Home » Norway’s Socialist Left Party elects Marian Hussein as first Deputy Leader of African-descent

Norway’s Socialist Left Party elects Marian Hussein as first Deputy Leader of African-descent

by CKG Editor

Marian Hussein, a lawmaker from Groruddalen in northeast Oslo, made history on Saturday by shattering another glass ceiling in Norway. She was elected as the new deputy leader of Norway’s Socialist Left Party (SV).

Initially, the SV’s selection committee favoured Lars Haltbrekken, but Marian Hussein emerged victorious in the national party conference and was elected deputy chairperson. During a competitive vote at SV’s national meeting on Saturday afternoon, Hussein defeated Lars Haltbrekken, the long-standing leader of the Nature Conservation Association, with a final tally of 114 to 101.

The 36-year-old Hussein, a self-proclaimed “feminist in hijab,” expressed joy after the victory, saying, “We have a lot of work to do. We will continue to fight for environmental and social justice. Now, as deputy leader, I will manage the grassroots trust and continue to build the party and our movement.” She made this statement in a comment sent to the Norwegian News Agency.

Supporters of Marian’s candidacy said that her upbringing, background, success story, and demonstration of anti-racism convinced them to vote for her.

In February, the election committee of SV was divided on whether to elect Lars Haltbrekken or Marian Hussein as the party’s new deputy leader. Four committee members supported Haltbrekken, while three preferred Marian Hussein.

The Socialist Left Party (SV) is a Norwegian democratic socialist political party that occupies the left-wing of the political spectrum. The party advocates for a robust public sector, expanded social welfare programs, environmentalism, and republicanism. It is also notable for opposing membership in the European Union and the European Economic Area. In recent years, SV has rebounded from its worst election performance in 2013 and has gained greater support, including in the 2021 parliamentary election. With Hussein’s election as the deputy leader, the party hopes to broaden its appeal and reach new voters.

Hussein, who was born in Somalia and moved to Norway when she was ten years old, is the party’s health policy spokesperson. In 2021, she made history by becoming the first parliamentary representative of African descent in Norway’s supreme legislature, the Storting. She was elected to represent her constituency in northeast Oslo for 2021–2025 and was a member of the district committee in the Old Oslo district from 2015–2019.

Hussein has worked as a nursing assistant, environmental therapist, research assistant, and in child welfare services. The current political climate in Norway is characterized by a growing concern for climate change and a desire for greater social equality, particularly among young voters. The election of a young, female, and Muslim deputy leader like Hussein could signal a shift towards more diverse and progressive politics in Norway. It is hoped that Hussein’s senior role will broaden the party’s appeal and mobilize new voters, particularly as electoral records indicate that only half of Norway’s new citizens voted in the last general election.

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