In April 2023, Finland experienced a shift towards conservatism in their government. The Conservative party emerged as the winner in a closely contested general election, with the hardline Conservative party coming in second and the Social Democrats, led by Former Prime Minister Sanna Marin finishing third.
The Conservatives secured a total of 94 seats in the 200-seat parliament, while Social Democrats claimed 43 seats. The vote margin was also extremely tight, with the Conservatives securing 20.6% and 20.1% respectively, and the Social Democrats with 19.9%.
Traditionally, the largest party in parliament gets the first opportunity to form a government, and since the 1990s, that party has always held the position of the prime minister.
Orpo is Not the Guy
After a month, Petri Orpo’s government was formed and officially took office. Their government is known for taking a tough stance on migration and EU policies. Right after being sworn in, the prime minister promised significant budget cuts and a major change in immigration policies.
Furthermore, Orpo’s government raised worries among Western powers regarding NATO. As most Finns are opposed to having troops and nuclear weapons near the Finnish-Russian border, Orpo decided to raise concerns.
This demonstrated that government isn’t particularly pro-West and could potentially pose challenges to NATO and the EU’s efforts against Russia in the future.
Read More: Finns Are Doubting NATO in Just One Year
And so, Petteri Orpo’s government is facing a serious threat of collapse in a very strange way. In just four weeks, there have been resignations and crisis meetings one after another. The government’s survival is at risk due to revelations of old racist writings by members of the Finns Party.
Even after Prime Minister Petteri Orpo announced that his government rejects racism, the debate reignited when Finance Minister Rikka Purra’s writings from 2019 surfaced. Purra made derogatory comments about Somali women, referring to them as “unrecognizable black sacks.”
He sees no need to apologize for his offensive remarks, further complicating the situation. The government’s stability hangs in the balance.
Meanwhile, the opposition, led by Sanna Marin’s Social Democrat party, has capitalized on the government’s vulnerability. In a joint letter, the opposition parties have requested Parliament Speaker Jussi Halla-Aho to interrupt the summer recess and discuss the government’s policies.
However, the request was rejected as the situation wasn’t so urgent, and that the parliament’s independence needed protection from “external pressure,” including social media and what he called “leftist and green media.”
The government’s future is uncertain in the upcoming weeks. If it manages to last until September, it will face a fierce attack from the opposition. It’s quite surprising to witness a government that opposed Western policies on the verge of collapsing.
However, we shouldn’t dismiss the possibility of Western involvement in such an unrest. This is a pure case of being punished for being right. Beyond a shadow of a doubt, Finland holds significant importance for NATO in their war efforts against Russia, and they cannot afford to compromise on such a crucial position.
The top elites desire a government that listens to them without raising questions, and surely Petteri Orpo ain’t that man. And so, he is on the verge of being kicked out.