Pakistan-born environmentalist could become Oslo mayor

Shoaib Sultan is former secretary of Norway's Islamic Council and now belongs to Norway's Green Party


Afp September 15, 2015
Shoaib Sultan. PHOTO: MDG

OSLO: A Muslim environmentalist originally from Pakistan could become Oslo's next mayor after his party became kingmaker in the Norwegian capital following local elections.

After winning five seats on Oslo city council in Monday's election, the green party MDG holds the balance of power and says it will insist its candidate, Shoaib Sultan, be given the position of mayor in upcoming negotiations with the other parties.

"He would be a wonderful mayor for all of Oslo, he would be the most representative mayor the people of Oslo have ever known," MDG party leader Rasmus Hansson, told NRK radio on Tuesday. "The position of mayor is definitely part of the package to be negotiated," he said.

Both the right wing, which has been in power in Oslo for 18 years, and the left have said they are ready to negotiate with MDG to obtain a majority on the council. The right won 28 of the 59 seats up for grabs, while the left took 26 seats.

MDG presents itself as officially independent from the two blocs, but has traditionally voted with leftist parties. "The issues will be what is most important for us," said Hansson, hinting that the party could be swayed to give up the mayor's post if it wins concessions on policy issues in exchange.

Shoaib Sultan, 41, is a former secretary of the Islamic Council, an umbrella organisation representing Muslims in Norway, and has also worked for an anti-racism centre. He came to Norway from Pakistan when he was around a year old.

Monday's local election saw the defeat of the parties sitting in the national government, Prime Minister Erna Solberg's Conservative Party and the populist Progressive Party, as well as their centre-right allies. The Labour party and its allies appear to have won majorities in most big towns.

COMMENTS (8)

Another Indian | 5 years ago | Reply @Bob Carlson... I have to respectfully disagree with you there too. I am an Indian living in US (DC area) and I haven't met anyone (Indian or other, for that matter) who considers B Jindal as the epitome of Indian success, mostly because of the reasons you have mentioned and also because he is not a first generation immigrant. Second and further generation Indians (and immigrants from most other third world countries) actively distance themselves from where their parents are from and don't consider themselves as Indians as they don't want to be a part of third world. Also, do you think B Jindal would have become what he is now if he had kept his original religion and name and shown any affinity toward a non-Christian third world country (we are talking about Louisiana here)? ET.. please publish...
kami | 5 years ago | Reply To all above, London mayor is Boris Jhonson who has nothing in common with Indians or Pakistanis. To my knowledge no London mayor has been Asian or even black. Current candidate from Labour Party is Sadiq Khan who is a Solicitor & son of a Pakistani bus driver. His opponent is Jemimah's brother.
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