The Constitution of the Kingdom of Norway (part 2)

C. Rights of citizens and the Legislative Power

Article 49

The people exercises the Legislative Power through the Storting, which consists of two departments, the Lagting and the Odelsting.

Article 50

Those entitled to vote are Norwegian citizens, men and women, who, at the latest in the year when the election is held, have completed their 18th year.

The extent, however, to which Norwegian citizens, who on Election Day are resident outside the Realm but who satisfy the aforementioned conditions, are entitled to vote shall be determined by law.

Rules may be laid down by law concerning the right to vote of persons, otherwise entitled to vote, who on Election Day are manifestly suffering from a seriously weakened mental state or a reduced level of consciousness.

Article 51

The rules on the keeping of the poll list and on the registration in the poll list of persons entitled to vote shall be determined by law.

Article 52

(Repealed)

Article 53

The right to vote is lost by persons:

a) sentenced for criminal offences, in accordance with the relevant provisions laid down by law;

b) entering the service of a foreign power without the consent of the Government;

c) (repealed)

d) demonstrably guilty of having bought votes, of having sold their own vote, or of having voted at more than one polling station.

e) (repealed)

Article 54

The polls shall be held every fourth year. They shall be concluded by the end of September.

Article 55

The polls shall be conducted in the manner prescribed by law. Disputes regarding the right to vote shall be settled by the poll officials, whose decision may be appealed to the Storting.

Article 56

(Repealed)

Article 57

The number of representatives to be elected to the Storting shall be one hundred and sixty-five.

Article 58

Each county constitutes a constituency.

One hundred and fifty-seven of the Representatives of the Storting are elected as representatives of constituencies and the remaining 8 representatives are elected so as to achieve a greater degree of proportionality.

Representatives of constituencies are distributed among the constituencies of the Realm as follows: 8 are elected from the county of Østfold, 15 from Oslo, 12 from the county of Akershus, 8 from the county of Hedmark, 7 from the county of Oppland, 7 from the county of Buskerud, 7 from the county of Vestfold, 6 from the county of Telemark, 4 from the county of Aust-Agder, 5 from the county of Vest-Agder, 10 from the county of Rogaland, 15 from the county of Hordaland, 5 from the county of Sogn og Fjordane, 10 from the county of Møre og Romsdal, 10 from the county of Sør-Trøndelag, 6 from the county of Nord-Trøndelag, 12 from the county of Nordland, 6 from the county of Troms, and 4 from the county of Finnmark.

Article 59

Each municipality constitutes a separate polling district.

The polls shall be held separately for each polling district. At the polls votes shall be cast directly for representatives to the Storting, together with their proxies, to represent the entire constituency.

The election of representatives of constituencies is based on proportional representation and the seats are distributed among the political parties in accordance with the following rules.

The total number of votes cast for each party within each separate constituency is divided by 1.4, 3, 5, 7 and so on until the number of votes cast is divided as many times as the number of seats that the party in question may expect to obtain. The party which in accordance with the foregoing obtains the largest quotient is allotted the first seat, while the second seat is allotted to the party with the second largest quotient, and so on until all the seats are distributed. If several parties have the same quotient, lots are drawn to decide to which party the seat shall be allotted. List alliances are not permitted.

The seats at large are distributed among the parties taking part in such distribution on the basis of the relation between the total number of votes cast for the individual parties in the entire Realm in order to achieve the highest possible degree of proportionality among the parties. The total number of seats in the Storting to be held by each party is determined by applying the rules concerning the distribution of constituency seats correspondingly to the entire Realm and to the parties taking part in the distribution of the seats at large. The parties are then allotted so many seats at large that these, together with the constituency seats already allotted, correspond to the number of seats in the Storting to which the party in question is entitled in accordance with the foregoing. If according to these rules two or more parties are equally entitled to a seat, preference shall be given to the party receiving the greatest number of votes or, in the event of a tie, the one which is chosen by drawing lots. If a party has already through the distribution of constituency seats obtained a greater number of seats than that to which it is entitled in accordance with the foregoing, a new distribution of the seats at large shall be carried out exclusively among the other parties, in such a way that no account is taken of the number of votes cast for and constituency seats obtained by the said party.

