Arab Press

بالشعب و للشعب
Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Sanna Marin defeated by Finland's conservatives in tight race

Sanna Marin defeated by Finland's conservatives in tight race

Finnish conservative leader Petteri Orpo has won a nail-biting three-way election race, defeating Prime Minister Sanna Marin's center left.
"We got the biggest mandate," said the leader of the National Coalition Party, after a dramatic night in which the result gradually swung away from Ms Marin's Social Democrats.

Orpo secured 20.8% of the vote, ahead of the right-wing populist Finns Party and the center left.

The populists won a record 20.1%.

It is a bitter defeat for Ms Marin, who increased her party's seats and secured 19.9% of the vote.

She continues to enjoy high poll ratings and has been widely praised for steering Finland towards imminent entry into Nato and navigating her country through the Covid-19 pandemic.

Shortly after the conservative leader claimed victory, the center-left leader conceded the election.

"Congratulations to the winner of the elections, congratulations to the National Coalition Party, congratulations to the Finns Party. Democracy has spoken," she told supporters.

For weeks the three parties had been almost level in the polls, and as the results came in it became too close to call. Then a projection from public broadcaster YLE gave Petteri Orpo's National Coalition victory with the biggest number of seats in parliament.

"I think Finnish people want change. They want change and now I will start negotiations, open negotiations with all parties," he said.

There was a mood of euphoria in the camp, said Matti Koivisto, political correspondent with public broadcaster YLE. "When they saw the projection, it was quite clear they were going to win."

Finns Party leader Riikka Purra congratulated her centre-right rival and was herself delighted with the best result in her party's history.

"We're still challenging to be number one, but seven more seats is an excellent result."

The Finns underlined their success by winning more regions than any other party in mainland Finland. Riikka Purra won more votes than any other candidate and commentators highlighted her party's appeal to young voters by reaching out over social media such as TikTok.

Meanwhile, three of the other parties in the outgoing coalition - the Center Party, Left Alliance and Greens - all rang up big losses.

Now 37, Sanna Marin became the world's youngest leader when she burst on to the political scene in 2019. She headed a coalition of five parties, all led by women.

Despite her successful response to neighbouring Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the election was largely fought on Finland's economy and public debt as all the mainstream parties backed Nato membership.

Many Finns see her as a polarising figure. She came under heavy scrutiny last year when a video emerged of her singing, dancing and drinking at a party. Supporters said the controversy was steeped in sexism and women across Finland and the world shared videos of themselves dancing in solidarity.

Petteri Orpo by contrast has none of Sanna Marin's "rock-star" qualities, says YLE's Matti Koivisto.

"He's a career politician. He's been in the game since the 1990s and he's quite stable and calm. There is criticism that maybe he's too dull and calm, but it also works quite well in Finland."

The conservatives will have the first opportunity in forming a government, and if they succeed, Orpo, 53, will become the next prime minister.

Under an Orpo-led government, Europe could expect a pro-European conservative from the liberal center of his party with an emphasis on economic policy.

Less exciting than Sanna Marin and very moderate, says Vesa Vares, professor of contemporary history at the University of Turku: "A sort of dream son-in-law."

Under Finland's system of proportional representation he will have to muster more than 100 seats in the 200-seat parliament to run the country, and that will not be straightforward.

Orpo really has two choices ahead of him, either forming a right-wing coalition with Riikka Purra's nationalist Finns Party or reaching an agreement with Sanna Marin's Social Democrats.

"The Finns are a very difficult partner because they're so inexperienced and they have MPs who are discontented towards almost anything," says Prof Vares.

"The most natural thing would be to co-operate with the Social Democrats. But [Sanna Marin] used to belong to her party's left wing and it's obvious she doesn't like the conservatives."

Politics researcher Jenni Karimaki of the University of Helsinki also points out that Ms Marin has been reluctant to say what her aspirations are.

The Social Democrats have mixed feelings, she says, because while they increased their seats in parliament, they were unable to become the biggest party and renew their premiership.

