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Green League chair Ohisalo begins parental leave as party shuffles ministers

Finland's government will get a replacement Interior Minister as well as an interim Minister of the Environment and Climate Change from Friday.

Green Party colleagues Krista Mikkonen (left), Emma Kari (centre) and Maria Ohisalo (right) in Parliament on Thursday 18 November. Image: Vesa Moilanen / Lehtikuva

Interior Minister and Green League chair Maria Ohisalo will begin her parental leave on Friday.

Ohisalo's departure means that her party colleague Krista Mikkonen — who is currently Minister of the Environment and Climate Change — will take the interior portfolio while Emma Kari (Green) will temporarily become environment minister.

Mikkonen was first elected to Parliament in 2015, representing the the Savo-Karelia constituency, and was chair of the party's parliamentary group between 2016 and 2019. She was re-elected in 2019 with an increased vote share, and became a minister in June of that year.

Kari was also first elected to Parliament in 2015, having served on the City Council of Helsinki since 2008. She was a member of Parliament's Grand Committee as well as the Legal Affairs Committee during her first term in parliament, and was re-elected at the parliamentary elections in 2019, again with an increased vote share.

When Ohisalo returns from parental leave, it is expected that she will take over the environment and climate change brief.

Tampere MP, and Finland's youngest Member of Parliament, Iiris Suomela will serve as party leader in Ohisalo's absence, but declined a ministerial post.