Antton Rönnholm (left) and Antti Rinne (right) of the Social Democrats were photographed outside the party’s office in Hakaniemi, Helsinki, on Monday, 2 December 2019. (Markku Ulander – Lehtikuva)

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THE SOCIAL DEMOCRATIC PARTY has confirmed that its committee in the upcoming coalition formation talks will be led by its chairperson and caretaker Prime Minister of Finland, Antti Rinne (SDP).

Antton Rönnholm, the party secretary of the Social Democrats, told Uusi Suomi on Tuesday that the rules of the party and parliamentary group state that the negotiating committee shall be led by the party’s chairperson.

Rinne announced yesterday afternoon that he has asked to be relieved from his duties as prime minister after losing the confidence of the Centre Party, the largest coalition partner of the Social Democrats. He added, however, that he will continue to perform the duties of party chairperson at least until the next party conference of the Social Democrats in June 2020.

Although he will lead the negotiating committee, the leader of the coalition formation process will be named separately by the Social Democratic Parliamentary Group, according to Rönnholm.

He or she may or may not be the same as the prime ministerial candidate to be decided later by the party council of the Social Democrats.

Media reports indicate that the frontrunners for the candidacy are Antti Lindtman, the chairperson of the Social Democratic Parliamentary Group, Sanna Marin (SDP), the Minister of Transport and Communications. Both Lindtman and Marin on Tuesday stated that, if called upon by the party council, they would not shy away from the responsibility.

The party council is expected to make its decision on the successor of Rinne on Thursday, 12 December.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Source: Uusi Suomi

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