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Left Alliance to join government--Arhinmäki becomes Minister of Culture

The Left Alliance has voted to join the new Finnish government. A vote was taken by a joint session of the party’s parliamentary group and governing body on Sunday afternoon.

Paavo Arhinmäki ja Merja Kyllönen
Image: Jyrki Lyytikkä / YLE

Both bodies approved the party's participation in the six-party coalition by a vote of 40 to 23. Three members abstained.

Two portfolios were allocated to the party in the week-long negotiations to form a new government. They are the Minister of Transport and the Minister of Culture and Sport. The party confirmed its chair, Paavo Arhinmäki, is to accept the position of Minister of Culture and Sport while the party's parliamentary group deputy chair, Merja Kyllönen, will become the Minister of Transport.

The decision to sign up to the new government led by NCP leader Jyrki Katainen has split the party's ranks. Two Left Alliance MPs, Markus Mustajärvi and Jyrki Yrttiaho, are staging a backbench revolt and plan to vote against the government’s programme and possible further euro bailouts in parliament. A third Left Alliance MP, Anna Kontula, also plans to vote against further economic aid for eurozone nations.

The Greens and the Christian Democrats are to name their ministers on Monday.

Sources: YLE

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