Thursday, 2 April 2009

At the end of the road: Guttorm Hansen (1920-2009), former Speaker of Parliament

Guttorm Hansen, former Speaker of the Norwegian Parliament, died earlier today at the age of 88.
The death of a former Speaker of Parliament has not occured since Hansen's successor, Per Hysing-Dahl, passed away in 1989.
Guttorm Hansen was born on 3 November 1920 and worked as a mechanic and journalist before being elected to Parliament for the Labour Party in 1961. He remained an MP until 1985 and was leader of the Labour Party's parliamentary group 1971-1972.
He turned down three offers of a cabinet position, but served as Speaker of Parliament 1973-1981, a position which is the second highest-ranking in Norway, following the King in precedence. His way of conducting the position became almost a norm which was closely followed by his successors.
Hansen was the author of 21 books, including two volumes of political memoirs.
The current Speaker of Parliament, Thorbjørn Jagland, today paid tribute to Hansen as "one of the most significant parliamentarians after the war":

More on the passing of Guttorm Hansen in his local newspaper Namdalsavisa:

The picture shows a slightly cropped version of Håkon Bleken’s 1994 portrait of Guttorm Hansen, which hangs in the Parliament Building in Oslo.

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