techkenyot.com
techkenyot.com April 23, 2019


Finland's opposition Social Democratic Party to become biggest in parliament, says Yle

17 April 2019, 12:38 | Glen Norman

Climate change, social care are top issues in Finnish vote

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The centrist Center Party that was the senior partner in the outgoing government; the center-left Social Democratic Party the conservative, pro-business National Coalition Party, the populist Finns Party, and the Greens, who enjoy strong popularity in Helsinki, are the political parties seeking to lead or have a voice in Finland.

"There have been a lot of cuts and some, like education, in areas they promised they wouldn't cut".

The left-wing party leads Finland's two main opinion polls with about 19 percent of the vote, having campaigned against the steep cost-cutting of Centre Party Prime Minister Juha Sipila and his Finance Minister Petteri Orpo - leader of the conservative National Coalition Party. "Of course, the parties from the last government are going to suffer because of that now", she told AFP.

Rinne also admitted that he was expecting a better result for the party.

"For the first time since 1999 we are the largest party in Finland", said Rinne, although the fine margin of the SDP's victory means building a coalition could be hard.

"We want a more moderate and sensible climate policy that does not chase industries away from Finland to countries like China", Halla-aho said Sunday at a Helsinki polling station. Most political parties support government actions to curb global warming.

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However, in a tacit acknowledgement that the public mood was against further belt-tightening, Orpo has insisted that the economy is now strong enough to allow for some more generous public spending.

Finns Party leader Halla-aho sought to dispel accusations that he hoped to keep his party in opposition after the election, so as to avoid facing the tough decisions of being in power.

"You will be the next prime minister", one woman assured him.

His Centre Party now languishes in fourth place in the polls, having recently been overtaken by the Finns Party.

Public broadcaster Yle is expected to publish its forecast of the final election result at 1830 GMT.

"A splintered political landscape makes it harder to build a government and nations become harder to lead", Prof Djupsund said.

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During the election campaign, all parties expressed unwillingness to join a government with the Finns Party.

The Social Democrat Party have taken 40 seats in the Finnish Parliament, while the rightwing Finns Party took 39.

"I don't see it as possible that the Finns Party would take part in a government which doesn't clearly commit to reducing humanitarian migration", he added.

Immigration became a hot election topic despite Finland being western Europe's most homogenous country with a foreign-born population of just 6.6 per cent.

However, the Finns Party has attracted voters from small towns and villages anxious about the issue, especially following publicized incidents of alleged sexual assaults by migrants previous year.

Polls close at 8pm with all votes expected to be counted by midnight.

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