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Finland votes as PM Sanna Marin aims another term amid tight contest between 3 parties

Finland election 2023: More than 2,400 candidates representing 22 groups are contesting in the ongoing election for the 200 seats in the Eduskunta -- the Finnish parliament.

Edited By: Anurag Roushan @Candid_Tilaiyan Helsinki (Finland) Updated on: April 02, 2023 23:53 IST
Finland election 2023: More than 2,400 candidates are
Image Source : AP/INDIA TV Finland election 2023: More than 2,400 candidates are contesting for 200 seats in the parliament

Finland election 2023: The parliamentary election in Finland is underway as incumbent Prime Minister Sanna Marin’s Social Democrats fighting hard to secure a second term at the helm amid an extremely close race between three parties.

According to reports, the polling station opened today (April 2) in the country as the election is taking place days after Finland cleared the last big hurdle in its 10-month campaign to join North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Last week, Turkey’s parliament ratified the northern European nation’s membership in the intergovernmental military alliance.  

For the 200 seats in the Eduskunta, the Finnish parliament, more than 2,400 candidates representing 22 groups are contesting in the ongoing election. 

PM Marin vying for 2nd term on her COVID success

The COVID-19 pandemic response by PM Marin-led cabinet and her prominent role, along with President Sauli Niinistö, in promoting Finland's successful application to join NATO have garnered accolades. Ridding on this, Prime Minister Marin, who at age 37 is one of Europe's youngest leaders, is vying for another term in the office. 

Additionally, her vocal support of Ukraine in the last one year has also enhanced her international visibility. “Of course, we hope that the Social Democrats will win this election. It's so important because we want to stay in an open society. We also want to work together internationally. We want to build a better green sustainable future where people have the same opportunities in life," Marin told the Associated Press while campaigning in central Helsinki.

ALSO READ: Finland PM Sanna Marin's 'wild' party video divides Twitter, netizens trend 'Solidarity with Sanna'

The neck-to-neck fight between three parties

Marin is still well-liked at home, but her two major rivals—the centre-right National Coalition Party, led by Petteri Orpo, and the right-wing populist The Finns party, led by Riikka Purra, were challenging her party's views on the Finnish economy, which emerged as the main campaign theme.

Recent polls indicated each of the three parties could garner about 20% of the vote. If that happens, no party would be in a position to form a government alone; whichever one wins the most votes is expected to begin talks in the next few days on forming a governing coalition.

According to media reports, Finland, which is expected to join NATO in the coming weeks, is a European Union member with a population of 5.5 million. It should be noted here that polls in the country will come to an end at 1700 GMT (12 pm Eastern), while the initial results are likely to be declared by midnight. 

(With inputs from AP)

 

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