The Social Democrats (SDP) won the April 14 election with a record low 17.7 percent of the vote, forcing them to partner up with other parties to form a government. The party's chairman, Antti Rinne, said he would work on forming a coalition with outgoing Prime Minister Juha Sipila's Centre Party as his main partner, while the other partners would be the Greens, the Left Alliance and the Swedish People's Party.
If Rinne secures the coalition behind a joint programme, he would steer Finland a step left after Sipila's centre-right government, which included the right-leaning National Coalition. The Centre Party came fourth in the election with 13.8 percent of the vote, a 100-year low, but Rinne, a former union boss, said he believed it would be easier to agree a joint program with the party than with the pro-austerity National Coalition.
In his election campaign, Rinne promised tax hikes to preserve Finland's vast public welfare state, while the National Coalition would like to lower taxes to boost the economy. (Reporting by Anne Kauranen; Editing by Janet Lawrence )
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