Jussi Halla-aho of the Finns Party and Sanna Marin of the Social Democrats faced off in an election debate hosted by MTV on 8 December 2020. (Handout / Onni Ojala – MTV Oy)

A POLL by Helsingin Sanomat reveals the Finns Party has widened its advantage over the Social Democratic Party.

Popular support for the opposition party, the poll found, has crept up by 0.1 points to 21.6 per cent, while that for the largest of the five ruling parties has fallen by 0.8 points to 19.7 per cent – the first sub-20-per-cent reading since March 2020.

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Member of Parliament Ano Turtiainen was photographed during a plenary session in the Finnish Parliament in Helsinki on 9 April 2021. (Emmi Korhonen – Lehtikuva)

ANO TURTIAINEN, a first-term Member of Parliament from South-east Finland, has recently sparked controversy with two questionable social media posts.

Turtiainen on Tuesday wrote on Facebook that he approaches police as he would his worst enemies of war and that he has lost his confidence in the police following a conditional fine issued to his company and police actions during an anti-restrictions protest held in Helsinki on Saturday.

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Antti Rinne (SDP), the chairperson of the Parliament’s Constitutional Law Committee, has voiced his doubt about the committee’s ability to finalise a statement on the health and social care bill by Friday. (Jussi Nukari – Lehtikuva)

THE REFORM of social and health care services continues to create friction between Members of the Finnish Parliament.

Helsingin Sanomat on Monday wrote that time constraints are the latest source of disagreement in the drawn-out process, as some parliamentary committees are not expected to finalise their statements on the reform bill until May.

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Petteri Orpo has led the National Coalition to within striking distance of a win in the municipal elections postponed until mid-June, indicates a poll by YLE. (Heikki Saukkomaa – Lehtikuva)

THREE PARTIES are jostling for pole position with around two-and-a-half months to go until the once-postponed municipal elections, reveals an opinion poll commissioned by YLE.

The Finnish public broadcasting company reported yesterday that both the Finns Party and National Coalition overtook the Social Democrats, with support for the ruling party falling by 1.5 percentage points to 18.0 per cent in March.

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Minister of Culture and Science Annika Saarikko (Centre) on Tuesday confirmed the Centre Party is ready to resort to movement restrictions to contain the coronavirus epidemic. (Heikki Saukkomaa – Lehtikuva)

THE GOVERNMENT of Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP) failed to find common ground on introducing restrictions to the movement of people in a meeting that dragged on almost until midnight on Tuesday, reports Helsingin Sanomat.

The Green League, Left Alliance and Swedish People’s Party will sit down with their respective parliamentary groups today to determine whether they are ready to proceed with the restrictions.

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Jussi Halla-aho, the chairperson of the Finns Party, will lead the opposition party to next summer’s municipal elections from the best position ever. (Jussi Nukari – Lehtikuva)

AN OPINION POLL by Helsingin Sanomat suggests the Finns Party has widened its advantage over the Social Democratic Party.

Popular support for the populist right-wing opposition party, the poll found, has crept up by 0.4 percentage points in the past month to 21.5 per cent, whereas that for the ruling party has dipped by 0.5 points to 20.5 per cent.

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Minister of Justice Anna-Maja Henriksson (SFP) held a remote press conference about postponing the municipal elections on Saturday, 6 March 2021. (Antti Aimo-Koivisto – Lehtikuva)

THE MINISTRY of Justice on Saturday announced the municipal elections will be postponed from mid-April to 13 June.

The decision was made in a meeting between the party secretaries of the nine parliamentary parties and Minister of Justice Anna-Maja Henriksson (SFP) on Saturday, with eight of the secretaries expressing their support for the postponement.

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Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP) was photographed at a press conference at the Government Palace in Helsinki on Monday, 1 March 2021. (Vesa Moilanen – Lehtikuva)

THE FINNISH GOVERNMENT has called a timeout on its plan to invoke the emergency powers act.

Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP) tweeted yesterday evening that sections 106 and 107 of the act will not be adopted to any extent until the preconditions for the adoption have been clarified and the issue has been subjected to another legal examination.

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Kirsi Piha on Saturday surprised many by picking up her hat from the mayoral ring in Helsinki. (Emmi Korhonen – Lehtikuva)

THE STRATEGY of the National Coalition for the municipal elections has been thrown into disarray in Helsinki.

Kirsi Piha (NCP) on Saturday announced she is withdrawing from her nomination as the mayoral candidate of the right-wing party, citing her uncertainty about her ability to represent the multitude of values held by members of the National Coalition.

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Minister of Justice Anna-Maja Henriksson (SFP) was photographed leaving the House of the Estates in Helsinki on 25 February 2021. (Antti Aimo-Koivisto – Lehtikuva)

THE FINNISH GOVERNMENT is preparing provisions that would enable it to institute restrictions on movement in certain areas or certain times of day in the event that the coronavirus epidemic continues to exacerbate, Minister of Justice Anna-Maja Henriksson (SFP) confirmed to YLE on Saturday.

The epidemiological situation, she said, has become so difficult that the government is preparing for the worst.

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A line of people outside an office of the Finnish Immigration Service (Migri) in Helsinki on 24 March 2017. (Vesa Moilanen – Lehtikuva)

JORMA VUORIO, a former head of immigration affairs at the Ministry of the Interior and director general of the Finnish Immigration Service (Migri), has criticised the residence policy of the government of Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP), reports Iltalehti.

Vuorio on Wednesday questioned some of the recommendations set forth in a report published a day earlier by the Ministry of the Interior.

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