Finland’s centre-right party claims election win over Sanna Marin

03 Apr 2023 | Politics | 181 |
Finland’s centre-right party claims election win over Sanna Marin

Finland‘s centre-right National Coalition Party claimed victory with 97.7 per cent of votes counted in Sunday’s extremely tight three-way parliamentary race, appearing to beat the ruling Social Democrats led by Prime Minister Sanna Marin.

With the top three parties expected to each get around 20 per cent of the vote, no party is in position to form a government alone.

The National Coalition Party was on top with 20.7 per cent, followed closely by the right-wing populist party The Finns with 20.1 per cent, while the Social Democrats garnered 19.9 per cent.

“Based on this result, talks over forming a new government to Finland will be initiated under the leadership of the National Coalition Party,” said the party’s leader Petteri Orpo, as he claimed victory surrounded by supporters.

Marin remains popular at home but her party’s views on the Finnish economy, which emerged as the main campaign theme, were being challenged by conservatives.

Over 2,400 candidates from 22 parties were vying for the 200 seats in the Nordic country’s parliament.

Finland’s general election on Sunday was expected to result in a tight race between three political parties, with Marin’s Social Democrats fighting to secure a second term and her party’s conservative opponent taking an early lead in the vote count.

Marin, who at age 37 is one of Europe’s youngest leaders, has received praise for her cabinet’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and for her prominent role, along with President Sauli Niinist, in advocating for Finland’s successful application to join NATO.

Her vocal support of Ukraine in the last year has increased her international visibility.

Finland, which is expected to join NATO in the coming weeks, is a European Union member with a population of 5.5 million.

by The Associated Press