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Finland's conservatives to form coalition with far-right

June 15, 2023

Prime Minister-designate Petteri Orpo announced that he struck a deal with other right-wing parties. His incoming government will include the far-right Finns Party.

Petteri Orpo at a press conference
Petteri Orpo is set to become the next prime minister of FinlandImage: Heikki Saukkomaa/Lehtikuva via AP/picture alliance

Petteri Orpo said late on Thursday that three other parties in Finland had agreed to form a four-party coalition government, including the far-right Finns Party.

Besides Orpo's National Coalition Party (NCP) and the Finns Party, which secured second place in April's general election, the new coalition includes the smaller Swedish People's Party (RKP) and the Christian Democrats. The four parties hold 108 seats out of 200 in parliament.

"All issues have been resolved and the papers are ready," said Petteri Orpo, a fiscal conservative who is set to become Finland's next prime minister.

Almost three months of negotiations

During 11 weeks of talks following the election, the Finns and the RKP had struggled to agree on immigration, climate policy, public finances and development aid.

The Finns take a hard-line stance against immigration, while the RKP sees immigration as vital for coping with Finland's ageing population.

By getting the four parties to finally agree on a common platform, Orpo shifts Finnish politics to the right and relegates the Social Democrats, led by the outgoing Prime Minister Sanna Marin, to the fringes of Finnish politics, after winning just 43 seats in the election.

"I am proud of the good program and the result of the negotiations. All the issues have been resolved," Orpo said at a press conference with the three other party leaders in Helsinki.

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Who are the Finns Party?

The Finns, formerly known as the True Finns, emerged as the second-largest party in parliament after the election earlier this year.

The far-right nationalist party largely campaigned on an anti-immigration and anti-European Union agenda.

It previously served in a center-right government with the NCP from 2015 to 2017.

But this coalition ended when the Finns split into two groups — a moderate faction and a hard-line faction. Only the hard-liners remain in parliament nowadays.

zc/jsi (Reuters, AFP)