Antti Kaikkonen, the newly elected chairperson of the Centre Party, delivered his keynote remarks at the closing ceremony of the centre-right party’s party conference in Jyväskylä on Sunday, 16 June 2024. Kaikkonen declared that the party intends to re-institute itself as a major political power in Finland. (Roni Rekomaa – Lehtikuva)

THE CENTRE, National Coalition and Swedish People’s Party all held their party conferences last weekend, keeping political journalists busy with a steady stream of updates.

The Centre Party on Saturday elected Antti Kaikkonen, a 50-year-old fifth-term Member of Parliament from Uusimaa, as the successor to chairperson Annika Saarikko. The Swedish People’s Party on Sunday chose Anders Adlercreutz, a 54-year-old second-term Member of Parliament from Uusimaa, as the successor to chairperson Anna-Maja Henriksson.

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Minister of Economic Affairs Wille Rydman (PS) attended a plenary session in the Parliament House in Helsinki on Thursday, 13 June 2024. Rydman last week lashed out at the National Prosecution Authority, claiming that its decision not to bring charges against journalists who wrote about allegations about him was “not based on fact”. (Mikko Stig – Lehtikuva)

THE LEFT ALLIANCE has announced its intention to submit a motion of no confidence against Minister of Economic Affairs Wille Rydman (PS), reports Helsingin Sanomat.

The opposition party said its lack of confidence in the cabinet member stems from his response to an article in which several girls and women accused him of improper conduct. The investigative article was published roughly two years ago by Helsingin Sanomat.

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Riikka Purra, the chairperson of the Finns Party, awaited the results of advance voting at the populist right-wing party’s election-night event in Helsinki on Sunday, 9 June. The Finns Party slumping to a vote share of 7.6 per cent was one of several election outcomes that took Finnish pollsters by surprise, report YLE and Helsingin Sanomat. (Emmi Korhonen – Lehtikuva)

KIMMO GRÖNLUND, a professor of political science at Åbo Akademi University, told Helsingin Sanomat on Monday that he cannot remember an election where polls have been off the mark as badly as they were in the newly concluded elections to the European Parliament.

“They were all off quite badly. They were really far off,” he summed up on Monday.

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Li Andersson, the outgoing chairperson of the Left Alliance, smiled amid a jubilant crowd at the election-night event of the Left Alliance in Helsinki on Sunday, 9 June 2024. Andersson became Finland’s all-time top vote getter in the European elections, winning a whopping 247,000 votes and dragging two of her party comrades with her to Brussels. (Roni Rekomaa – Str / Lehtikuva)

THE NATIONAL COALITION and Left Alliance will be the largest Finnish parties in the new European Parliament.

The National Coalition won 24.8 per cent of the vote, an increase of 4.0 percentage points from the previous elections, to secure four seats in the European Parliament. The Left Alliance saw its vote share swell by a whopping 10.4 points to 17.3 per cent, securing three seats in the European Parliament.

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Chairpersons Annika Saarikko of the Centre and Antti Lindtman of the Social Democrats took part in a European election debate organised by YLE on Thursday, 6 June 2024. The Centre is set to hold on to its two seats and the Social Democrats gain a seat in the European Parliament, indicates a poll by the Finnish public broadcaster. (Antti Aimo-Koivisto – Lehtikuva)

POPULAR SUPPORT for the Finns Party has surged on the eve of the elections to the European Parliament, according to a poll commissioned by YLE.

The Finnish public broadcasting company reported yesterday that support for the populist right-wing party has jumped by 2.4 percentage points from last month to 16.5 per cent, a share that – if it translates to votes – would guarantee three seats in the European Parliament.

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A VR long-distance train in Inkoo, Uusimaa, on 21 May 2024. Opposition lawmakers have expressed their surprise at a decision to suspend a project aimed at improving wireless connections on trains, the quality of which has been a long-standing source of vexation for rail passengers in Finland. (Vesa Moilanen – Lehtikuva)

A DECISION by Minister of Transport and Communications Lulu Ranne (PS) to suspend a project aimed at assessing and improving internet connections on trains has taken the opposition by surprise.

“It feels odd that they’ve hung up their gloves,” Timo Furuholm (LA), a deputy chairperson of the Parliament’s Transport and Communications Committee, said to Helsingin Sanomat on Tuesday.

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Prime Minister Petteri Orpo (NCP) greeted the public ahead of a joint campaign event with President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen in Helsinki on Tuesday, 4 June 2024. Orpo’s National Coalition is set to add to its seat total in the European Parliament, according to an opinion poll commissioned by Helsingin Sanomat. (Mikko Stig – Lehtikuva)

THE NATIONAL COALITION is set to become the largest Finnish party in the European Parliament, indicates a poll conducted for Helsingin Sanomat by Verian.

The poll shows that the ruling right-wing party would receive 21.6 per cent of the vote and grow its seat tally by one to become the only Finnish party with four seats in Brussels. The Social Democratic Party would receive 19.0 per cent of the vote to increase its seat tally by one to three.

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Rainbow-coloured flags outside the Helsinki City Hall in June 2021. YLE on Thursday reported that the Ministry of Justice and Ministry of Transport and Communications, both of which are led by Finns Party lawmakers, will not participate in any form in this year’s Pride Helsinki. (Vesa Moilanen – Lehtikuva)

TWO MINISTRIES led by Finns Party lawmakers will not participate in Helsinki Pride 2024.

YLE on Thursday reported that Pride, an annual month-long event promoting the inclusion, rights and well-being of gender and sexual minorities, will not be reflected in any form in the activities of the Ministry of Justice or the Ministry of Transport and Communications.

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A person holding a voting ticket in a polling booth in Espoo on 29 May 2024. By the closing of stations on Saturday, 12.5 per cent of Finns entitled to vote had cast their vote in the European elections, representing a one-point increase from the corresponding point in the advance voting period in 2019. (Heikki Saukkomaa – Lehtikuva)

THE FINNISH TURNOUT in the European elections is on track to increase slightly from the previous elections, even though there has not exactly been a rush to polling stations, reports Helsingin Sanomat.

The Ministry of Justice’s Information and Results Service indicates that 14.2 per cent of people entitled to vote had cast their vote by the time the stations closed on the fifth day of the advance voting period, on Sunday, 2 June.

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Li Andersson, the chairperson of the Left Alliance, spoke during a plenary session in parliament in Helsinki on 22 May 2024. Andersson on Tuesday assured Helsingin Sanomat that MEPs of the Left Alliance are unwavering in their support for Ukraine, despite the discordant voices that have emanated from The Left, the Left Alliance’s group in the European Parliament. (Antti Aimo-Koivisto – Lehtikuva)

CHAIRPERSON of the Left Alliance Li Andersson says The Left, one of the seven political groups in the European Parliament, should clean out members who question support for Ukraine and show sympathy for Russia.

“The groups are always reformed at the start of the term, and we want changes to the group that make it more cohesive on foreign and security policy,” she said to Helsingin Sanomat on Tuesday.

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Finnish President Alexander Stubb reacted during a seminar at Tartu University in Tartu, Estonia, on Wednesday, 29 May 2024. In his speech to students and faculty, Stubb argued that the west must re-think its conduct toward the global south given the major role the group of countries will have in shaping the world order. (Markku Ulander – Lehtikuva)

PRESIDENT Alexander Stubb believes the west must re-think its conduct toward the global east and global south, reports STT.

Stubb on Wednesday stated at Tartu University in Estonia that the global south will determine the direction in which the world order will develop and have a major role in shaping economic growth, security policy and the development of international organisations.

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