Sipilä re-elected Keskusta Chair
09 Jun 2018, 20:29 ( 09 Jun, 2018) | updated: 10 Jun 2018, 00:40 ( 10 Jun, 2018)
Prime Minister Juha Sipilä has been re-elected the Chair of the ruling Suomen Keskusta (Centre Party) at a party council held on Saturday in in Sotkamo.
Sipilä, who has been leading the party since 2012 secured 2,053 votes while his opponent Vesa Levonen, a police officer and councilor of Kotka bagged only 19 votes, said a press release.
About 4,000 party men including 2,166 delegates participated in the council.
The party delegates also elected Katri Kulmuni, Hannakaisa Heikkinen and Juha Rehula as the Vice-Chairs and Riikka Pirkkalainen as the secretary of the party.
News agency Xinhua adds: Levonen criticized mainly Sipilä's economic revival policies, saying "cutting back the income of the poor would not help them". The coalition government led by Sipilä has reduced some social benefits.
Sipilä was confident the Center would emerge as winner in the May 2019 election. It is now on the third position with 17.6 percent backing, next to the opposition Suomen Sosialidemokraattinen Puolue (Social Democratic Party of Finland-SDP) and the fellow coalition partner Kansallinen Kokoomus (National Coalition Party-NCP).
In his policy address, Sipilä said the Center Party represents "realistic green values".