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Norway to have single chamber parliament

Norway is set to be the last of the Nordic countries to abandon a bicameral parliament. The division of parliament into two houses, the smaller Lagtinget and the larger Odelstinget, will end in October 2009. MPs voted in favour of the reform earlier this week.


The radical reform was approved along with other constitutional amendments. As well as abolishing the Lagtinget, the composition of the Court of Impeachment will also be altered. At present, there are 169 Norwegian MPs, 127 in the Odelstinget and 42 in the Lagtinget.

All the other Nordic countries have directly elected unicameral parliaments. Sweden adopted the unicameral approach in 1971, Denmark in 1953, Finland in 1906 and the unicameral parliament in Iceland has taken the same form for more than 150 years.

The parliaments of many EU countries, e.g. the British, German and Italian, are still bicameral.