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Sipilä: “Nothing less than victory in the next election”

The prime minister’s party voted him in – nearly unanimously – for another stint as Centre chair.

Juha Sipilä
PM Sipilä addressed thousands of Centre supporters in eastern Finland on 9 June. Image: Martti Kainulainen / Lehtikuva

Prime Minister Juha Sipilä was re-elected for a fourth term as leader of the Centre Party at a conference in Sotkamo, eastern Finland on Saturday.

Sipilä earned a landslide 2,053 votes, with his only challenger, Kotka police officer and city councillor Vesa Levonen garnering just 19 votes.

In his acceptance speech, Sipilä focussed on next spring’s elections.

“As captain of this team, I will accept nothing less than victory in the next election,” he told delegates.

Heikkinen selected as new deputy chair

Nearly 4,000 people are attending the weekend congress. Of them, 2,166 are official delegates.

They also elected three deputy chairs: MPs Katri Kulmuni, Hannakaisa Heikkinen and Juha Rehula. They earned 1671, 1345 and 1226 votes respectively. Heikkinen is the only new addition to the ranks of the deputy chairs.

The Centre has ranked third in Yle surveys of party support this year. The most recent poll, out last week, found that the party was backed by 17.6 percent of respondents.

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