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Europe

Finnish Prime Minister hands in resignation

Finland looks poised to welcome its second female premier after the current prime minister announced his resignation on Friday, citing health reasons.

Vanhanen

Vanhanen announced he would step down in December

Finland's Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen resigned on Friday as the head of his country's coalition government, ending seven years in office.

"The president has accepted the government's resignation and asked it to continue on a caretaker basis until the new government has been formed," the office of President Tarja Halonen said in a statement.

Vanhanen announced in December he would step down as leader of the Center Party and likely end his second term early. He cited a leg operation as the reason for his departure, but it has been rumored that a campaign finance scandal was the real reason for his early resignation.

Tarja Halonen

Halonen, Finland's president, accepted Vanhanen's resignation

Women in office

Finland's parliament is to elect a new prime minister on Tuesday. The post is expected to be filled by Mari Kiviniemi, the country's current public administration and local government minister and, as of last weekend, new leader of the Center Party.

The Nordic nation is currently lead by President Halonen, and if Kiviniemi takes office, the nation's top two leaders will be women.

Author: Sarah Harman (AFP/Reuters)
Editor: Martin Kuebler

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