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2013 Norwegian Sámi parliamentary election

2013 Norwegian Sámi parliamentary election
Sámi people
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All 39 seats in the Sámi Parliament
20 seats needed for a majority
Turnout67.8% Decrease 0.2
Party Leader % Seats +/–
NSR Aili Keskitalo 24.2% 11 0
Labour Vibeke Larsen 21.1% 10 -4
Árja Laila Susanne Vars 11.5% 4 +1
NKF Toril Bakken Kåven 4.3% 3 +2
Progress Aud Martinsen 9.0% 2 -1
Conservative Anne-Marit Eira 7.0% 2 +1
NSR/SfP Beaska Niillas 4.7% 2 0
Åarjel-Saemiej Gielh Ellinor Marita Jåma 2.1% 2 +1
Kautokeino Residents List Isak Mathis O. Hætta 2.7% 1 +1
Ávjovári Moving Sámi List Per A. Bæhr 3.3% 1 -1
Sámi in the South Marie Therese Nordsletta Aslaksen 1.2% 1 +1
This lists parties that won seats. See the complete results below.
President of the Sámi Parliament before President of the Sámi Parliament after
Egil Olli (10309063433) (cropped).jpg Egil Olli
Aili Keskitalo
Aili Keskitalo presidentkandidat (8934868990).jpg

The 2013 Norwegian Sámi parliamentary election was held on 9 September 2013, simultaneously with the 2013 Norwegian parliamentary election. All 39 seats in the Norwegian Sámi parliament, the Sámediggi, were up for election.

The election resulted in a hung parliament, with Aili Keskitalo of the Norwegian Sámi Association taking the presidency through a minority coalition.


Sámi parliament elections are held simultaneously with the Norwegian parliament elections. Voters elect a total of 39 representatives from seven total constituencies. The election was held on 9 September 2013 in communities with over 30 citizens on the electoral roll, communities with under 30 registered require their citizens to vote in advance between 1 July and 6 September 2013. Voting is eligible for those over 18 years of age by the end of the year in which the election is held in and are entered into the Sámi parliament electoral roll, which requires individuals to meet certain criteria and individual registration.

Before the election, the governing coalition was between the Labour Party, Árja, and Åarjel-Saemiej Gielh.

Presidential candidates

The Labour Party nominated Vibeke Larsen, the Norwegian Sámi Association nominated Aili Keskitalo, Arja nominated Láilá Susanne Vars, and the Progress Party nominated Aud Martinsen. The Centre Party would nominate Helge Guttormsen, but wound up with no seats.

Larsen was selected over Mariann Wollmann Magga to be the Labour Party's candidate for president. Wollmann Magga was on a joint ticket with Johan Vasara as vice president. For vice president, the Labour Party had four candidates contesting the party's nomination: Jørn Are Gaski, John Kappfjell, Johan Vasara, and Ronny Wilhelmsen. After three rounds, Vasara defeated Wilhelmsen 12–9. Willy Ørnebakk, who had previously floated his interest in running as the Labour Party's nominee, withdrew and resigned from the party. Ørnebakk cited a culture within the Labour Party which had led him to feel insecurity as a potential president.


Due to their policy advocating for the abolition of the Sámi Parliament, the Progress Party was excluded from any potential coalition discussions

NRK Sápmi held debates between the various presidential candidates, a four party online meeting was held on August 21, 2013, with Vibeke Larsen (Labor Party), Laila Susanne Vars (Árja), Aili Keskitalo (NSR), and Helge Guttormsen (Sp) all participating. Among topics discussed were: Sámi resource extraction and infrastructure development, cultural investment, language promotion, reindeer husbandry, potential coalition partners, and schooling.

Labor and Árja's nominees stated their opposition to collaborating with the Progress Party due to the party's stance on abolishing the parliament, while simultaneously indicating their openness to collaborating with all other parties. Centre's nominee stated that the Progress Party would not be a major factor in coalition building, and indicated their interest in a red-green coalition.

North Calotte People highlighted their focus on culture, industry, and closeness towards nature, as well as highlighting a need for a balance between Norwegian, Sámi, and Kven culture. For the first time, the North Calotte People list would be put forth for a southern constituency, having only previously ran in the north. North Calotte People expressed their interest for the transformation of the Sámi Parliament into a joint Sámi and Kven parliament. Vibeke Larsen of the Labor Party expressed her opposition to the proposal, highlighting the cultural distinction between the Kven people and the Sámi, alternatively suggesting that the Kven should establish their own parliament.

