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Finland's PM Sanna Marin suffers defeat, conservative party claims big win in parliamentary elections

Marin's Social Democratic Party was ousted after the centre-right National Coalition Party-led by Petteri Orpo, received most votes.

Edited By: Arushi Jaiswal Helsinki (Finland) Updated on: April 03, 2023 10:16 IST
Finland, Finland elections
Image Source : AP Finland’s main conservative party claimed victory.

Finland elections 2023: Finland’s main conservative party claimed victory in tight parliamentary elections on Sunday (local time), defeating Prime Minister Sanna Marin’s party Social Democratic Party. PM Marin's party finished at third, right-wing populists took second place in a tight three-way race.

Marin's Social Democratic Party was ousted after the centre-right National Coalition Party-led by Petteri Orpo, received most votes. The initial voter turnout in the election was 71.9 per cent, slightly down from the 2019 election.

National Coalition party win with 20.8% vote

With all of the votes counted on Sunday, the National Coalition party was at the top with 20.8 per cent of the vote, followed by the populist, nation-first Finns party with 20.1 per cent, while the Social Democrats garnered 19.9 per cent.

With the top three parties each getting around 20 per cent of the vote, no party is in position to form a government alone. Over 2,400 candidates from 22 parties were vying for the 200 seats in the Nordic country’s parliament.

“Based on this result, talks over forming a new government to Finland will be initiated under the leadership of the National Coalition Party,” said the party’s elated leader Petteri Orpo, as he claimed victory surrounded by supporters gathered in a restaurant in the capital, Helsinki.

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

Petteri Orpo assures solidarity with Ukraine to remain strong 

Orpo, a 53-year-old former finance minister, said the Nordic country’s solidarity with Kyiv would remain strong during his tenure. “First to Ukraine: we stand by you, with you,” Orpo told the Associated Press at NCP’s victory event. “We cannot accept this terrible war. And we will do all that is needed to help Ukraine, Ukrainian people because they fight for us. This is clear.” “And the message to (Russian President Vladimir) Putin is: go away from Ukraine because you will lose,” Orpo said.

Finland to become NATO member

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.  The addition of Finland, which shares a 1,340 kilometer (832 miles) border with Russia, will more than double the size of NATO’s border with Russia.

(With AP inputs)

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