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Sari Essayah re-elected Christian Democrats Chair

25 Aug 2019, 01:00 ( 29 days ago)

DF-Xinhua Report
Sari Essayah. File Photo Kimmo Brandt / Compic / Eduskunta

The opposition SuomenKristillisdemokraati (Christian Democratic Party) on Saturday re-elected Sari Essayah as its chairperson.

There were no other candidates in the party election taking place in Oulu.

Essayah has been leading the party since 2015. The party now has five MPs in the 200-member parliament.

In her acceptance speech, Essayah raised the possibility of joint cabinet of all the three opposition parties and the Suomen Keskusta (Centre Party of Finland).

Besides the Christian Democrats, the current opposition comprises the populist Perussuomalaiset (Finns Party) and the Kansallinen Kokoomus (National Coalition Party). Their coalition together with the Keskusta would have 113 MPs supporting the government, instead of the 117 MPs backing the current left-center left coalition.

In the government talks in May, the chose to join the left-center alliance, which is now in power. Another essential move was that the Suomen Sosialidemokraattinen Puolue (Social Democratic Party of Finland -SDP) leader Antti Rinne preferred the Keskusta rather than the Kokoomus.

Political observers have said that, although there is no indication of an immediate crisis in the current ruling coalition, the Keskusta and the Vihreä liitto (Green League) have collided on several issues.

The reluctance of other parties so far to join forces with the populist Perussuomalaiset has been a key factor in forming an alliance. Essayah's speech on Saturday matched the comments by some observers that the threshold of accepting the populist Perussuomalaiset as a political partner is lowering in Finland.