KING ENOCH DISSOLVES THE STORTING The King takes Oslo with the help of the Army and addresses the nation.
A mechanized regiment and ten tanks from the Army have marched on Oslo with King Enoch. The King walked into the Storting building and declared that he was sacking his ministers and dissolving the Storting until further notice. These actions taken by the King are unprecedented for a Norwegian monarch and come after the largest political crisis in modern Norwegian history.
Following the snap-election called by the Prime Minister, the Communist Party of Norway (NKP) received a clear majority of the seats in the Storting. Lawsuits were immediately filed by the Prime Minister and the Conservative Party. The Prime Minister and the old government refused to leave the Storting until the Supreme Court heard the lawsuits filed. Mister Karl Bjorn, leader of the NKP, occupied a building in Oslo along with members of the NKP who formed a shadow government. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court was called back into an emergency session to deal with the crisis. Two of the court's justices were found dead in their homes in Oslo. The National Police say that foul play is expected. Many of the other justices, fearing for their lives, failed to appear at the Supreme Court building. Then, in a twist of events, the Prime Minister announced his resignation, which the police have confirmed was because agents of the NKP had one or more members of his family and were threatening to do them harm. Seeing no clear political or legal resolution, the NKP and what remained of the old government began trying to get support from the National Police and elements of the armed forces. In fact, a call was even made by Mister Bjorn to the King, who was out of Oslo at the time. What was exactly said isn't known, but the King states that Mister Bjorn asked for recognition of his government, which the King denied him. After the phone call, Mister Bjorn issued a warrant for the arrest of the King and Queen.
Although it isn't certain what information the King had, it is clear that he felt there was no other option but to dissolve the government. The King entered into Oslo with a mechanized regiment of the Army and ten Leopard 2 tanks, all of which were in the midst of training exercises north of Oslo with the Home Guard. After entering the capital without resistance, the King personally announced to the Storting that the government was dissolved. A clarification was later released from His Majesty's government, which specified that both the old government and the shadow government set up by the NKP were dissolved. That evening, the King addressed the nation from the Royal Palace. He promised to hold a constitutional convention with representatives from around the country, and to hold new elections for the Storting as soon as possible. For now, King Enoch holds absolute control over the government of Norway.
Below is a transcript of the televised address given by the King.
“Over the past seventy-two hours, the government has faced a series of critical failures that have crippled its ability to function. Suspected major fraud in the recent election has led to a radical party being elected to a majority of the Storting. Lawsuits were filed to contest the election, but our Supreme Court was intimidated into not acting, and two of our justices were tragically killed. The old government continued to occupy the Storting building, while the new government tried to operate on its own. Then, the Prime Minister resigned because of threats made against his family.
“Both governments asked for my recognition, and I have denied both. This afternoon, after a warrant for my arrest was ordered by Karl Bjorn, I entered Oslo with a regiment of the Army. I entered the Storting building to inform parliament that I was sacking my remaining ministers, and dissolving the Storting until further notice.
“I understand that the measures I have taken will worry and scare many. As a proud Norwegian and supporter of our democratic system, I can guarantee you now that I am not here to permanently take control of our country’s entire government. However, at this moment, the crown is the supreme governing authority in Norway. After consideration with my closest advisors, I decided this was the best step to take to prevent either a radical government from taking power, or a civil war.
“For the next three days, I will keep Oslo in martial law. During this time, I will begin the process of inviting representatives from around the country for an emergency constitutional convention. Following this convention, which we will work to make as speedy as possible, new democratic elections will be held. In the meantime, I will order the National Police to begin an investigation into the mass voter-fraud that has brought these troubles onto our country.
“I will continue to issue updates on the progress of these goals… I ask for your faith and loyalty in this grave time. We will make it through this crisis, but the people need to do their part as the rest of us do ours. I have my utmost faith in all of you."
GENERAL INGVAR APPOINTED AS CHIEF OF DEFENSE The King appoints his uncle to the most senior military post as part of a transitional government.
General Ingvar has been appointed to the position of Chief of Defense by King Enoch. Chief of Defense is the most senior military post in the armed forces. The civilian post of Minister of Defense remains vacant, however the King has begun to appoint other ministers to his "Royal Government". General Ingvar issued a statement to the press which confirmed that martial law would be lifted in Oslo by dawn tomorrow. The statement further clarified: "However, the Home Guard and King's Guard will maintain a visible presence in the city until further notice."
