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SDP chair Rinne elected parliamentary speaker – for now

Antti Rinne's role as speaker may be a temporary stint, as he could well become the country's next prime minister.

Sdp:n puheenjohtaja Antti Rinne ja kokoomuksen Paula Risikko aloittamassa uuden eduskunnan ensimmäistä täysistuntoa
SDP chair and new interim speaker Antti Rinne (left) with outgoing speaker, the NCP's Paula Risikko. Image: Jussi Nukari / Lehtikuva

MPs began their work in earnest as a new session of parliament began at midday on Wednesday. Social Democratic Party chair Antti Rinne was elected speaker of parliament, a position that will be temporary should he go on to become prime minister.

Rinne is said to be in initial government formation talks with all of the major parliamentary groups.

According to established practice, if Rinne becomes premier, a representative of the second-largest government partner will take up the post. If the nationalist Finns Party are not part of the new administration, the speaker's position will probably go to the conservative National Coalition Party.

The Centre Party, led by outgoing PM Juha Sipilä, is not a likely candidate for government talks, having indicated that it will join the opposition after heavy election losses.

Rinne secured 187 votes from MPs for the position, while challengers Laura Huhtasaari from the Finns Party and Antti Lindtman, Ville Skinnari and Tytti Tuppurainen from the SDP, all got one vote each.

Finns Party MP Juha Eerola was elected first deputy speaker with 172 votes. Outgoing Speaker Paula Risikko of the NCP grabbed 178 votes for the position of second deputy speaker.

Finnish state protocol places the speaker of parliament second after the president and retired presidents, and before the prime minister for ceremonial purposes.

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