Some of Norway PM's cab passengers were paid

OSLO - Some passengers were paid to take part in a buzz-generating video which showed Norway Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg going undercover as a taxi driver, his party admitted on Monday, just one month before the country's legislative elections in which Mr Stoltenberg's coalition appears likely to lose.

The Premier, who has been in power since 2005, explains at the beginning of the video that he wants to get close to voters to hear their concerns.

But, on Monday, tabloid Verdens Gang revealed that five of the 14 passengers filmed with hidden cameras fitted in the cab were chosen during a casting call.

"They were asked if they wanted to take part in a video for the Labour Party and knew nothing else, except that they were going to be picked up in a taxi," a party spokesman said.

Each of the five received 500 kroner (S$108).