Parliamentary elections in Finland ended on Sunday. According to preliminary results, the opposition liberal-conservative National Alliance (KOK) won the most votes, having led the polls for more than two years. However, the final result is not certain. Prime Minister Sanna Marin’s Social Democrats are behind the leader. Several thousand votes could decide who heads the future government.
Polling stations across Finland were open from 9am to 8pm local time (7pm in Poland). However, Finnish citizens were able to vote a week early at the end of March. The premises were located in libraries, shopping malls or offices. About 4.5 million Finns were eligible to vote.
More than 70 percent of the votes have been counted so far. The official results are expected to be released on Wednesday.
Earlier, after almost half the votes had been counted, Reuters, citing the Finnish Ministry of Justice, reported that the National Alliance (KOK) had the largest support (20.8 percent). Incumbent Prime Minister Sanna Marin’s Social Democratic Party followed closely behind with 20.7 percent of the vote. Third place goes to the nationalist Finns Party.
If KOK continues to prevail, party leader Petteri Orbo will become the country’s prime minister. However, he would have to form a coalition that would give him a majority in parliament. Thus, as Reuters writes, the era of Sanna Marin, one of the world’s youngest leaders, will come to an end.
Prime Minister Sanna Marin campaigned until the last minute, convincing Finns that electing a right-wing government would have dire consequences for the country. – Social democracy – we have a chance to choose a better option. I hope each of you will vote and urge your friends and family to do the same. You should vote for the Social Democrats, because if they don’t win the election, you’ll end up with a right-wing government that makes bad decisions for ordinary people, Marin warned.
Read more on TVN24 Premium: Who will lead the Finns to NATO? Election will decide >>>
“I’ll fix a wonderful race”
There is a tense atmosphere in all the election headquarters. The result is inconclusive until all the votes are counted. A few thousand votes can decide who will be the next prime minister.
– A very exciting race. Prime Minister Marin has admitted that we are in hiding with the National Alliance. “I’m sure we’ll surprise you,” he added. Pre-election The polls gave the KOK a win, but the SDP usually does better in this part of the election when early votes are cast. “I believe that Finns did not vote for a prime minister, but they were guided by the values that will guide politics for the next four years,” Marin said.
– I am happy with the current result. Voters wanted an alternative to left-wing politics, KOK leader Petteri Orbo said, as evidenced by a significant number of early vote counts. “The Finns knew we were a pro-NATO party and that gave us an extra bonus long before the election,” Orbo admitted. According to previous polls, he was the likely candidate to succeed Marin, and his KOK was the only KOK in parliament (until Russia invaded Ukraine) to support Finland’s entry into NATO.
Yle TV commentators point out that the election is already a “personal victory” for Marin. All the ruling parties except the SDP lost voter support. Of the rest, apart from the SDP, the groups that make up the current five-party centre-left coalition, Center Finland’s ruling party (KESK) won 12.3 percent of the vote. Votes, Left Alliance (VAS) – 8 percent, Greens (VIHR) – 7.3 percent, Swedish People’s Party (RKP) – 3.9 percent.
They have long wanted to join NATO and are electoral favorites
KOK has been leading the polls for more than two years. The biggest support was due to the spring and fall of 2022, when Finland made a historic decision to join NATO (after Russia’s attack on Ukraine) and the ratification process progressed. It was this party that was openly in favor of joining the alliance for many years.
However, the topic of this year’s election campaign was not security policy. Other parties changed their positions on NATO, and the move to join the alliance was unanimously approved by parliament in early March, shortly before the end of its term.
Main photo source: PAP/EPA/KIMMO brand
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