Terje Søviknes

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Terje Søviknes
Terje soviknes utvalgt 02.jpg
Minister of the Eldery and Public Health
In office
18 December 2019 – 24 January 2020
Prime MinisterErna Solberg
Preceded bySylvi Listhaug
Succeeded byPosition abolished
Minister of Petroleum and Energy
In office
20 December 2016 (2016-12-20) – 31 August 2018 (2018-08-31)
Prime MinisterErna Solberg
Preceded byTord Lien
Succeeded byKjell-Børge Freiberg
Mayor of Os
In office
1 September 2018 – 18 December 2019
Preceded byMarie Lunde Bruraøy
Succeeded byPosition abolished
In office
1 October 1999 – 20 December 2016
Preceded byGeirmund Dyrdal
Succeeded byMarie Lunde Bruraøy
Second Deputy Leader of the Progress Party
Assumed office
5 May 2019
LeaderSiv Jensen
Preceded byKetil Solvik-Olsen
In office
2 May 1999 – 12 February 2001
LeaderCarl I. Hagen
Preceded byVidar Kleppe
Succeeded byJohn Alvheim
Personal details
Born (1969-02-28) 28 February 1969 (age 51)
Os, Hordaland, Norway
Political partyProgress
Spouse(s)Janniche Askeland (1998–2011)
Alma materBergen University College
Norwegian School of Economics

Terje Søviknes (born 28 February 1969) is a Norwegian politician for the Progress Party who has served as the Minister of Petroleum and Energy from December 2016 to August 2018. From December 2019 to January 2020 he served as the Minister of the Elderly and Public Health. He also serves as the party’s second deputy leader since 2019, a post he previously held from 1999 to 2001.

Søviknes was the first politician of his party to become mayor of a Norwegian municipality, namely Os, Hordaland in 1999, and one of the longest-serving, retaining the position for five consecutive elections until his 2016 government appointment.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Søviknes was born in Os, Norway to metalworker and fisherman Eirik Søviknes (born 1939) and store clerk Gunn Drange (born 1942). He grew up on Søvikneset in Lysefjorden.[2] He attended Os Senior high school from 1985 to 1988. He earned a degree in marine engineering from Bergen College of Engineering in 1992, and later studied at the Norwegian School of Economics.[3]

Political career[edit]

Early career and sex scandal[edit]

From 1999 to 2001, Søviknes was the vice chairman of the Progress Party together with Siv Jensen, and was considered as a possible successor to Carl I. Hagen as chairman of the party. He however became controversial after an incident at a party congress in 2001 where he had sexually abused a 16-year-old intoxicated member of the Youth of the Progress Party.[4] Søviknes retained his position as mayor of Os (since 1999) and did not lose his local support after the incident.

Mayor of Os[edit]

After first being elected mayor following the 1999 local elections, his local party's support subsequently surged from 36.6 to 45.7% (the highest share of votes for the party in a municipality for the election) in the 2003 local elections. The success was repeated in the 2007 local elections when he was reelected by a landslide. The candidate from the Conservative Party who came in second, jokingly commented that "You don't challenge Terje Søviknes in Os."[5] He was yet again reelected in the 2011 local elections, this time however by a far lesser margin. This led to speculation that he could be ousted from power by a coalition of the other parties. Søviknes remained in power with the support of the Conservative party.[6]

Os has since by himself and the media been seen as a showcase municipality for the Progress Party.[7] This is as he in his first term as mayor achieved full kindergarten coverage, full nursing home coverage and started a program of well-being and health journeys to Spain and related locations. It was also established a "full" stop of immigration and a local Vinmonopol store.[7] Successful in being consecutively elected as mayor from 2003 to 2007, in this term the main issues was development of the city centre, better drug addiction recovery programs, development of schools and construction of a waterpark.[8] While the municipality was struggling with large deficits before Søviknes became mayor, this has since been turned into a significant surplus as of 2004.[9] His successful career as mayor of Os has gained him the nickname the "Wizard of Os" by the media.[10]

Minister of Petroleum and Energy[edit]

On 20 December 2016 Søviknes was appointed Minister of Petroleum and Energy in the Solberg Cabinet, succeeding fellow party member Tord Lien.

Personal life[edit]

Søviknes married his first wife, Janniche Askeland in 1998 and they have two children together.[11] In October 2011 they announced that they were separating.[12][13] Søviknes is an avid bridge enthusiast and former president of the Os Bridge Club.



  1. ^ "Terje Søviknes". Store norske leksikon. Oslo: Kunnskapsforlaget. Retrieved 30 May 2009.
  2. ^ Heggland, Gunvor. "Ordførar Terje Søviknes" (in Norwegian). Os kommune. Archived from the original on 8 September 2012. Retrieved 13 October 2012.
  3. ^ "Terje Søviknes" (in Norwegian). Storting. Retrieved 11 January 2010.
  4. ^ "16-åringen snakket ut" (in Norwegian). ba.no. 24 December 2002. Retrieved 30 May 2009.
  5. ^ Solvang, Øystein (10 November 2007). "Ikke all makt til Søviknes". Nrk.no (in Norwegian). Retrieved 13 October 2012.
  6. ^ Skarvøy, Lars-Joakim (15 October 2011). "Terje Søviknes fortsetter som Os-ordfører". Vg.no (in Norwegian). Retrieved 13 October 2012.
  7. ^ a b Rønning, Tone (20 November 1999). "Hagens lille rike Os - utstillingsvindu for Frp's politikk". Dagbladet. Archived from the original on 22 February 2013.
  8. ^ Ueland, Margunn (9 October 2006). "Søviknes vurderer comeback". Aftenbladet. Archived from the original on 30 September 2007.
  9. ^ "Os kommune med overskudd". Dagens Næringsliv. 18 February 2005.
  10. ^ Veiby, Gry Elisabeth (1 September 2007). "Bedre betalt enn Stoltenberg". NA24.[permanent dead link]
  11. ^ "Terje Søviknes". TV2.
  12. ^ Holmlund, Jan (29 October 2011). "Terje Søviknes og kone skiller lag". Kjendis.no (in Norwegian). Retrieved 13 October 2012.
  13. ^ Bruarøy, Kjetil (28 October 2011). "Søviknes separerer seg". Midtsian.no (in Norwegian). Retrieved 13 October 2012.
  14. ^ Valaker, Ole (29 November 2011). "Terje Søviknes og Os kommune fikk klimapris". aftenposten.no (in Norwegian). Retrieved 13 October 2012.
Political offices
Preceded by
Sylvi Listhaug
Minister of the Elderly and Public Health
Succeeded by
Position abolished
Preceded by
Tord Lien
Minister of Petroleum and Energy
Succeeded by
Kjell-Børge Freiberg
Civic offices
Preceded by
Marie Lunde Bruraøy
Mayor of Os
Succeeded by
Position abolished
Preceded by
Geirmund Dyrdal
Mayor of Os
Succeeded by
Marie Lunde Bruraøy