By Sarah Newton-John • 03 April 2023 • 9:25
Sanna Marin to leave office/Shutterstock Images
“Democracy has spoken. The Finnish people have voted and the party of democracy is always something wonderful,” Marin said when the results were practically closed.
Marin, 37, is very popular but Orpo was successful in arguing that public spending needs to be reduced and that Finland´s debt is too high, according to a New York Times report. Public debt has reached just over 70 per cent of GDP since Marin took office in 2019, according to Al Jazeera.
The National Coalition Party won with 20.7 per cent, (48 seats) followed by the right-wing populist party, The Finns with 20.1 percent (46 seats) while Marin´s Social Democratic Party received 19.9 per cent of the vote (43 seats). The NCP has led in the polls for nearly two years.
According to Yleisradio Oy, Finland´s national public broadcasting company, Petteri Orpo is facing a tough job in the new parliament, contacting each of the parties to find common ground on issues of significance and exploring the prospect of putting together a programme of government.
Sanna Marin was Finland´s youngest Prime Minister in history and was the youngest serving state leader. She has been an MP since 2015 and Prime Minister since 2019.
This election was marked by the successful application for membership in NATO, ratified at the end of March. Finland, sharing the largest land border with Russia in the block (some 1,300 kilometers) has undergone a radical change in its historical political neutrality as a result of Russia´s invasion of Ukraine—leading to the vast majority of the population in support of the inclusion of the country in NATO. However, the campaign was more focused on national aspects such as the rise in basic products, the cost of the energy transition and the high public debt.
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