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Norwegian oil minister resigns, citing health reasons
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19:25, June 19, 2008

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Norway's Minister of Petroleum and Energy Aaslaug Haga resigned from her post in the Norwegian coalition government Thursday morning, according to reports reaching here from Oslo.

Aaslaug Haga announced her resignation at a hastily called press conference, saying that she was stepping down for health reasons and her decision was not political.

The minister has been on sick leave since last Saturday after spending several days fending off media stories about how she and her husband have been caught in a series of building violations.

Haga said she was also withdrawing from the post of leader of the Agrarian Party (Centre Party). The party is part of Norway's ruling coalition together with Labor and the Socialist Left.

Deputy party leader Lars Peder Brekk will be acting party leader, until a new party leader is appointed by an extraordinary national congress of the party.

Brekk said Haga would return to Parliament as a MP for her party, if her health permitted.

Haga, 49, had been minister of local government and regional affairs until Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg appointed her oil minister during a cabinet shuffle last September.

Source: Xinhua

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