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Righest Party Gains in Norway Vote

September 15, 1987|United Press International

OSLO — The far-right-wing Progress Party, calling for fewer Third World immigrants, lower taxes and less bureaucracy, became Norway's third largest political force in local elections, near-complete returns showed today.

The Progress Party won 12.2% of the ballots cast Monday, up 6% from the 1983 local elections and up 8.5% from the 1985 parliamentary election, according to official projections.

The result was a blow to the leading opposition party, the Conservatives, which received 23.6% of the vote, down 6% from 1985.

Contrary to opinion polls, Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland's ruling Labor Party also suffered a setback. Labor won 36.2%, down 3% from the 1983 result and 4% below 1985.

A major theme in Progress Party leader Carl I. Hagen's successful campaign was his opposition to the sudden influx of Third World immigrants. Other party leaders accused him of being a racist for wanting to put a low ceiling on the number of refugees allowed to enter.

About 2,700 asylum-seekers came to this homogeneous welfare nation of 4.1 million last year, and the numbers are expected to reach 10,000 this year.

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