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Politics in Finland: What just happened?

The Centre Party needs to come clean about the real reasons for ex-PM Antti Rinne's ouster, says Yle's Katri Makkonen.

Sanna Marin ja Antti Lindtman
Image: Lehtikuva

The Finnish political scene is in turmoil after Prime Minister Antti Rinne stepped down after just six months on the job, so in a special edition of All Points North we asked Yle political journalist Katri Makkonen what just happened and what might come next.

There is now a two-horse race to succeed Rinne as the next SDP Prime Minister, with the party board due to meet on Sunday.

"It's a long time until Sunday and anything can happen," Makkonen said.

The two main contenders for the position are current Transport and Communications Minister, Sanna Marin, and chair of the SDP parliamentary group, Antti Lindtman. Rinne left office under a cloud after the SDP's coalition partner the Centre Party said it had no confidence in him after questions arose about his role in a labour market dispute.

Unanswered questions

According to Makkonen, Rinne isn't the only one who hasn't explained himself adequately. The Centre Party have also left open questions about exactly why they declared a loss of confidence in the PM. Makkonen drew a parallel to two years ago when the Centre's Juha Sipilä-led government splintered and reformulated itself in a way that many saw as undemocratic.

"One could say that this somehow was not very democratic either, to throw out a prime minister without stating very clear reasons why this had to happen. They just said that there is no more confidence towards him [Rinne] but have yet to explain themselves better," Makkonen pointed out.

The veteran journalist noted that the APN audience are not the only ones still scratching their head over the current political drama -- Finns are also perplexed by the ongoing theatre.

"Even Finnish people don't know what's going on. It's very hard to try to answer these questions as we don't really know yet what happened with the Posti thing," she said

"We don't really yet know why the Centre Party decided this thing. We don't really yet know if it will be good for them or for the Social Democrats. We don't know who will will or who will lose," Makkonen concluded.

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The All Points North podcast is a weekly look at what's going on in Finland. Subscribe via iTunes (siirryt toiseen palveluun) (and leave a review!), listen on Spotify (siirryt toiseen palveluun)and Yle Areena or find it on your favourite podcatching app or via our RSS feed (siirryt toiseen palveluun).

This week's show was presented by Egan Richardson and Denise Wall,and the sound engineer was Tuomas Vauhkonen.