Antti Kaikkonen, the chairperson of the Centre Parliamentary Group, was photographed arriving at the Parliament House to sit down with Antti Rinne (SDP), the leader of the government formation process, in Helsinki on Sunday, 5 May 2019. (Vesa Moilanen – Lehtikuva)

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MOST MEMBERS of the Centre Parliamentary Group are leaning towards joining the next government, reports Iltalehti.

Iltalehti on Saturday wrote that the group that is supportive of the idea of ruling for another four years consists primarily of young lawmakers who are not burdened by the policies introduced by the government of Prime Minister Juha Sipilä (Centre). The names mentioned by the tabloid daily include Katri Kulmuni, Jouni Ovaska and Hilkka Kemppi.

Antti Rinne, the chairperson of the Social Democrats, dropped his strongest hint yet about his preference for the coalition composition in an interview with Helsingin Sanomat on Friday. He stressed to the newspaper that it is important to ensure not a single small party ends up in a position where it alone guarantees a majority for the government.

“I’ve set my sights on a clear majority government,” said Rinne.

The Centre Party has previously announced it is most likely heading to the opposition to lick its wounds after suffering its worst result in the parliamentary elections in over a hundred years. Media speculation, as a result, has focused primarily on a coalition formed by the Social Democrats, National Coalition, Green League and Swedish People’s Party.

“The coalition you mentioned would have 108 seats [out of the total of 200 in the Finnish Parliament]. The popular front would have 117 seats when strengthened by the Swedish People’s Party,” Rinne said to Helsingin Sanomat.

The so-called popular front consists of the Social Democrats, Centre Party, Green League and Left Alliance.

Antti Kaikkonen, the chairperson of the Centre Parliamentary Group, told Helsingin Sanomat that the Centre is keeping the door to the government “five centimetres ajar”.

“We evaluated after the elections that the opposition is our number-one option. This is a position that hasn’t changed. We’ve kept the door to the government roughly five centimetres ajar in case it becomes difficult to form a functioning government,” he said.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Source: Uusi Suomi

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