OSLO, Sept. 21 (Xinhua) -- Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg announced a major cabinet reshuffle on Friday amid worries over the ruling partners' worsening performance in public opinion polls.
Jonas Gahr Stoere was shifted from the post of foreign affairs minister to that of health minister in a bid to restore public faith in Norway's health system, a key issue before the general elections in 2013.
Defense Minister Espen Barth Eide handed his current post to Anne-Grete Stroem-Erichsen and took over as foreign minister while Anniken Huitfeldt was given the post of labor minister and the young Pakistani-Norwegian Hadia Tajik was appointed as culture minister.
Putting Stoere in the driver seat in the health department is believed to be a move taken by Stoltenberg to avert a nightmare scenario in the 2013 elections as a result of the long and widespread criticism of the health services.
More and deeper involvement by Stoere in domestic politics will help boost his position in competing to be the leader of the ruling Labor Party and thus making himself a future successor to Stoltenberg, some local observers said.
Stoere was quoted as saying that he would try to work hard to improve the public health sector which has been troubled by problems in massive reorganization, budget cuts and harsh criticism from almost all sides in the society.
Tajik, who was born on July 18, 1983, is of Pakistani descent. Being elected member of parliament in 2009 from the Labor Party, she is a member of the parliamentary committee of church affairs, education and research.
Hadia, who has made a history as the youngest ever minister in Norway, was described by Stoltenberg on Friday as a hardworking and knowledgeable person with new thinking.