December 20, 2016 / 1:16 PM / 8 months ago

Norway's PM to reshuffle cabinet ahead of election year-report

OSLO, Dec 20 (Reuters) - Norway's Conservative Prime Minister Erna Solberg will reshuffle her cabinet on Tuesday, replacing at least three ministers nine months before the next general election, public broadcaster NRK reported, quoting unnamed sources.

The minority government of the Conservatives and the anti-immigration Progress Party, which rules with the backing of two small centrist parties in parliament, has lagged the centre-left opposition in recent opinion polls.

EU Affairs Minister Elisabeth Aspaker of the Conservative Party will step down, NRK said, while adding it was not clear who would take up the post.

NRK and other news organisations on Sunday reported that Oil and Energy Minister Tord Lien would leave in favour of Terje Soeviknes, a popular small-town mayor, while Justice Minister Anders Anundsen would be replaced by Per-Willy Amundsen, a junior minister.

Norway is western Europe's top producer of oil and natural gas, and the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy manages the government's majority stake in Statoil.

Solberg's office declined to comment. (Reporting by Terje Solsvik and Stine Jacobsen)

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