The general is the late king's brother, and King Enoch's uncle. Before his appointment, he was the commanding general of the Army. His reputation among the Norwegian people is that of exceptional respect for his long-time service to the Army, and for his heroic deeds in past conflicts. Ingvar has kept out of the public eye for years, but remains a very powerful force in Norwegian politics and will now have the ear of Norway's head of state. The lack of a Minister of Defense means that Ingvar not only has official command over the armed forces, but also all administrative control as well. As his first act as Chief of Defense, General Ingvar announced that military exercises between the Army and Home Guard will cease immediately.
The Royal Government stated that minister appointments would be coming soon.
MARTIAL LAW LIFTED AS CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION BEGINS Oslo begins to return to normal and the Royal Government has reportedly made contact with Dutch government.
As promised, the Army has lifted martial law in Oslo, but is maintaining marching patrols downtown. Open travel and communication to and from Oslo has been restored. The King and Queen have remained in the palace, but the King has released several press statements regarding the ending of martial law and that some members of the pretender communist government, including Mister Karl Bjorn, have been charged with high treason. However, other members of the communist government have been released. The Office of The King also confirmed to Aftenposten that the King of The Netherlands contacted King Enoch and wished him well.
The constitutional convention promised by the King has begun in Oslo. Representatives from around the kingdom, including some of the best and brightest from Norway's universities, have convened in the Storting Building to draft a new constitution for Norway. The Office of The King made it clear that His Majesty will not be involved in the convention unless his input was requested. The proceedings are not being televised, but updates are being published by the president of the assembly. Among those updates include a statement saying that the body is so far in agreement of several things, the most notable: Norway will continue to have a democratic parliamentary system, the monarchy will continue to keep its place, and that there should be something to check the government and elections in case something like the election fraud were to ever happen again.
The Royal Government issued a statement from the Ministry of Internal Affairs, stating that it was in full support of the constitutional convention.
Constitutional Convention Concludes, King Given Powers King is given domain over foreign affairs and national defense under the new constitution.
The Royal Government kept to its word and ensured that a free and fair constitutional convention took place in Oslo. Representatives from around Norway debate for weeks over how the new government should be structured to prevent something like the troubles from ever happening again. Among other provisions, special election commissions must be formed in order to ensure that all elections throughout the country are not interfered with. The most noticeable change, however, is that the monarchy has been granted domain over "National Defense" and "Foreign Affairs". The new constitution states that the King will have charge over the Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. However, his appointments to those departments will have to be approved by the government.
The constitution clarifies that while the King is the commander-in-chief and is responsible for the defense of Norway, he must consult with and gain approval from the Prime Minister before ordering major military operations. For example, he could not unilaterally declare war on another state and send an expeditionary force to invade. War requires consent from Parliament, small operations require him to consult with the Prime Minister and gain his approval, and matters to defend Norway from attack or deploy troops for purposes of public safety require no advanced notice. Also, the oath for the armed forces and all public officials now includes loyalty to the Crown, as well as swearing to uphold the constitution. Foreign Affairs is also under the domain of the King. However, all international treaties and agreements must be approved by Parliament.
It's still not entirely clear why the constitutional convention awarded these powers to the Crown, but this will present an interesting challenge to the King. In order to maintain public support, he will have to remain non-partisan to the best of his abilities. We questioned some political scientists at the University of Oslo, who told us that his control over national defense likely wont lead to controversy, but under-thought actions in foreign affairs could lead to issues. "The best thing the King can do," said one of the political scientists, "is work with the government when it comes to international relations."
The government confirmed that elections for Parliament will be held at the end of the month.
Leif Holt Elected Prime Minister, Conservative Party Wins Controlling Majority New elections have been held for the first time after "The Troubles" and constitutional reforms.
The Norwegian people have overwhelming thrown their support behind the Conservative Party, who has chosen political newcomer Leif Holt as the next Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Norway. The Conservative Party has gone through a political shift in the past year as have several other major Norwegian political parties. Leif Holt was the Rector of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology before accepting the King's offer to temporarily serve as the Minister of Foreign Affairs in the royal transitional government. Mister Holt is fifty years old and has dedicated his life to scientific research after leaving a career in the armed forces. Mister Holt is rumored to be a close associate of the King, leaving many to believe that the Crown and the Government will have a very close working relationship.
The Conservative Party ran on a platform of maintaining good relations with Scandinavian countries and forming working relationships with stable democratic powers such as the United Kingdom, The Netherlands, and the United States of America. They also pledged to increase the strength of Norway's armed forces and to "maintain Norway's sovereignty". MPs who were running for office also hinted at reforming Norwegian police and intelligence services.
