Finland: Leftist SDP leader Antti Rinne declares victory in Sunday’s election

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Finland’s leftist Social Democratic Party (SDP) leader Antti Rinne has won victory in Sunday’s general election, holding 17.7 per cent of votes in favour.

The far-right nationalist Finns Party secured the second position with 17.6 per cent of votes in favour, after more than 97 per cent of votes were counted.

SDP leader Antti Rinne said, “For the first time since 1999 we are the largest party in Finland … SDP is the prime minister party,” according to BBC news reports.

But with a narrow victory, including no party winning by a clear margin and the vote split, it may be difficult for Rinne to establish a workable alliance. The left alliance and the Greens have also increased their share of the votes.

In more than a century, this was the first time when no party has won by a clear margin – more than 20 per cent of the votes in favour.

The SDP has assured 40 seats in the 200-seat Finland’s parliament. The Finns Party, in the 2015 general election, had won 38 seats, but members of parliament split an election in 2017, with some MPs expelled from the party.

Jussi Halla-aho, leading the Finns Party, said the cause for celebration was the reconstruction of the party’s parliament block.

He told reporters on Sunday, “I could not expect a result like this, and no one could.” Earlier, he had urged people to “vote for some borders” during the general election campaign.

 

 

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