Jan P. Syse
Jan P. Syse.JPG
Jan Peder Syse in the late 1980's or early 1990's
31st Prime Minister of Norway
In office
16 October 1989 – 3 November 1990
MonarchOlav V
Preceded byGro Harlem Brundtland
Succeeded byGro Harlem Brundtland
President of the Nordic Council
In office
1 January 1988 – 31 December 1988
Preceded byElsi Hetemäki-Olander
Succeeded byKarin Söder
In office
1 January 1993 – 31 December 1993
Preceded byIlkka Suominen
Succeeded bySten Andersson
Leader of the Conservative Party
In office
22 January 1988 – 20 April 1991
First DeputiesWenche Frogn Sellæg
Astrid Nøklebye Heiberg
Second DeputiesPetter Thomassen
Svein Ludvigsen
Preceded byKaci Kullmann Five
Succeeded byKaci Kullmann Five
Minister of Trade and Energy
In office
16 September 1983 – 4 October 1985
Prime MinisterKåre Willoch
Preceded byJens-Halvard Bratz
Succeeded byPetter Thomassen
Conservative Parliamentary Leader
In office
4 October 1985 – 30 September 1989
LeaderErling Norvik
Rolf Presthus
Preceded byJo Benkow
Succeeded byAnders Talleraas
Member of the Norwegian Parliament
In office
1 October 1973 – 17 September 1997
President of the Lagting
In office
11 October 1993 – 17 September 1997
Preceded byHans J. Røsjorde
Succeeded byOdd Holten
State Secretary for the Ministry of Justice and the Police
In office
1 November 1970 – 17 March 1971
Prime MinisterPer Borten
MinisterEgil Endresen
Personal details
Born(1930-11-25)25 November 1930
Nøtterøy, Vestfold, Norway
Died17 September 1997(1997-09-17) (aged 66)
Uranienborg, Oslo, Norway
Political partyConservative
Else Walstad
(m. 1959)
Parent(s)Peter Syse
Magnhild Bjønnes
Alma materUniversity of Oslo

Jan Peder Syse  (25 November 1930 – 17 September 1997) was a Norwegian lawyer and politician from the Conservative Party. He was the 31st prime minister of Norway from 1989 to 1990. He also served as the minister of Industry from 1983 to 1985. Syse was the president of the Lagting 1993–1997. Syse was the president of the Nordic Council in 1988 and 1993. He served in the Norwegian parliament for over 25 years until his sudden death from a cerebral hemorrhage in 1997.[1][2]

Early life and career

Syse was born in Nøtterøy in the county of Vestfold. He was the son of Peter Syse (1888–1965) and Magnhild Bjønnes (1898–1985). His father was a local politician and dental surgeon. He earned his examen artium in 1949 and his degree in law in 1957. He was politically active as a student, serving as chair of Den Konservative Studenterforening, Det Norske Studentersamfund, and the construction committee for Chateau Neuf.[1]

His initial professional experience was as an attorney and manager for the deep sea shipping company Wilh. Wilhelmsen. He worked for Wilhelmsen at various times throughout his career, and was also employed as the editor for Wilhelmsen's newsletter, Skib-rederi.

Jan P. Syse met Else Walstad (1936–2021)[1] while they both were students at the University of Oslo in 1955,[citation needed] and they were married in 1959.[1] They had the two sons philosopher Henrik Syse and diplomat Christian Syse.[3]

Political career

After being a member of the national council for the Conservative Party since 1957, he started his elected political career in 1963 when he was elected to the Oslo city council, where he served two terms.[2]

He was elected into the Storting as a deputy representative in 1965. He started his term as a full voting member in 1969 to replace Kåre Willoch who was a member of Borten's Cabinet. Syse served on the Judiciary, Administration, Finance, extended Foreign Affairs and Constitution, and Constitutional committees throughout his parliamentary career. He was also sent as a parliamentary delegate to the United Nations General Assembly, Nordic Council, Inter-Parliamentary Union, and other international bodies. Syse was State Secretary to the Ministry of Justice from 1 November 1970 to 17 March 1971 in the non-Socialist coalition government led by Per Borten. He was Minister of Industry in the second cabinet Willoch from 16 September 1983 to 4 October 1985, and prime minister with the Syse Cabinet from 16 October 1989 to 3 November 1990.[4][5]

Political legacy

Syse was well liked and respected among political allies and adversaries alike. He worked for cooperation within the Nordic region and also to strengthen the cooperation with the Baltic states, although he opposed their wish to join the Nordic council.[6] His sons Christian Syse and Henrik Syse published Ta ikke den ironiske tonen - tanker og taler av Jan P. Syse (Oslo, Forlaget Press, 2003), a book that describes Syse's speeches and style.[1][3]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Jan P Syse". Norsk Biografisk Leksikon. Retrieved October 1, 2020.
  2. ^ a b "Jan P. Syse". Store norske leksikon. Retrieved October 1, 2020.
  3. ^ a b "Christian Syse". Store norske leksikon. Retrieved October 1, 2020.
  4. ^ "Jan P. Syse, Prime Minister 1989 - 1990". regjeringen.no. Retrieved October 1, 2020.
  5. ^ "Per Bortens regjering, 12. oktober 1965–17. mars 1971". regjeringen.no. Retrieved October 1, 2020.
  6. ^ "Nordisk råd forblir nordisk" [The Nordic Council remains Nordic], Norwegian News Agency, 28 August 1991

Other sources

Political offices Preceded byGro Harlem Brundtland Prime Minister of Norway 1989–1990 Succeeded byGro Harlem Brundtland Preceded byJens-Halvard Bratz Minister of Trade and Industry 1983–1985 Succeeded byPetter Thomassen Preceded byHans J. Røsjorde President of the Lagting 1993–1997 Succeeded byOdd Holten Preceded byKaci Kullmann Five Leader of the Conservative Party 1988–1991 Succeeded byKaci Kullmann Five