No party may be allotted a seat at large unless it has received at least 4 per cent of the total number of votes cast in the entire Realm.

The seats at large obtained by a party are distributed among that party's lists of candidates for constituency elections so that the first seat is allotted to the list left with the largest quotient after the constituency's seats are distributed, the second seat to the list with the second largest quotient, and so on until all the party's seats at large have been distributed.

Article 60

Whether and in what manner those entitled to vote may deliver their ballot papers, without personal attendance at the polls, shall be determined by law.

Article 61

No one is eligible as a representative to the Storting unless he has resided for 10 years in the Realm, as well as being entitled to vote.

Article 62

Officials who are employed in government departments, except however the State Secretaries, or officials and pensioners of the Court, may not be elected as representatives to the Storting. The same applies to officials employed in the diplomatic or consular services.

Members of the Council of State may not attend meetings of the Storting as representatives while holding a seat in the Council of State. Nor may the State Secretaries attend as representatives while holding their appointments.

Article 63

It is the duty of anyone who is elected as a representative to accept such election, unless:

a) He is elected outside the constituency in which he is entitled to vote.

b) He has as a representative attended all the sessions of the Storting following the previous election.

c) He has completed his sixtieth year at the latest in the year when the General Election is held.

d) He is a member of a political party and he is elected on a list of candidates which has not been issued by that party.

If anyone is elected as a representative without being bound to accept such election, he must, within the time and in the manner prescribed by law, make a declaration stating whether or not he accepts election.

It shall similarly be prescribed by law by what date and in which manner anyone who is elected as representative for two or more constituencies shall state which election he will accept.

Article 64

The representatives elected shall be furnished with credentials, the validity of which shall be adjudged by the Storting.

Article 65

Every representative and proxy called to the Storting shall be entitled to receive from the Treasury such reimbursement as is prescribed by law for travelling expenses to and from the Storting, and from the Storting to his home and back again during vacations lasting at least fourteen days.

He shall further be entitled to remuneration, likewise prescribed by law, for attending the Storting.

Article 66

Representatives on their way to and from the Storting, as well as during their attendance there, shall be exempt from personal arrest, unless they are apprehended in public crimes, nor may they be called to account outside the meetings of the Storting for opinions expressed there. Every representative shall be bound to conform to the rules of procedure therein adopted.

Article 67

The representatives elected in the aforesaid manner shall constitute the Storting of the Kingdom of Norway.

Article 68

The Storting shall as a rule assemble on the first weekday in October every year in the capital of the Realm, unless the King, by reason of extraordinary circumstances, such as hostile invasion or infectious disease, designates another town in the Realm for the purpose. Such a decision must be publicly announced in good time.

Article 69

When the Storting is not assembled, it may be summoned by the King if he finds it necessary.

Article 70

(Repealed)

Article 71

The members of the Storting function as such for four successive years.

Article 72

(Repealed)

Article 73

The Storting nominates from among its members one fourth to constitute the Lagting, the remaining three fourths to constitute the Odelsting. This nomination shall take place at the first session of the Storting that assembles after a new General Election, whereafter the Lagting shall remain unchanged at all sessions of the Storting assembled after the same election, except insofar as any vacancy which may occur among its members has to be filled by special nomination.

Each Ting holds its meetings separately and nominates its own President and Secretary. Neither Ting may hold a meeting unless at least half of its Members are present. However, Bills concerning amendments to the Constitution may not be dealt with unless at least two thirds of the Members of the Storting are present.

Article 74

As soon as the Storting is constituted, the King, or whoever he appoints for the purpose, shall open its proceedings with a Speech, in which he shall inform it of the state of the Realm and of the issues to which he particularly desires to call the attention of the Storting. No deliberations may take place in the presence of the King.

When the proceedings of the Storting have been opened, the Prime Minister and the Members of the Council of State have the right to attend the Storting, as well as both departments of the Storting, and, like its Members, although without voting, to take part in any proceedings conducted in open session, while in matters discussed in closed session only insofar as permitted by the Ting concerned.

