Left Menu
Development News Edition

UPDATE 2-Finland's Social Democrats aim to form centre-left coalition government

Reuters | Updated: 08-05-2019 18:24 IST | Created: 08-05-2019 18:24 IST
UPDATE 2-Finland's Social Democrats aim to form centre-left coalition government
Finland's Social Democrats said on Wednesday they would seek a centre-left governing coalition with the Centre Party and three smaller partners following a parliamentary election last month.

The Social Democrats (SDP) came out on top in the April 14 election for the first time in 20 yeas but with a record low 17.7 percent of the vote, forcing them to ally with other parties to form a government. SDP 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 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 leftward after Sipila's centre-right government, which included the right-leaning National Coalition. He would also succeed in keeping the nationalist, eurosceptic Finns Party, which came second in the election at 17.5 percent, only 0.2 percent behind the SDP, out of the government despite a rapid growth in their popularity.

The Finns Party made rapid gains in the polls ahead of the elections and scored first with 18.7 percent in the first post-election survey by Finland's largest daily Helsingin Sanomat on Monday. Rinne said his five-party coalition would hold 117 seats in the 200-seat parliament.

"If we succeed in our government talks to draft a programme that satisfies this team, it means we'll have a clear majority government emerging in Finland," he told reporters. The Centre Party came fourth in the election with 13.8 percent, a 100-year low. But Rinne, a former union boss, said he believed it would be easier to agree a joint programme 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 sought to lower taxes to stimulate the economy. The National Coalition's chairman and Finland's outgoing finance minister Petteri Orpo said he understood Rinne's choice.

Orpo said his party's views on "the economy, employment and fiscal policy...were decidedly far from how (Rinne) sees this ensemble," he said. But finding common ground with Sipila, who as premier wanted to cut costs and debt, is unlikely to prove easy for Rinne.

Rinne said he hoped to conclude talks by May 24 and have the government nominated in the first days of June, ahead of Finland's EU presidency that begins July 1. (Reporting by Anne Kauranen Editing by Mark Heinrich)



Why COVID-19 is unstoppable in USA despite it being ranked at the top of GHS Index?

Several worst-hit countries such as Italy, France, Spain, the UK, Canada, and Russia have peaked COVID-19 cases in April. Almost all of them have gradually flattened the curve. However, the USA is setting new daily records of infections tha...

COVID-19 seems cooking biggest ever global scam

The increasing number of corruption cases on COVID-19 funds from throughout the world and involvement of high profile persons indicate that the countries cant ignore corruption in their pandemic response programs. This has generated the nee...

Health Management Information Systems lack holistic, integrated, and pandemic resilient character

Being a part of the United Nations system, the World Health Organization WHO deserves its share of rebuke for its alleged failure issue COVID-19 health emergency alerts on appropriate time. However, the pandemic has also exposed loopholes i...

Pride in the time of coronavirus: a welcome move online?

This year is different in many ways not least as celebrations are also taking place against the dramatic backdrop of a global health crisis and a resurgence in grassroots activism following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. ...


Latest News

SC upholds Travancore family's rights over Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple

The Supreme Court Monday said the erstwhile royal family of Travancore has the management right over historic Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple in Kerala, one of the richest shrines, holding that the rule of heritability must get attached to a ri...

Sudanese forces break up protest camp in Darfur, killing 1

Sudanese security forces violently broke up a protest camp in the war-scarred Darfur region, killing at least protester and wounding a dozen others, including four children, activists said Monday. Authorities said the violence in the town o...

Report: Rogue tankers help Maduro evade sanctions

As US sanctions scare away the worlds largest shippers from Venezuelas oil industry, new players are willing to brave the heightened risks and help keep socialist leader Nicols Maduro afloat, according to a new report. In the first year sin...

Arrest of murder accused uncovered Pak-sponsored drugs smuggling racket involving BSF constable

The arrest of a murder accused last week blew the lid off a Pakistan-sponsored drugs and arms smuggling racket, following which three others, including a BSF constable, were held, the Punjab Police said on Monday. The Border Security Force ...

Give Feedback