Wara is the boss: Tor Mikkel Wara, out of politics for 25 years, is Norway’s third justice minister in three weeks

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Svalbard has its third boss in as many weeks and, unlike his vehemently anti-immigration predecessors, so far the most controversial thing is the fact he’s not in Norway’s national population registry.

Tor Mikkel Wara, once seen a rising Progress Party star in Parliament before leaving national politics in 1993, was appointed the new Minister of Justice and Public Security this week by Prime Minister Erna Solberg. He replaces Per Sandberg who was appointed March 20 “until further notice” to replace Sylvi Listhaug who resigned after writing a social media post accusing members of the opposition Labor Party of putting “terrorists’ rights” before national security.

As justice minister Wara has administrartive oversight of Svalbard, including determining its budget, at a time when the archipelago is facing significant economic, environmental, policial and security issues. For the past 25 years he has worked for a number of communications agencies, and for the past eight years as a partner and senior adviser for the business management consultant First House.

Claus Jørstad, head of the Progress Party in Finnmark, told TV2 the appointment was “very surprising,” but Wara is well-regarded in the region and is likely to put an emphasis on northern area issues and Norway’s relationship with Russia.

The appointment raised a bit of a stir when the organization Faktisk reported on its Facebook there is no Tor Mikkel Wara in the population registry. There is a Tor Mikkel Vara, which a ministry spokesperson said is a variation of the Finnish last name, but the new minister uses Wara because his father wrote it that way.

About Post Author

Mark Sabbatini

I'm a professional transient living on a tiny Norwegian island next door to the North Pole, where once a week (or thereabouts) I pollute our extreme and pristine environment with paper fishwrappers decorated with seemingly random letters that would cause a thousand monkeys with a thousand typewriters to die of humiliation. Such is the wisdom one acquires after more than 25 years in the world's second-least-respected occupation, much of it roaming the seven continents in search of jazz, unrecognizable street food and escorts I f****d with by insisting they give me the platonic tours of their cities promised in their ads. But it turns out this tiny group of islands known as Svalbard is my True Love and, generous contributions from you willing, I'll keep littering until they dig my body out when my climate-change-deformed apartment collapses or they exile my penniless ass because I'm not even worthy of washing your dirty dishes.
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