Audun Lysbakken was elected as the successor of Kristin Halvorsen. He has been named as the party’s commanding leader for a while, and has gained obvious support from the party. Lysbakken was the only candidate for the position, and had the support of 192 delegates out of 207.
Heikki Holmås was Lysbakken main rival for leadership role. But, he withdrew his candidacy before the annual meeting, and urged his supporters to vote for Lysbakken: “If I had to vote here today, so I would have voted for Audun as the new leader of SV,” said Holmås before the meeting.
Who is Audin Lysbakken
Audun Bjørlo Lysbakken (born 30 September 1977 in Bergen) is a Norwegian politician for the Socialist Left Party. In 2006 he became deputy leader of the party. On 20 October 2009, he was appointed Minister of Children and Equality, a post he held until 5 March 2012, when he resigned due to allegations of corruption.
Political Controversies about Lysbakken
Lysbakken has described himself as a Marxist, and has expressed wishes to “abolish capitalism” as well as the Oslo Stock Exchange. In the study booklet Manifest 02 he also said that he wanted to abolish the right to own private property as well as wage labour. He has later stated that he no longer considers himself a Marxist.
In an interview with the Norwegian weekly Morgenbladet, Lysbakken has explained that Marxism is important to him in providing understanding of the society and the distribution of political power. During the launch of Deltakerne. En reise i demokratiets framtid. (The Participants. A Journey to the Future of Democracy.) he explained his views on elections, modern democracy and worker’s influence in the work place.
In January 2012, Dagbladet reported that Lysbakken in November 2011 had secretly funneled €66,000 of public funds from his ministry to two groups, one of which was the Socialist Youth, his own party’s youth organization which received €20,500, without making the process public. At first Lysbakken through his State secretary reported that this was a “completely normal procedure” for allocation of funds, he later apologized unreservedly calling the affair an “error of judgment” on his behalf and promising a “full review” on past transactions. After more scrutiny however, it emerged that he in another incident had used 40.000€ of public money to fund and promote a controversial book project by two known party affiliates. The parliament of Norway has signaled that it will open a public inquiry into Lysbakkens management of his department. As a result of the affair, he resigned as minister on 5 March 2012.