Norwegian Health Minister Resigns Over Plagiarism Findings, 4th Minister Sacking Since August

Norwegian Health Minister Kjerkol has resigned from her post today after being stripped of her Masters in Health Management from the Nord University in Bodo, Norway. On April 11th, 2024, the Nord University published the results of a probe which found a “not insignificant amount of plagiarism” which was intentional and co-authored by another student at Nord University. The college did not choose to ban her from the campus.

In a joint press conference today with Prime Minister Store, both came to the conclusion that Kjerkol would step down. However, Kjerkol went so far as to say:

“Although it hurts not to be believed, we have to deal with the fact that (the university) is of a different opinion.”

Although she was intentionally vague with regards to challenging the findings.

Plagiarism Rife Within the Labour Ministers

This is the second minister post this year to be left vacant after resignations over plagiarism. In January 2024, Minister for Research and Higher Education Borch resigned after a student found she had plagiarized her Master’s thesis from the University of Tromso, which was also promptly stripped.

Insider Trading As Well…

It is worth noting that Borch was originally the Minister of Agriculture and Food until she was appointed to take over the Minister for Research and Higher Education post after the dismissal of Ola Borten Moe who held the post from October 2021 to August 2023. Moe was found to have bought stocks in Kongsberg Gruppen, a defense contractor, amounting to insider trading.

Interestingly enough, Moe was also not the only Minister in 2023 to resign over inside trading findings. Minister of Foreign Affairs Huitfeldt had to resign in October 2023 due to family-enriching insider trading of her husband Ola Flem who bought stocks of defense and fishery companies.

Plagiarism As The New Achille’s Heel…

So as a review, since August 2023, four ministers have either been dismissed or resigned over either inside trading or plagiarism. While the next Norwegian Parliamentary elections are in September 2025, if the Labour-dominated government continues down this path, Conservatives have an increasingly likely chance of seizing back control of the government after the 2021 losses. The Conservative Party currently holds 36 seats compared to the 48 Labour Seats.

These two sackings over plagiarism beckon to the Claudine Gay scandal in the United States in which the Harvard President had to resign from her post in December 2023. After a fraught U.S. congressional hearing over the college’s unwillingness to combat antisemitism on campus following the October 7th Hamas attack on Israel, accusations emerged which ultimately led to her resignation.

Historically, much more severe transgressions have led to high-profile sackings such as sexual assault accusations, domestic violence, or racism. However, in 2024 it seems that academic records are becoming a much more prolific pathway to targeting political figures. However, it is also worth noting that such acts can be easily wiped from public memory such as U.S. President Biden’s plagiarism findings which led to his dropout from the 1988 presidential elections.

Tessaron
Tessaron
United States Military Academy and American Military University Alumni. Victor covers flash military, intelligence, and geo-political updates.

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