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Finnish Parliament elects conservative Petteri Orpo as PM

HELSINKI (AFP) – Finland’s Parliament yesterday elected conservative Petteri Orpo as Prime Minister at the head of a four-party coalition including the far-right Finns Party which plans a major crackdown on immigration.

Parliament voted in favour of Orpo, who won April elections and has been in thorny negotiations to build a coalition since then, by 107 in favour, 81 opposed and 11 absent.

Orpo was formally appointed as prime minister later yesterday by President Sauli Niinisto, taking over from Sanna Marin, whose Social Democrats finished third in the election behind Orpo’s National Coalition Party (NCP) and the Finns Party.

In addition to the NCP and the Finns Party, the new coalition is made up of the smaller Swedish People’s Party (RKP) and the Christian Democrats.

Orpo campaigned on an austerity ticket, vowing to cut spending by EUR6 billion over four years.

The new coalition presented last week also announced a “paradigm shift” on immigration.

Petteri Orpo. PHOTO: AFP