He was the best alternative, according to the Storting, which formally elected Masud Gharahkhani as Storting president on Thursday morning.
He has not quite made his mark on the new office, but he is happy with the view.
– Here you look towards the castle, and the King. I’m very fond of the King.
– Now you are number two after the King.
– Yes, and that’s good. Because we may become very good friends. I look forward to that.
Gharahkhani is actually a trained radiographer, and has worked at Rjukan Hospital, among other places, but his community involvement led him to politics.
He has previously been the Labor Party’s mayoral candidate in Drammen, before he was elected to the Storting in 2017. Here he has, among other things, worked to carve out the party’s new immigration policy and not shy away from demanding and controversial debates.
He will be the first president of the Storting with an immigrant background.
At the age of five, he came to Norway from Iran.
– I was born in Tehran, and then we fled to Norway both due to the war and lack of democracy.
The contrast between the million-strong city of Tehran and Øvre Eiker was great, but Gharahkhani quickly found his place in his home village of Skotselv, and he thanks his parents for that.
– There I quickly became Masud from Kopperud and part of the local community. I played at Bakke IF, and was called little Maradona. I think it was mostly because I have exotic skin color and am a little round, but I still live a little on it.
– It was so big
At home in Øvre Eiker, father Bijan flags for his son the president of the Storting.
– It must be flagged for Masud until Sunday when the grandchildren arrive.
In his time, Bijan Gharahkhani became the first with an immigrant background in the municipal council in Øvre Eiker. At one point, father and son sat together in the municipal council, for the Labor Party.
– Maybe he has it from me, Gharahkhani says wisely.
When he received the news that his son had been given the gift of the presidency, tears came.
– It was so big. It really hit me in the heart, and gave me inspiration. For a country we live in, says Gharahkhani.
Throughout TV 2’s interview, his phone rings, and the congratulatory messages tick in. The living room table is covered with flowers.
– We have so many friends. For 34 years we have been part of the community in Øvre Eiker. We no longer miss our old homeland.
Gharahkhani has no doubt that his son is the right person for the job.
– He cares about the people around him, he talks to the people, and when you say something to him, he does the job.
Gharahkhani, who was born in Iran, came to Norway with his family in 1987. When the news came that he had been elected new Storting president by the Labor Party, several racist comments appeared under the article TV 2 shared on Facebook.
“They sneak in everywhere,” one person wrote. “No, that’s enough. They will soon take over the whole country “, commented another.
– It is unacceptable with incitement. Some are doing it, but the vast majority are not there, says Gharahkhani, and continues:
– I am incredibly happy that Norway is my country. Norway has given me fantastic opportunities. That is why I am part of the Storting and democracy.
And when it comes to choosing music, the recent president of the Storting has a clear favorite.
– I’m very fond of Tina Turner. Maybe we can start every day with “The Best” on the speakers here, asks the newly elected President of the Storting one of his advisers.