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Eero Heinäluoma, a former Minister of Finance and chairperson of the Social Democrats, spoke during a plenary session in the Finnish Parliament on 23 February, 2018.
Eero Heinäluoma, a former Minister of Finance and chairperson of the Social Democrats, spoke during a plenary session in the Finnish Parliament on 23 February, 2018.

 

Prime Minister Juha Sipilä’s (Centre) statement that a failure to carry out the social, health care and regional government reform would result in snap elections has elicited a response from members of both ruling and opposition parties.

Eero Heinäluoma (SDP) reminded Sipilä that the constitution would have to be consulted in the event that the premier handed in his resignation.

“Prime Minister Sipilä is short-cutting the constitution and speaking about new elections. The president makes the decision to dissolve the Parliament. If the government collapsed, you would first determine if a new government can be formed based on the current composition of the Parliament. The parliamentary groups would have their say in this,” he reminded.

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Sipilä spoke about the possibility of snap elections after his government was urged to abandon the massive, long-discussed reform by Elina Lepomäki (NCP).

“I think it is high time to recognise that the reform bill will not meet the objectives set for it. The bill would generate no cost savings, and there is no reason to presume that it would improve the quality or accessibility of care services,” she stated in a blog post that has since been rejected by the National Coalition Parliamentary Group.

She did receive some support from Jan Vapaavuori (NCP), the Mayor of Helsinki, however.

“The government doesn’t have to collapse, it’d be enough to scrap the regional government reform. Threatening with the government’s collapse is a potent way to compel lawmakers to vote against their personal views,” tweeted Vapaavuori.

He also made it clear that he is only opposed to the regional government reform, not to the social and health care reform.

“I’m only part of a single campaign: the campaign against the regional government reform,” he added.

Petteri Orpo (NCP), the Minister of Finance, declined to speculate on the likelihood of snap elections and stressed that carrying out the reform must remain the priority of the government. All stakeholders, he also added, must be willing to make compromises.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Roni Rekomaa – Lehtikuva
Source: Uusi Suomi

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