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Defence Minister Kaikkonen takes paternity leave, MP Savola to replace him

Paternity leave for the current incumbent starts in January.

Mikko Savola ja Antti Kaikkonen.
MP Mikko Savola (Cen, left) will take over as Defence Minister in January and February. Antti Kaikkonen (Cen, right) is taking paternity leave. Image: Silja Viitala / Yle
Yle News,

The Centre Party's decision-makers have unanimously proposed MP Mikko Savola to replace Defence Minister Antti Kaikkonen (Cen) while the latter is on paternity leave in January and February.

"Children are only small for a short time, and I want to have memories from more than just photos," said Kaikkonen.

Savola's appointment was discussed on Thursday at a meeting of the party's MPs, MEPs and the party board. The party said in a press release that the decision was unanimous and no alternative proposals for the interim appointment were presented.

Centre chair Annika Saarikko had previously said that she would propose Mika Lintilä, who is currently the Minister for Economic Affairs. He would have had two ministerial briefs at the same time.

Saarikko said on Twitter after the meeting that one person having two ministerial jobs at the same time was not the wisest choice in the current situation.

Finland currently has a Nato membership process ongoing, with Hungary and Turkey yet to ratify the application. There is a Nato ministerial meeting in February, but Kaikkonen said preparations for that have been underway for some time.

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