Norway: New immigrant party

Norway: New immigrant party

Hijab in the police, Muslim school, a hospital for Muslims, simpler visa rules, mother-tongue education and shutting down toll roads in Oslo.  These are the issues the newly created Independent Labour Party will be fighting for.

Among those responsible for the party is Ghufoor Butt.  This week he handed in the signatures needed to register a party for the fall elections.  His goal is to get to parliament.

"Today's immigrant politicians don't do enough for us," says Butt to Aften.

He thinks they're bound by their parties and don't dare to take a stand on important issues.

"They're not good enough," says Butt.

He is occupied by the typical minority issues, such as a softer policy in the foreigner's directorate and mother-tongue education in school.  He supports hijab in the police, Muslim school and he wants to have a hospital for Muslims.

If the party is approved, it will be the first immigrant party which aims directly at the parliament.

But election researcher Tor Bjørklund doubts the party will succeed.

"This won't be easy. If there are many of Norwegian-Pakistani background on the list, it probably won't appeal to all minority groups," says Bjørklund.  He thinks that minority politicians have a greater chance to succeed by backing established parties.

Minority politicians came out in 1995 and 2007 with their own lists for the municipal elections in Oslo, without success.

Source: Dagsavisen (Norwegian)

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