Article 75

It devolves upon the Storting:

a) to enact and repeal laws; to impose taxes, dues, customs and other public charges, which shall not, however, remain operative beyond 31 December of the succeeding year, unless they are expressly renewed by a new Storting;

b) to raise loans in the name of the Realm;

c) to supervise the monetary affairs of the Realm;

d) to appropriate the moneys necessary to meet government expenditure;

e) to decide how much shall be paid annually to the King for the Royal Household, and to determine the Royal Family's appanage which may not, however, consist of real property;

f) to have submitted to it the records of the Council of State, and all public reports and documents;

g) to have communicated to it the conventions and treaties which the King, on behalf of the State, has concluded with foreign powers;

h) to have the right to require anyone, the King and the Royal Family excepted, to appear before it on matters of State; the exception does not, however, apply to the Royal Princes if they hold any public office;

i) to review the provisional lists of salaries and pensions and to make therein such alterations as it deems necessary;

j) (repealed)

k) to appoint five auditors, who shall annually examine the State Accounts and publish extracts of the same in print, for which purpose the Accounts shall be submitted to the auditors within six months of the end of the year for which the appropriations of the Storting have been made, and to adopt provisions concerning the procedure for authorizing the accounts of government accounting officials;

l) to appoint a person, not a member of the Storting, in a manner prescribed by law, to supervise the public administration and all who work in its service, to assure that no injustice is done against the individual citizen;

m) to naturalize aliens.

Article 76

Every Bill shall first be proposed in the Odelsting, either by one of its own Members, or by the government through a Member of the Council of State.

If the Bill is passed, it is sent to the Lagting, which either approves or rejects it, and in the latter case returns it with appended comments. These are taken into consideration by the Odelsting, which either shelves the bill or again sends it to the Lagting,with or without alteration.

When a Bill from the Odelsting has twice been presented to the Lagting and has been returned a second time as rejected, the Storting shall meet in plenary session, and the bill is then decided by a majority of two thirds of its votes.

Between each such deliberation there shall be an interval of at least three days.

Article 77

When a Bill passed by the Odelsting has been approved by the Lagting or by the Storting in plenary session, it is sent to the King, with a request that it may receive the Royal Assent.

Article 78

If the King assents to the Bill, he appends his signature, whereby it becomes law.

If he does not assent to it, he returns it to the Odelsting with a statement that he does not for the time being find it expedient to sanction it. In that case the Bill must not again be submitted to the King by the Storting then assembled.

Article 79

If a Bill has been passed unaltered by two sessions of the Storting, constituted after two separate successive elections and separated from each other by at least two intervening sessions of the Storting, without a divergent Bill having been passed by any Storting in the period between the first and last adoption, and it is then submitted to the King with a petition that His Majesty shall not refuse his assent to a Bill which, after the most mature deliberation, the Storting considers to be beneficial, it shall become law even if the Royal Assent is

not accorded before the Storting goes into recess.

Article 80

The Storting shall remain in session as long as it deems it necessary and shall terminate its proceedings when it has concluded its business.

In accordance with the rules of procedure adopted by the Storting, the proceedings may be resumed, but they shall terminate not later than the last Sunday in the month of September.

Within this time the King shall communicate his decision with regard to the Bills that have not already been decided (cf. Articles 77 to 79), by either confirming or rejecting them. All those which he does not expressly accept are deemed to have been rejected by him.

Article 81

All Acts (with the exception of those mentioned in Article 79) are drawn up in the name of the King, under the seal of the Realm of Norway, and in the following terms; «We, X, make it publicly known: that the decision of the Storting of the date stated has been laid before Us: (here follows the decision). In consequence whereof We have assented to and confirmed, as We hereby do assent to and confirm the same as Law under Our Hand and the Seal of the Realm.»

Article 82

(Repealed)

Article 83

The Storting may obtain the opinion of the Supreme Court on points of law.

Article 84

The Storting shall meet in open session, and its proceedings shall be published in print, except in those cases where a majority decides to the contrary.

Article 85

Any person who obeys an order, the purpose of which is to disturb the liberty and security of the Storting, is thereby guilty of treason against the Country.

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