November 20, 2018 / 6:47 PM / in 6 months

Norway's minority government in budget deal, sets stage to expand cabinet

FILE PHOTO: Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg delivers a speech at the Paris Peace Forum after the commemoration ceremony for Armistice Day, 100 years after the end of the First World War, in Paris, France November 11, 2018. Yoan Valat/Pool via REUTERS

OSLO (Reuters) - Norway’s minority centre-right government has reached a preliminary deal with the independent Christian Democrats (CDP) on a 2019 fiscal bill, negotiators told public broadcaster NRK.

Formal approval is expected later on Tuesday, they added.

A deal with the CDP will secure the budget’s passing in parliament and set the stage for talks to expand the cabinet.

Prime Minister Erna Solberg, in power since 2013, has long sought to include the CDP in her government of the Conservatives, the centrist Liberals and the right-wing Progress Party, and thus turn it into a majority coalition.

On Nov. 2, delegates at a CDP conference narrowly voted in favour of opening talks to join the coalition, but the two sides had to agree on a 2019 spending plan before talks could start.

Reporting By Ole Petter Skonnord, editing by Terje Solsvik

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