"But Finnish political culture is known for its flexibility. They are known for their ability to negotiate and form compromises."
Newsletter

Related Articles

Arab Press
0:00
0:00
Close
Death of Iran's President Raisi Stirs Succession Race for Supreme Leader
ICC Seeks Arrest Warrants for Israeli and Hamas Leaders
What Happens If an Iranian President Dies in Office?
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi Reportedly Killed in Helicopter Crash
FedEx Airlines Boeing 767 cargo plane lands on nose at Istanbul Airport
Netanyahu's Firm Stance Amid Rafah Hostage Talks
Blinken on Gaza: Ceasefire is Key to Humanitarian Crisis Resolution
UAE Prime Minister Announces $544M for Home Repairs after Historic Rains, Vows to Learn from Experience
Isfahan Explosions: US Media Reports Israel's Retaliatory Strikes on Iran
Four Dead, Dubai Airport Disrupted: UAE's Heaviest Rains in 75 Years Cause Flooding and Flight Chaos
Dubai Airports: Stranded Tourists 'Living on Duty Free,' Desperate for Food and Water
Heavy Rains Cause Flooding in UAE and Oman: 18 Lives Lost
You can be a very successful player, but a player with character is another level!
Unprecedented Flooding Disrupts Dubai
Ajman Crown Prince Declares Remote Work Day for Government Employees Due to Weather (Except Essential Jobs)
IDF released footage showing Israeli fighter jets downing some of the 300 drones and missiles fired from Iran at Israel.
The West stands with Israel, Iran is furious: "Double standards and irresponsibility"
Huge Queues at Iranian Gas Stations
Stabbing rampage terror attack in Sydney, at least four people killed, early reports that a baby was among those stabbed.
Scandal in Iran after a goalkeeper had the audacity to hug a female fan who stormed the pitch
Iran fired more than 300 drones and missiles at Israel overnight. Israel Reports Light Damage After Iran Launches Large Strike.
Saudi Arabia calls for "restraint" amid Iranian strikes on Israel
Iran launched dozens of drones at Israel on Saturday but they will take hours to reach their targets, Israel's military said
Online YouTube streamer N3ON was just sentenced to AN ENTIRE YEAR in prison in Dubai for filming and live-streaming, without “proper permits”
UN Chief Warns: Gaza Outflow to Egypt Would Derail Israeli-Palestinian Peace
Record Number of Arab Soldiers Serve in IDF Amidst Ongoing Gaza Conflict: A Personal Story of Loyalty and Advocacy
Major Charities Warn of Genocide in Gaza: 'Impossible' to Deliver Aid, Israel Accused of Complicity
Biden Warns Netanyahu: US Aid to Israel Depends on Gaza Civilian Protection
Israel Reopens Gaza Border for Temporary Humanitarian Aid Amid International Pressure
United Arab Emirates suspends diplomatic relations with Israel
DOZENS OF ARMED FIGHTERS ATTACK 3 IRANIAN MILITARY FACILITIES
Qatar PM: Displaced Palestinians Key Issue in Gaza Ceasefire Negotiations
Palestinian Authority Seeks Renewed UN Membership Amid Reforms and International Pressure
Gaza Crisis: Soaring Newborn Mortality Due to Malnutrition and Destroyed Health Facilities
World Bank: $18.5 Billion in Damages to Gaza's Critical Infrastructure and Economy
Iran: Two Generals, Five Officers Killed in Israeli Strike on Syrian Consulate
Israel Passes Law to Potentially Ban Al Jazeera Amid Conflict with Hamas
Turkish local elections: Opposition stuns Erdogan with historic victory
Israel Must "Ensure Urgent Humanitarian Assistance" In Gaza: World Court
Saudi Arabia To Participate In Miss Universe Pageant For 1st Time Ever
Court ruling effectively outlaws Islamic schools in India’s most populous state
"War Crime" Warning by Macron to Israel on Gazans' Forced Transfer
Senior Hezbollah Official Makes Landmark Visit To UAE: Report
Gaza's catastrophic food shortage means mass death is imminent, monitor says
Over 13,000 Children Killed in Gaza, UN Agency Reports
Israeli PM approves Rafah operation plan
Islamic call in British parliament today.
Thai Muslims perform the Taraweeh prayer during the holy month of Ramadan
South Africa announced that Israeli soldiers holding South African citizenship would be arrested upon entering the country
In a Misguided Critique, Jewish US Official Asked to Respect Local Traditions in Saudi Arabia
×