Labor Party leader Gro Harlem Brundtland returned as Norway's prime minister Saturday and promptly sought peace with Conservatives who toppled her last two governments.

Brundtland took over after the three-party coalition of former Conservative Prime Minister Jan P. Syse splintered over disputes on the nation's stance for European trade negotiations.``We have disagreed a lot. Our parties do... But at the same time there is a lot that we agree on in this very important time for Norway,' she told Syse, who resigned Monday after a year in the post.

The new government has 63 seats and needs support among the other five parties in the 165-seat National Assembly to get its policies approved.

The Conservatives have twice ousted Brundtland, but Syse promised ``a reasonable but determined opposition.'

Brundtland, 51, said her first tasks were to draft a 1991 national budget and define Norway's position for the ECC talks.

``It won't be any easier than the last time,' she said about ruling with a minority government.

Brundtland, a physician and Harvard-educated public health expert, was formally installed by Crown Prince Harald who is acting monarch while his father, King Olav V, recovers from a stroke.

A popular political figure who is usually called by her first name, Brundtland was greeted outside her new office by hundreds of Norwegians, many offering her flowers.

Brundtland was forced out of office in 1981 after seven months in office, and again last October after more than three years in the post. Both times, non-socialists held a majority in parliament. She was the nation's youngest and first woman prime minister.

Brundtland will present a government policy declaration early next week.

Labor's first test may come in dealing with proposed tax reductions for higher income families, which the former coalition parties drafted and still favor.

Get today’s top stories right in your inbox. Sign up for our daily morning newsletter.

Load comments