Jacob Vinter Appointed New Minister of Foreign Affairs King Enoch chooses former Canadian ambassador to head the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Jacob Vinter, the ambassador to Canada, has been appointed to the position of Minister of Foreign Affairs. The promotion comes after Vinter, along with dozens of Norwegians and diplomatic staff from the Norwegian embassy in Ottawa, drove across part of Canada to get to the American border and escape the greater conflict that was ongoing in the country. Then Ambassador Vinter was applauded for his selfless actions in making sure there was room for everyone at the embassy, including normal citizens. While everyone else flew to the Norwegian embassy in Washington, he flew to New York City to meet his wife. Pictures of the two of them hugging were taken at the base of the World Trade Center. Mister Vinter went to Washington the following day to assess the situation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. All Norwegian consulates and diplomatic outposts were officially closed in Canada until further notice.
Mister Vinter is 28 years old and holds a Masters in International Relations. He served two years in the Norwegian Army and also reportedly served in Norwegian Intelligence before transferring to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Mister Vinter and his wife landed in Oslo this morning and met with King Enoch. Shortly after the King's formal appointment of Mister Vinter, the Storting approved him.
King Attends European Treaty Organization's 'Council of Leaders' King Enoch brings Minister Vinter with him to The Hague after ETO President addressed the Storting.
Both King Enoch and Minister of Foreign Affairs Jacob Vinter took an early-morning flight to The Hague where they are now meeting with the King of The Netherlands, the Deputy Prime Minister of The United Kingdom, and the President of the European Treaty Organization (ETO). This meeting comes after the President of the ETO and the Dutch King met with King Enoch and Prime Minister Holt on the topic of Norway's possible membership in the ETO. The meeting was widely panned as a courtesy to the ETO, with the real focus being on relations with The Netherlands, but those assumptions evaporated when the ETO President was allowed to address the Storting that very same day. The ETO President, van Vreeswijk, was the first foreign politician to address the Storting since the attempted coup. Also, his reportedly impromptu speech was well-received by the Storting, many members of which verbally cheered and made noise for President van Vreeswijk.
If the ETO invites Norway to apply for membership, then the Storting will have to pass legislation to approve Norway joining the organization. President van Vreeswijk's speech to the Storting and the Norwegian people's high approval of the United Kingdom and The Netherlands appear to make approving ETO membership a political advantageous decision. The most controversial aspect of joining the ETO has been the "free movement" of British and Dutch citizens to Norway, which means that they could also live and work in the country. Also, the ETO has an unusual provision which requires member nations to abolish or ban the death penalty if they have it. As of now in Norway, the death penalty technically exists for regicide - killing the King or Queen - however this legal change may be considered minor compared to the geopolitical changes involved in joining the ETO.
His Majesty The King has not expressed a public opinion on ETO membership. The Office of The King has only stated that King Enoch "takes his duty to running the Ministry of Foreign Affairs seriously."
BREAKING: Emergency Response System Activated for Massive Winter Storm King Enoch returns to Oslo for an emergency cabinet meeting to address a massive "Artic Oscillation" heading to Norway.
The Office of The King confirms that King Enoch has returned to Oslo for what sources confirm is an emergency meeting between the cabinet, High Command, and the Crown. As a result of the meeting, the Emergency Response System (ERS) has been activated. Air raid sirens in and around major cities and military bases were activated for ten minutes. Then, emergency messages were sent to major television broadcast stations, radio frequencies, and to most mobile cell phones in Norway. The messages stated that a major "Arctic Oscillation" is heading towards Norway, and that citizens should "shelter in place". The messages simply explained that an Arctic Oscillation is a high-pressure front bringing "severe winter weather" and that "incredibly cold temperature are expected."
Reports from Oslo have confirmed that the Home Guard's Rapid Reaction Force, which is normally ready to respond to natural disasters and civil unrest, is being mobilized in Oslo "to prepare for severe weather" according to a Ministry of Defense spokesperson. There have been no official statements from the government as to how the Rapid Reaction Force will be used, and if the government or the Crown will be in direct control of the Rapid Reaction Force since they are being deployed within Norway itself.
Aftenposten wants to stress that the ERS has never been activated, and that the King departed a long-planned vacation less than 24 hours after arriving. We advise that you take this winter weather seriously and adhere to all government warnings. Aftenposten will continue to publish live updates on breaking stories.
ELECTRICITY RESTORED TO SOUTHERN NORWAY King Enoch addresses the nation via radio and announces "We are still here".
