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Speaker calls for mutual respect among MPs

25 Apr 2019, 04:59 ( 1 Month ago)

DF-Xinhua Report
Chairman of Sosialidemokraattinen Puolue (Social Democratic Party of Finland-SDP), who was elected temporary speaker of the parliament is seen to deliver a speech in the parliament on Wednesday. Photo Finnish parliament by Hanne Salonen.

The newly-elected speaker of the parliament Antti Rinne on Wednesday called for mutual respect among the parliament members.

At a press conference, Rinne elaborated that in recent years behavior in parliament "caused ripples". He said the presidium would work towards maintaining a peaceful working atmosphere in the parliament.

"The image of politics will be impacted greatly by the work of this house and by the actions of each of us," Rinne said.

Rinne did not refer to any practical examples, but the parliament got bad publicity following the conviction of an MP on sexual assault of another MP in 2018.

A court in Helsinki in Mid June 2018 convicted the Perussuomalaiset (Finns Party) Member of Parliament Teuvo Hakkarainen of assault and sexual harassment in the parliament building.

Rinne also said parliament would be in a "situation of responsibility" right at the start of its four-year tenure as Finland takes up the EU presidency in July.

Chairman of Sosialidemokraattinen Puolue (Social Democratic Party of Finland-SDP), Rinne was elected Speaker of Parliament as the new legislature began its work on Wednesday.

SDP emerged as the largest party in the April 14 general election.

Juho Eerola, MP of the Perussuomalaiset (Finns Party), became first deputy speaker and Paula Risikko, MP of Kansallinen Kokoomus (National Coalition Party), took the job as the second deputy speaker.

The composition of the presidium is likely to change after the appointment of a new cabinet.

The parliament is expected to assign Rinne on Friday to start the talks about the composition of the government.

If Rinne becomes the prime minister, the new speaker would be chosen from the second largest party in his coalition.

The opening ceremonies of the new parliament will take place on Thursday. President Sauli Niinistö will address the session following an ecumenical church service.