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Yle News grills party leaders in English

On 19 April Finland goes to the polls to elect a new parliament. In the run-up to that vote Yle News will meet the eight leaders of the country's main parties, to question them over their past performance, and find out what they propose if they make it into the next government.

Vaalistudio 8.
Image: Kalevi Rytkölä / Yle

Yle News launches a series of interviews with the leaders of Finland's major parties on Monday, as the country enters the final run-up to April's general election.

In the first of eight pre-election videos to be published on the Yle News website, the leader of the populist Finns Party, Timo Soini, insisted on Wednesday that his party is ready for the tough reality of being in government should the Finns Party win enough votes.

Yle News will publish interviews in English with the remaining party leaders over the coming weeks in the run-up to the vote on April 19th. The aim is to open up this country's political scene for non-Finnish-speakers, and give a chance to see how well the leaders articulate their views in English.

For each interview we've selected themes and topics that are key to understanding the party and its position in the Finnish political landscape.

The next video will be released on Friday this week, with Carl Haglund, leader of the Swedish People's Party, explaining why his party wants to see a vast increase in the number of immigrants coming to Finland.

Cut-down coalition

The coalition of six governing parties that started out in 2011 has now become four, with the Left Alliance and Green League walking out of government.

Most analysts expect a more compact government to take office this time round, with fewer, and more ideologically aligned parties in coalition. A number of leaders have claimed the large, disparate coalition held the government back over the last four years. Prime Minister Alexander Stubb recently admitted his government has been 'ineffective'.

Yle's Finnish service has decided that its election themes will be the economy, work, security, health and the future. As part of the Finnish-language coverage there will be an 'election machine', which will help voters find out which candidate's policies are closest to their own, and an 'election gallery', in which each one of the country's approximately 2,000 candidates will be interviewed for a short online video.

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