Prime Minister Juha Sipilä (Centre) was photographed preparing for his regular, live interview on YLE Radio Suomi in Oulu on Sunday, 27 January 2019. (Credit: Eeva Riihelä – Lehtikuva)

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PRIME MINISTER Juha Sipilä (Centre) says he is still confident that the social, health care and regional government reform will be passed by the Finnish Parliament.

The fate of the long-discussed reform was recently cast into further doubt as the number of legislators expected to back the reform bill fell from 101 to 100, leaving the ruling three-party coalition with no more than 100 of the 199 votes in the Finnish Parliament.

“I think the most important thing right now is that the bill is put up to a vote in the session hall. The government has the majority of seats in the Parliament,” Sipilä said in interview on YLE Radio Suomi on Sunday.

“You’ll also have to ask opposition members why they’d vote differently in the Parliament. The same people have been preparing the care reform in the preparatory bodies of counties. There are MPs there as well,” he added.

Maria Lohela, a former Speaker of the Parliament, said last week she will withdraw her support for the reform bill while announcing her decision to leave the Blue Reform and join Now Movement. Susanna Koski and Elina Lepomäki of the National Coalition, as well as Paavo Väyrynen formely of the Centre and currently of the Seven Star Movement, have previously announced they are very likely to vote against the reform bill.

Speaker of the Parliament Paula Risikko (NCP), meanwhile, participates neither in debates nor voting in the Parliament.

Sipilä also stated that he expects the reform to be up to a vote by the end of this electoral term. The Constitutional Law Committee, he highlighted, is expected to wrap up its work on the bill shortly and present it to the Social Affairs and Health Committee. 

“It’d be extremely regrettable if there was no time for parliamentary consideration,” he said. “The Parliament has the time and I’m aware of no reason why it couldn’t process it during this electoral term.”

Pushing the long-discussed reform over the finish line is important also for the overall credibility of political decision making, added Sipilä.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Source: Uusi Suomi

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