May 20, 2024

Finland’s center-right National Coalition Party (NCP) has won a tightly fought parliamentary election, with 20.8% of the vote. The right-wing populist party, The Finns, gained 20.1%, and Prime Minister Sanna Marin’s Social Democrats took 19.9%. No party has a majority to form a government alone, with around 2,400 candidates from 22 parties contesting the 200 seats in the parliament.

Petteri Orpo, the leader of the NCP, claimed victory and announced his intention to form a government. The election ends the era of Marin, who has been praised internationally for her support of Ukraine and prominent role in Finland’s successful application to join NATO, but criticized at home for lavish public spending.

Observers say the result marks a shift in Finland’s political scene towards a new center-right government with nationalist tones, with the NCP promising to curb spending and stop the rise of public debt. The result is a significant momentous change for Finland, after four years of the pandemic, the war in Ukraine, and the nation’s application to join NATO.

NCP’s share of votes translates into 48 seats in the Eduskunta, Finland’s parliament, while The Finns will have 46 seats, and Marin’s Social Democrats will hold 43 seats. The NCP has led in polls for almost two years and accuses Marin of eroding the country’s economic resilience, with Europe’s energy crisis, driven by Russia’s war in Ukraine, hitting the country hard, and the cost of living rising.

 

Source: Aljazeera

 

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