I never forgot it, it was very crude.” Enoxen recalled the incident and apologized, but denied NRK that he was standing between her and her towel. He also apologized, thinking she was ready for breakfast, and said she was just “pushing her head” into the woman’s shower room. He admits that his “crude” comments were “stupid”, he is now 20 years old, and it is the party that decides whether her current complaints will have any effect on his position. As the Minister of Defense, who claimed to be (especially Center Party Secretary Knut Olsen).

Then came the report VG This weekend Enoxen also had a sexual relationship with high school students in 2005. She was 18 and 50 years old, and they met in her hometown of northern Norway before her class visited the Capitol and was elected to Parliament. A year later, when she moved to Oslo to study political science, she contacted him and their relationship began. VGHaving seen her written document about the relationship for years, both called him her “sexual mentor”, he introduced her to a prominent politician, and introduced her to his driver-equipped government. A summer job in Congress that put him in his car and reported that he suggested he could get her. They met at his office, his minister’s apartment paid by the government, and a hotel.

“I felt special about being chosen by him,” said a young woman in her thirties. VG, “But he always pushed my limits.” She was very interested in politics, but never became active in the party and eventually helped psychologically. I asked. She said their relationship had plagued her for 15 years, but she was afraid to report it for fear that she would be incredible. When she heard Rengari’s complaints about her center party, she decided to talk about her secrets she had held for 15 years.

That led to another apology from Enoxen. I have made some bad choices and ratings, and would like to unconditionally apologize for making my actions more difficult for others. He confirmed VG He was asked during the government minister’s screening process if there was a sexual relationship that could undermine his job, “Yes, I was dishonest (to his wife), I had. The relationship, I didn’t go into the details. I considered it a private issue and not a “too” incident or party issue. At that time, no complaints were filed against him.

Center Party leader Trygve Slagsvold Vedum, shown here last night of the election, said just two days ago that he was completely confident in Enoksen as Defense Minister. On Saturday, Vedham, who also serves as Norwegian Finance Minister, said Enoxen’s resignation was “necessary and correct.”Photo: Center Party

Enoxen told the current leader of the Central Party, Trigbe Slagswald Vedham, on Saturday morning that he would resign as defense minister.Vedham is from NRK Discussion Until late Thursday night, he still considered Enoxen to be a “superior defense minister” in the midst of the Russian war against Ukraine and the threat it poses to Norway.

Vedham then changed his mind and told the NRK that Enoxen’s resignation was “necessary and correct.” NRK reported that neither Vedham nor Stole had heard of any issues around Enoxen before taking Enoxen to the government. However, Center Party Deputy Leader Anne Bezer Tovinerim and Party Secretary Olsen were aware of Rengarri’s concerns about Enoxen when the “I too” scandal exposure was flying in 2017, but Enoxen said. No complaints were filed because he no longer had any role and politics within the party. Tvinnereim also wrote in a text that blended into Lengali in 2017: Everything that can contribute to power through change is good, but it’s unpleasant when it’s happening … “

The NRK broadcast a press conference on Storre live on Saturday morning when Norway had to confirm that it needed a new defense minister.Photo: NRK screen grab

Rengari told NRK that she felt disappointed when Enoxen returned as government minister last fall. Tvinnereim declined to comment and introduced the question to party secretary Olsen. He replied in a short email that he had no formal complaints against Enoksen when he was appointed. Olsen admitted four years ago that he was “oriented” to “allegedly had an incident many years ago,” but no complaints were filed. Olsen clearly chose not to mention the Rengari case against Vedham or Stole when Enoxen ran for the post of Defense Minister.

Vedham was finally informed of Rengari’s complaint late last week, and the next day Stole was informed. No formal complaints have been filed with other women whose identities have not been identified.

Støre expected people to “tell the truth”
Asked on Saturday if the minister’s screening process was appropriate, Stole said a question was asked. “There is an expectation that people will tell the truth in those conversations,” Støre said at a press conference.He declined to comment in particular VGThe report, however, argues that Enoxen “should have shared” the relationship he had with the 19-year-old during his interview for the minister’s work.

“We cannot guarantee the lives that people have lived in,” Støre said, emphasizing that “direct, personal” questions were asked during the interview. He said Enoxen “poor judgment over time” and during his early ministerial period from 2005 to 2007 he resigned from the government and returned to Northern Norway, “his family. “

Mr. Storre also said he is currently working to appoint a new defense minister “as soon as possible.” He argued that Norwegian national security was “taken care of, but of course we must have a defense minister.”

newsinenglish.no/Nina Berglund

https://www.newsinenglish.no/2022/04/09/defense-minister-resigns-in-shame/ Defense Minister shyly resigns

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