Finland’s National Coalition Party claims election victory

Finland’s right-wing opposition National Coalition Party leader Petteri Orpo has claimed victory in the Nordic country’s tightly-fought parliamentary election.

“We got the biggest mandate,” Orpo said in a speech to followers on Sunday.With 93.4 percent of the votes counted, his party looked set to get the most seats in parliament, 48 out of 200 in total, and with 20.5 percent support among votes cast, justice ministry election data showed.

With the top three parties expected to each get around 20 percent of the vote, no party is in position to form a government alone.

“Based on this result, talks over forming a new government to Finland will be initiated under the leadership of the National Coalition Party,” Orpo said as he claimed victory surrounded by supporters.

The National Coalition Party was on top with 20.7 percent, followed closely by the right-wing populist party The Finns with 20.1 percent, while the Social Democratic Party of Prime Minister Sanna Marin garnered 19.9 percent.Marin conceded defeat in the close-fought election for parliament.

Marin, 37, is considered by fans around the world as a millennial role model for progressive new leaders, but at home, she has faced criticism for her government’s public spending and for partying.

If the NCP lead were to hold, Orpo will get the first chance at forming a coalition to obtain a majority in parliament, and Marin’s era as prime minister would likely come to an end.

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