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National Coalition Wins Finland Vote

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TEHRAN, April 18 (ICANA) – The conservative National Coalition has scored a narrow victory in Finland's parliamentary elections, marked by a stunning performance by the anti-euro nationalist True Finns party.
Monday, April 18, 2011 8:00:39 PM
National Coalition Wins Finland Vote

According to a statement on Sunday, Finland's National Coalition Party won 20.4 percent of the votes, followed by the Social Democratic Party, which managed to garner 19.1 percent of the votes, AFP reported.

Although the NCP received the most votes, the party's seats decreased from 50 to 44, while the right-wing opposition party, the True Finns won 19 percent of the vote, with its seats rising from 5 to 39.

The ruling Center Party performed poorly in the election, losing 16 seats in parliament to end up with only 35. The National Coalition Party Chairman and Finnish Finance Minister Jyrki Katainen is sure to take the office of outgoing Prime Minister Mari Kiviniemi and form a new government with the Social Democrats and True Finns.

Even though the National Coalition Party was declared the winner of the polls, many observers believe the once tiny populist, anti-immigration and anti-EU True Finns, were the real winners of the race, because they proved they are a force to be reckoned with in the formation of the next coalition government.

"Sometimes it pays to believe in what you stand for, even when you hit obstacles and get made fun of," True Finns leader Timo Soini told his supporters.

"The True Finns now have a member of parliament in every single electoral district!" he added.

Being the only party with an increase in the number of seats in the parliament, the True Finns is opposed to bailouts for debt-ridden euro zone members.

According to analysts, the results of the Sunday's elections is a blow to the European Union's plans to bailout Portugal and other debt-ridden nations, which require the complete support of all member states.

 

The 200-seat Finnish Parliament has been dominated by the Center Party, National Coalition Party and Social Democrats in past elections.

Approximately 4.4 million people were eligible to vote in the elections, and the turnout was estimated at about 70 percent -- well above the 67.9 percent seen in the last elections in 2007.

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