Petteri Orpo (NCP), the Minister of Finance, says the National Coalition will not enforce party discipline in the eventual vote on the social, health care and regional government reform.

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PETTERI Orpo (NCP), the Minister of Finance, has issued a statement that some believe could be the final nail in the coffin for the social, health care and regional government reform.

Orpo on Thursday told Verkkouutiset, the official mouthpiece of the National Coalition Party, that the party will not enforce party discipline in the eventual vote on the long-discussed and much-criticised reform bill in the Finnish Parliament.

“We’re not planning on enforcing party discipline, but we’ll naturally keep working to make sure that if and when the bill is finalised everyone can accept it,” he stated.

“I think that if this piece of legislation survives all these challenges and brought to the session hall of the Parliament, it’ll take a lot from representatives to be part of thwarting an issue that’s the result of such extensive preparatory work and that has passed through committees in the Parliament.”

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Paavo Arhinmäki (Left Alliance) responded to the statement on Twitter: “Looks like the deputy prime minister put in the final nail for the care reform. It’s difficult to see how anyone from Helsinki could vote for the reform.”

The reform bill has come under criticism particularly in the capital, most noticeably from Mayor Jan Vapaavuori (NCP).

The chances of the reform bill passing took yet another blow recently, as Maria Lohela announced she will withdraw her support for the bill as part of her switch from the Blue Reform to Now Movement. The ruling three-party coalition is thus believed to have a one-vote majority in the Finnish Parliament, with Speaker of the Parliament Paula Risikko (NCP) unable to vote and Susanna Koski (NCP) and Elina Lepomäki presumably voting against the bill.

Orpo on Thursday admitted to Verkkouutiset that some of his fellow party members may vote against the bill.

“It’s possible. But as I’ve said, we’re still working on this and we’ll naturally look at what the final proposal looks like. We’ll comment on it and strive for unanimity, of course,” explained Orpo.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Source: Uusi Suomi