Pakistani origin politician elected vice president of Norway's parliament

Abid Qayyum Raja says his win is symbolic, shows the diversity in Norway


News Desk October 08, 2017
Abid Qayyum Raja. PHOTO COURTESY: NTB

Abid Qayyum Raja, a Norwegian lawyer and Liberal Party politician. was elected one of the five vice presidents of Norway's parliament on Saturday.

According to a Norwegian publication, Raja was was elected to the presidency of the Storting as the 5th vice president.

In all, a president and five vice presidents were elected. Olemic Thommessen was re-elected president and Nils T. Bjorke, Magne Rommetveit, Eva Kristin Hansen, Morten Wold and Raja  vice presidents.

Raja is the second representative of Muslim background who has gone into the presidency of Storting. The first was Akhtar Chaudhry between 2009 and 2013.

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Raja said he believed it was "symbolic" that someone with his background had entered the presidency.

"The fact that I, who has a Muslim background and grew up in a municipal apartment in a poor immigrant family with a mother who was illiterate, have entered the presidency shows what it is possible to achieve in Norway," he told NRB.

"It will have [a] symbolic effect both abroad and inside Norway that we can showcase [the cultural] diversity in our country," he added.

"I hope people will believe that I will do a good job both inside Norway and as a representative for Norway abroad."

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Raja said he particularly wanted to use his position in the presidency to work on religious dialogue and strive for the freedom of belief internationally.

Born in Oslo in 1975, Raja he was raised in the St. Hanshaugen neighborhood in Oslo. His father Abdul Qayyum Raja was a factory worker who worked at the Christiania Spigerverk, a steel plant in Nydalen, while his mother Akthar Nasim was a homemaker.

He is married to psychologist Nadia Ansar.

COMMENTS (3)

Usman | 3 years ago | Reply There are many people in Pakistan who think the British ruled better.
Saeed Masood | 3 years ago | Reply That is what Pakistan needs a honest person from middle class to become the Prime Minister.
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