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Finnish parliament backs conservative Petteri Olpo as PM | World News

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AFP | | Posted by Sreelakshmi B

Finland’s parliament elected conservative Petteri Orpo as prime minister on Tuesday, leading a four-party coalition that includes the far-right Finns Party, which plans a massive crackdown on immigration.

Chairman of the Finnish National Coalition Party Petteri Olpo holds a news conference in the Finnish parliament after the Finnish parliament elected him as the new prime minister, Helsinki, Finland. (Reuters)

Parliament voted for Olpo, who won April’s election and has since been engaged in tricky negotiations to form a coalition, with 107 votes in favour, 81 against and 11 absent.

Orpo will be formally appointed prime minister later on Tuesday by President Sauli Niinisto, succeeding Sanna Marin, whose Social Democratic Party finished second in the election to Orpo’s National Coalition Party (NCP) and Finns Party.

In addition to the NCP and the Finns Party, the new coalition includes the smaller Swedish People’s Party (RKP) and the Christian Democrats.

read | Finnish right-wing party wins big, Prime Minister Marin concedes defeat

Orpo campaigned on austerity policy, vowing to cut spending by 6 billion euros over four years.

The new coalition, proposed last week, also announced a “paradigm shift” on immigration.

It said it aimed to halve the number of refugees the Nordic countries take in through the UN refugee agency from 1,050 a year to 500.

It also aims to create separate systems of Social Security benefits for immigrants and permanent residents, which experts say could be unconstitutional.

Riikka Purra, leader of the Finns Party, added that conditions for obtaining permanent residence and citizenship would also be tightened.

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