Finland’s opposition parties are testing the confidence in the government of Prime Minister Petteri Orpo as well as two key ministers over a racism scandal that has enveloped the cabinet for the past months.
(Bloomberg) — Finland’s opposition parties are testing the confidence in the government of Prime Minister Petteri Orpo as well as two key ministers over a racism scandal that has enveloped the cabinet for the past months.
Fresh at work after the summer recess, Finnish lawmakers at last get an opportunity to weigh in on the developments after calling no-confidence votes to be held Friday. The ruling parties have a majority in parliament.
Opposition’s Social Democrats proposed a vote against the entire cabinet, according to an emailed statement on Wednesday. Should the government fail that vote, it would be obligated to resign, though that would not automatically trigger a snap election.
Simultaneously, the Green Party said it would propose to gauge confidence in Finance Minister Riikka Purra while the Left Alliance put forward a motion for a vote against Economy Minister Wille Rydman, both from the populist Finns Party. The ousting of either minister would be a major blow to the anti-immigration group and could risk it quitting the cabinet, which would then lose its parliamentary majority.
The government last week unveiled a communique on measures to promote equality and non-discrimination, seeking to mend internal rifts caused by revelations around racist remarks. The utterances and writings by members of the far-right Finns Party, largely years old, were difficult to stomach for its coalition partners — most importantly junior partner Swedish People’s Party.
Earlier this summer, the scandal led to the resignation of Vilhelm Junnila as economy minister over his alleged association with white extremists, with Rydman later taking up the post.
Read More: Finland’s Cabinet Makes Final Push to Exit Racism Scandal
–With assistance from Jane Pong.
(Adds detail on likely outcomes should the government or ministers fail a vote)
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