Finland will definitely have a coalition government led by the conservative Petteri Orpo with the participation of the extreme right and two other minor parties, after two and a half months of complex negotiations that concluded on Thursday night with the announcement of the agreement. Orpo and the presidents of the other formations will present their quadripartite government program at a press conference this Friday afternoon in Helsinki.
When Petteri Orpo, leader of the conservative National Coalition Party (Kokoomus), becomes the new prime minister, the former acting prime minister, the Social Democrat Sanna Marin, will say goodbye. The new Executive includes Kokoomus, the far-right Finns Party (previously called the True Finns), and two small formations: the Christian Democrats and the Swedish minority’s liberal-centrist Swedish People’s Party (RKP).
The results of the elections, held on April 2, showed a clear shift to the right in Finnish society. The conservative Kokoomus won 20.8% of the vote, followed by the far-right Finns Party with 20%, and in third place the Social Democrat SDP from Marin, which garnered 19.9%.
Already during the electoral campaign, Petteri Orpo made it clear that he was not excluding the Finns Party, led for just two years by Riika Purra, from a possible government coalition. Both parties added 40.8% of the votes at the polls, which translates into 48 and 46 seats, respectively, in the 200-seat Finnish unicameral Parliament.
The imminent prime minister of Finland, Petteri Orpo, 53, a political scientist by training, has led the Kokoomus party since 2016, after challenging and defeating his predecessor, Alexander Stubb, who was also prime minister. Orpo, a deputy since 2007, has been a minister in various coalition governments: Agriculture and Forestry (2014-2015), the Interior (2015-2016) and Finance (2016-2019). He campaigned promising to curb spending and stop the increase in public debt, which now stands at around 73% of GDP. He is considered a moderate person and a good negotiator.
The conservative Kokoomus has become the largest party in Finland, with ten more seats than it won in the April 2019 elections, and the Finns Party has also won seven more seats.
Marin’s outgoing coalition government consisted of five parties: the Social Democratic SDP, the Center Party (Keskusta), the Left Alliance, the Greens, and the Swedish People’s Party, which has now joined the coalition forged by the conservative Orpo .
With due nuances, the outcome in Finland is reminiscent of what happened in the Swedish elections in September 2022. The Social Democratic party of the then Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson was the most voted, but the right-wing opposition group surpassed the bloc of center-left. Thus, the leader of the Moderate Party, Ulf Kristersson, became prime minister, at the head of a minority conservative coalition with the external support of the far-right Sweden Democrats (SD), which was the party with the most votes in the bloc. Thus, SD does not have any minister in the Swedish cabinet.