The Conservative Party's Sámi parliamentary leader Anne-Marit Eira indicated her support put forward by the Unge Hoyre to shut down the Sámi Parliament in exchange for reserved seats in the Storting. However, the proposal was disputed from within the party, with Bent Høie, second deputy leader, stating that there was a need for a representative body for Norway's Sámi people.

This was the first election for Sámi in the South, which had previously ran as Sámi Settled in Southern Norway. The party targeted the Sámi diaspora, but was oriented towards urban Sámi living in Oslo.


The seven electoral constituencies of the Sámi parliament

A total of fifteen parties submitted lists in order to run in the 2013 election. Of the major parties, only two parties ran a full slate of candidates across the seven constituencies, the Labor Party and the NSR. The Conservative, Progress, and Center Parties ran lists in six constituencies. Arja ran in five constituencies. North Calotte People ran in two constituencies.

Constituency: 1. Østre 2. Ávjovárri 3. Nordre 4. Gáisi 5. Vesthavet 6. Sørsamisk 7. Sør-Norge Total
Arbeiderpartiet x x x x x x x 7
Árja x x x x x 5
Fastboendes liste x 1
Fremskrittspartiet x x x x x x 6
Høyre x x x x x x 6
Flyttsamelista x 1
Kristelig Folkeparti x 1
Nordkalottfolket x x 2
Norske Samers Riksforbund y x x x x x x 7
Næring og natur x 1
Samefolkets parti y x x 3
Samer sørpå x 1
Senterpartiet x x x x x x 6
Venstre x 1
Åarjel-Saemiej Gielh x 1
Total 6 12 7 6 5 4 8 48


Summary of the 2013 Norwegian Sámi parliamentary election results
Sami Parliament of Norway 2013.svg
Party Votes Seats
# % ± # ±
Norwegian Sámi Association (NSR)
(Norgga Sámiid Riikkasearvi, Norske Samers Riksforbund)
2,862 28.9% +3.9% 13 +0
Norwegian Sámi Association (NSR) 2,397 24.2% +3.1% 11 +0
NSR/SfP 465 4.7% +0.8% 2 +0
Labour Party (Ap)
(Norgga Bargiidbellodat, Det norske Arbeiderparti)
2,093 21.1% -5.7% 10 -4
Árja 1,145 11.5% +1.5% 4 +1
Progress Party (FrP)
(Ovddádusbellodat, Fremskrittspartiet)
888 9.0% +1.2% 2 -1
Conservative Party (H)
(Olgesbellodat, Høyre)
696 7.0% +2.4% 2 +1
Centre Party (Sp)
(Guovddásbellodat, Senterpartiet)
471 4.7% -0.2% 0 +0
North Calotte People (NKF)
431 4.3% +2.4% 3 +2
Ávjovári Moving Sámi List (JSL)
(Johttisápmelaččaid Listu, Flyttsamelista)
331 3.3% -1.0% 1 -1
Kautokeino Residents List (DL)
(Dáloniid Listu, Fastboendes Liste)
264 2.7% +1.3% 1 +1
Åarjel-Saemiej Gïelh (ÅaSG) 205 2.1% +0.5% 2 +1
Sámi People's Party (SáB)
(Sámeálbnot Bellodat, Samefolkets Parti)
184 1.9% –0.5% 0
Nutrition and Nature
(Ealáhus Ja Luonddu, Næring Og Natur)
132 1.3% 0
Sámi in the South
(Sámit Lulde, Samer Sørpå)
122 1.2% 1 +1
  Liberal Party (V)
(Gurutbellodat, Venstre)
50 0.5 +0.0 0
  Christian Democratic Party (KrF)
(Kristelig Folkeparti)
45 0.5 −0.1 0
Totals 10,040 100.0 39 ±0
Blank and invalid votes 158
Registered voters/turnout 15,005 67.8% –0.2%


The 2013 election resulted in a hung parliament, with neither the Labour Party nor the Norwegian Sámi Association reaching a majority coalition. It was eventually decided that Aili Keskitalo would be the next president of the Sámi Parliament with a minority government. Keskitalo would win against Laila Susanne Vars from Árja, who was supported by her party, North Calotte People, and Kautokeino Residents List. The first round was won by Keskitalo 29 votes to 10, with Vars subsequently stating that Árja would support Keskitalo in the second round. Keskitalo would later be ousted in December 2016 in favor of a coalition between the Labour Party, the Conservatives, and Arja, with Vibeke Larsen as president.

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