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Finland swings to the right: social democrat Sanna Marin loses parliamentary elections

Petteri Orpo's victorious National Coalition Party will begin negotiations to form a coalition government.

La primera ministra de Finlandia Sanna Marin frente a una bandera.

(Cordon Press)

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The center-right National Coalition Party (NCP), led by Petteri Orpo, emerged victorious in the elections to renew the Finnish Parliament. The NCP obtained 20.8% of the vote, which translates into a total of 48 of the 200 seats in parliament.

National Coalition Party: Thank you for your confidence.

A change of government is therefore imminent in the Nordic country: the party of the current head of government, Sanna Marin, has come in third place, obtaining only 19.9% of the votes. Its partner in government, the Center Party, obtained an even worse result with 11.3%.

"Democracy has spoken, the Finnish people have cast their vote," Marin said as she conceded defeat after the results were reported, according to media reports. Marin, who had become Europe's youngest female president in 2019, also stressed that holding elections is always positive and celebrated the fact that her formation had obtained two more votes than in the last elections.

The other party that overtook the hitherto ruling Social Democratic Party is the The Finns Party. Right-wing and Eurosceptic, it obtained 20.1%, which means that it will occupy 46 seats.

The Finns Party: Thanks to the people on the ground, thanks to the candidates, thanks to the voters. The best result in history for the Finns.

Let the negotiations begin

Petteri Orpo is not new to government. He was Minister of Agriculture and Forestry from 2014 to 2015, then Minister of Interior from 2015 to 2016 and Minister of Finance from 2016 to 2019. He then moved to the opposition with Marin's victory, from where he led a failed no-confidence vote against her for health management.

Orpo must now begin negotiations to form a majority coalition, so that he can set himself up as prime minister.