Sat, 15 June 2024
The Daily Ittefaq

Finland: Social Democrats in tight race with center-right

Update : 03 Apr 2023, 02:17

The conservative National Coalition Party (NCP) is hoping to unseat Sanna Marin's government in Finland's parliamentary elections. The vote came just days before the country's historic NATO ascension.

Partial results in Finland's election on Sunday showed Prime Minister Sanna Marin's Social Democrats on track to lose to the center-right National Coalition.

With 95% of votes counted, the Social Democrats had 19.9% of the vote, behind the conservative National Coalition Party (NCP) on 20.6%, according to figures from the Justice Ministry. The far-right Finns Party was in second place with 20.1%.

Full results are expected any time between 10:00 p.m. and midnight local time (1900 and 2100 UTC).

Marin is fighting for a second-term in the top job. In 2019, she became the world's youngest prime minister when she took office at age 34.

Finland's parliamentary election took place just days before the country's historic ascension to the NATO defense alliance.

NCP chair Orpo stands to become prime minister if his party finishes first. The NCP had led in polls for almost two years, but saw its lead evaporate in recent months.

The conservative party pledged in the campaign to curb spending and stop the rise of public debt, which has reached just over 70% of GDP since Marin took office.

Orpo and the conservatives have blamed Marin for a weak economy, as Finland grapples with rising cost of living and an energy crisis, driven by Russia's war in Ukraine.

Prior to the election, Orpo vowed to negotiate with all groups to form a coalition, while Marin has said the Social Democrats would govern with the NCP but will not consider the far-right Finns Party, which she has accused of being "openly racist."

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