Lights were seen first flickering on at the Storting Building, then the Royal Palace, and then at Akershus Fortress. Scientists from the University of Science and Technology also visited Aftenposten headquarters in Oslo, and successfully treated the diesel in our generators with a compound to prevent it from freezing. Later that night, after a long period of silence, King Enoch addressed the nation via radio. His address was short and the audio quality was rough, but His Majesty assured the country that he, the government, and the high command were still in Oslo. The King reported that the Home Guard and "special forces" were deployed throughout Norway to help the people. He also mentioned that the Army was working on bringing back power to southern Norway and that train tracks were being cleared. He also confirmed what has become apparent since the storms ended: it is still getting colder. Temperatures in Oslo have varied from -52 degrees Celsius to -25 degrees Celsius since the storms, but the rest of southern Norway has seen a steady decline below -25. Much of the northern half of the country is now -51 Celsius, which Dr. Erikson of the University of Oslo told us is "literally Arctic temperatures."
Later that day, power was restored in Oslo and southern Norway. The King's Guard was seen moving downed-power lines and clearing streets for snow-plows - though thousands of cars are reportedly "dead" around the country, unable to start because the batteries were subjugated to frigid temperatures. The government has yet to confirm when temperatures will rise back to normal or what conditions are like in the rest of Europe, but reports from the United Kingdom, Germany, and The Netherlands appear to show violent weather and freezing temperatures there as well.
"I have recently made the decision, along with congress, that the United States shall take greater strides in helping with the relief effort in Europe," announced President Obama. Unconfirmed reports say that the United States is currently operating in Western Europe and may deploy more assets from the United States to aid Europe. So far, there are no indications that American forces will come to Norway.
Below is a transcript of the King's speech:
"This is the King... This is the King. I am speaking to you from the Royal Palace in Oslo. To the people of Norway, I say this: I am still here, the government is still here, and the High Command is still here. We've suffered without power and heat, just as many of you have. The Home Guard and special forces are marching across our kingdom to relieve some of our largest cities and most remote villages. The Army has assured me that power will be restored to southern Norway in the coming days, including Oslo. Soon the trains will be running again, and as we speak some cities have begun clearing roads.
"To our allies and friends around the world, I can confirm that the storms have ended here, but the air is still getting colder. Our government remains in control and functioning, and the armed forces remain prepared to defend the kingdom. Effective immediately, all Home Guardsmen in the 6th and 7th Regiments are being called into service, as are all police and firefighters who are on leave. Report to your stations if able, your country is sounding the call of duty."
"What Norway is facing is a national disaster. Hundreds, possibly thousands, have died... some of our special forces - the Valkyries - were outside in the cold during the worst of the storm, here in Oslo. A mother and her three children were found dead in the snow... I have faith in the Norwegian people, that in this extraordinary time, they will offer their neighbors and strangers extraordinary kindness. I have faith that we wont have to walk the streets again and find the innocent lying in the snow. I have faith that we as Norwegians will huddle together and come out of this travesty. If you are stuck or stranded or cold, know that we are coming for you. Do not give up. Do not stop fighting. Remember the motto: United and loyal until the mountains of Dovre crumble."
PARLIAMENT TO CONVENE IN EMERGENCY SESSION Prime Minister Holt receives Royal Consent to hold Parliament over the next three weekends.
Parliament was suppose to convene after New Year's day, but due to the closure of Norway's airports, railways, and roads it became all but impossible. Now, the government is making it a national priority to bring lawmakers to Oslo to deal with the "Great Winter", so-called by Prime Minister Holt. Most MPs are expected to be convened in the Storting Building by Friday, when the King will open Parliament. The Prime Minister requested to the King and the Speaker of the Storting that sessions be held for the next three weekends as well, so that "some lost time can be made up" and "we can better relieve the country", the Prime Minister said. Mister Holt stated that teams of scientists will be organized and deployed to come to a better understanding of what has caused the Great Winter, and if its effects are temporary. Minister Lund, in charge of the Ministry of Environment, stated, "We plant to work closely with our British and Dutch colleagues so that we can make a full report for the government, and for the people."
Both the United Kingdom and The Netherlands are members of The European Treaty Organization (ETO), which has approved Norway for membership. Officially, only two steps need to be taken. First, the government must abolish the death penalty, which is prohibited under ETO rules. Secondly, Norway must approve membership in the ETO. This can be done either by a referendum of the people, or by a vote of the Storting. Prime Minister Holt has indicated that the Storting will vote on the measure, which is expected to easily pass. A vote on ETO membership is expected to take place after emergency measures are taken to "restore normality in Norway" as Prime Minister Holt put it. Notably, however, there is no clear consensus among the Conservative Party as to whether or not they support the death penalty. The government will need to resolve this issue before voting on ETO membership, but no official mention of it has been made. The last person to be executed in Norway was Ragnar Skancke, who served as Minister of Church and Educational Affairs to Vidkun Quisling's government during Nazi occupation - who was convicted of treason and shot by firing squad outside of Akershush Fortress.