Tuesday, October 3, 2023
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Tuesday, October 3, 2023
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Finland’s Conservative Party Claims Victory In Parliament On Sunday, PM Sanna Marin’s Party Comes 3rd

In an extremely close three-way race on Sunday, Finland’s major conservative party won the parliamentary election, beating out right-wing populists in second place and placing Prime Minister Sanna Marin’s Social Democratic Party in third, ending her chances of winning reelection.

When all of the ballots were tallied, the National Coalition Party (NCP), a centre-right party, won with 20.8% of the vote. The Social Democrats received 19.9% of the vote, while the right-wing populist group The Finns came in second with 20.1%. 

No party can establish a government on its own because the top three parties only received about 20% of the vote each. For the 200 seats in the Nordic nation’s parliament, more than 2,400 candidates representing 22 groups were running.

Based on this outcome, the National Coalition Party will take the helm of negotiations to establish a new government in Finland. Petteri Orpo, the party’s jubilant head, declared victory in front of a crowd of admirers gathered in a restaurant in the nation’s capital, Helsinki.

At 37, Marin is one of Europe’s youngest presidents. She has won acclaim from around the world for her outspoken support for Ukraine and her prominent role, along with President Sauli Niinist, in promoting Finland’s successful NATO membership application.

Former finance minister of Finland and prospective new prime minister Orpo, 53, reaffirmed that Kyiv would continue to have the support of the Nordic nation under his leadership.

At NCP’s victory celebration, Orpo told the Associated Press, “First to Ukraine: We stand by you, with you. We cannot accept this terrible war. And we will do everything necessary to assist Ukraine, Ukrainian people because they fight for us. This is obvious. Orpo added, 

“And the word to (Russian President Vladimir) Putin is: leave Ukraine; you will lose. Finland, which has a lengthy frontier with Russia, overcame the final obstacles to joining NATO earlier this week when Turkey and Hungary approved the country’s application.

The Finns, a nationalist party that focuses primarily on an anti-immigration and anti-European Union platform, is expected to receive 46 seats, Marin’s Social Democrats will receive 43 seats, and the NCP will hold 48 seats in Finland’s Eduskunta.

According to observers, the outcome signals a change in the balance of power in Finnish politics as the country is now likely to elect a new centre-right administration with nationalist overtones. Marin, a popular prime minister at home and overseas since 2019, will replace the centre-left Cabinet in government. 

Marin has been in office since 2019. In the upcoming days, negotiations to form a government headed by the NCP are anticipated to begin in order to assemble a Cabinet with a majority in Parliament. You know what’s essential to us? Finding the best majority government for Finland through negotiation with all parties, according to Orpo, who spoke to the AP.

These are the crucial, main, essential issues we have to include in the government programme, he said: “We must ensure that we are an active member of the European Union, that we strengthen NATO-Finland, that we fix our economy, and that we accelerate economic growth and generate new jobs.

Conservatives, who continue to oppose the Social Democrats’ economic policies and are unlikely to work with them, challenged Marin’s party’s views on the Finnish economy, which had become a major campaign theme.

NCP is open to collaboration with The Finns as the two parties largely share views on developing Finland’s economy though have differences in climate policies and EU issues, issues that Orpo had hammered home throughout the election regarding Finland’s rising government debt and the need to make budget cuts.

Finland, which is expected to join NATO in the coming weeks, is a member of the European Union with a population of 5.5 million. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine prompted Finland to seek NATO membership in May 2022, but neither the historic decision to abandon the nation’s non-alignment policy nor the war emerged as major campaign issues.

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