Non-socialist victory may give more culturally diverse MPs

A successful government election for the four opposition parties may result in a record number of culturally diverse members of parliament.

According to NRK, there are 360 candidates that are in the running for a place in parliament in 2013. The numbers still show that there is a long way to go before immigrants are integrated in the highest levels of politics, but the non-socialist parties could contribute with a considerable increase.

On January 1, 2012, approximately 13 percent of the population was immigrants or Norwegian-born with two parents who are immigrants. However, it's still a long way to go before they have 22 out of the 169 seats in government.

Some of the possible candidates from the opposition parties are Abid Raja from the Liberal Left party in Akershus, Maziar Keshvari has been suggested as a third-place candidate for Oslo Progress Party. Afshan Rafiq is still high on the list of candidates in Oslo if the Conservative Party has a successful election.

Minorities that are represented in regional politics is important towards recruiting new voters in the election, says Jon Rogstad. He is the head of research at FAFO, and works with integration and participation in society.

"We know that having minority politicians that people can vote for is important in order to mobilize minorities to take part in the election," says Rogstad. However, Rogstad is not impressed with the rate at which minority candidates are recruited as political leaders.

"They criticize employees all over the country for not working faster, and that they have to include more, and make them leaders," he explains. However, when the parties themselves are put to the test in the nomination process, they show that they still have a long way to go, says Rogstad.

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