Finland Prime Minister Ousted in Tight Vote as Conservatives Win

by Ethan Kim
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Finland held an election on Sunday and the main conservative party came out on top. The Prime Minister, Sanna Marin’s Social Democratic Party finished in third place, making it impossible for her to remain in charge of Finland. Second place was taken by a group of right-wing people called “populists”.

The National Coalition Party was declared the winner on Sunday night, winning 20.8% of the votes. The Finns, a right-wing group, were not far behind with 20.1% and the Social Democrats came in third place with 19.9%.

Since no party won more than 20%, none of them can form their own government without working together. A total of 2,400 people from 22 different parties were competing for 200 spots in Finland’s Parliament.

Petteri Orpo, the leader of the National Coalition Party, was very happy, and he said that because of their victory, they will now start talks about forming a new government for Finland. He was surrounded by supporters when he made this announcement at a restaurant in Helsinki.

Sanna Marin, who is only 37-years-old, is one of the youngest leaders in Europe. She has been praised for speaking up for Ukraine and being part of President Sauli Niinistö’s team that helped Finland get accepted into the NATO.

53-year-old Petteri Orpo, who was previously Finland’s finance minister, will likely become the new prime minister. He promised that Finland will remain supportive of Ukraine under his leadership.

At the NCP victory event, Orpo said that they stand with Ukraine, and can’t accept their war. He also promised to assist them in every possible way. Then he addressed a clear message to Putin: He needs to leave Ukraine as he won’t be successful there.

Finland, which borders Russia, has been accepted to join NATO. The National Coalition Party in Finland got the most votes, which means they’ll have 48 seats in the Finnish Parliament (called the Eduskunta). The Finns, a nationalist party with an anti-immigration and anti-EU stance, won 46 seats and Marin’s Social Democrats will get 43 seats.

Experts think the election results will cause a change in Finland’s political situation since people are likely to get a new government run by conservatives who have nationalist ideas. The old government led by Marin, who was very popular at home and abroad since 2019, will be replaced soon.

The National Coalition Party will start negotiations to create a Cabinet that has enough votes to pass laws in the Parliament.

Orpo said that it’s important to negotiate with everyone and make the best government for Finland. Being part of the European Union is also very important, plus we need to stay in NATO, repair our economy and help boost economic growth and create more jobs. All these things should be written down in our government plans.

Marin’s political group has a stance about the finances of Finland that became an important topic of debate during their campaign. Conservatives don’t agree with this stance and will probably not cooperate with Marin’s party on it.

During the election, Orpo talked a lot about how Finland needs to manage its increasing government debt and make budget cuts. The Finns party and the NCP mostly agree on how to handle the economy but disagree when it comes to climate policies and issues related to the EU.

When Russia invaded Ukraine in 2022, Finland wanted to become a member of NATO. All of the political parties agreed with this decision and the people also supported it heavily. Before too long, Finland will join NATO – it is already part of the European Union, and has 5.5 million people living there.

When people voted in this election, 71.9% of them showed up. This was a bit lower than the amount of people who voted in the last election. Kostya Manenkov and David Keyton wrote this report, which took place in Helsinki.

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