He’s currently heading to the President’s official residence at Mäntyniemi to hand over his letter of resignation…
I predicted earlier, just after this Spring’s parliamentary elections, that this government would not last long, in fact, many of my closest friends and family members were saying the same thing. If the Center Party hangs in there, giving a vote of approval for the extremist marxist Sanna Marin, then its base could very well reject its own leadership. The Finns party went through something similar with its leader, Timo Soini, staying in a government that allowed mass migration into the country. The PS (Finns party) bled support, ultimately leading to Jussi Halla-aho taking the reigns of the party.
Prime Minister Antti Rinne has resigned before a parliamentary challenge set to begin at 2pm Tuesday.
Rinne said around noon on Tuesday that he would present his resignation to President Sauli Niinistö before MPs begin to debate an interpellation filed by several opposition parties.
The daily Helsingin Sanomat reported earlier that Rinne and Niinistö had already agreed on a meeting at the presidential residence, Mäntyniemi.
Rapid sequence of events
Rinne’s five-party centre-left coalition took office just under six months ago after his Social Democratic Party (SDP) won April’s parliamentary election by a whisker.
Events have proceeded quickly since the SDP minister in charge of overseeing state-owned firms, Sirpa Paatero, resigned on Friday.
That came amid revelations that she knew in advance of the postal company’s plans to shift some workers to a lower-paying contract, and misled MPs about it. Since then, there have been indications that former union boss Rinne, too, knew of the plan and tacitly approved it late last summer.
Late Sunday evening, the five government party chairs held a crisis meeting. On Monday, the SDP’s main coalition partner, the Centre, expressed a lack of confidence in Rinne in a vaguely-worded statement. On Monday evening, Rinne declined to step down, instead demanding further clarification from the Centre.
All eyes on Sanna Marin
According to Yle sources, Rinne decided wait for the Centre to directly call for his resignation. Iltalehti reports that he and the SDP demanded that Centre chair Katri Kulmuni provide details in writing as to why the premier should be replaced.
Rinne and Kulmuni met in the late morning at the Council of State building.
Meanwhile SDP deputy chair Sanna Marin, who led the party during Rinne’s extended sick leave last winter, has rushed back from a meeting in Brussels. Speaking to reporters on arrival at Helsinki Airport around 11.30am, Minister of Transport and Communications Marin said she would “not shirk her responsibility in this difficult situation.”
The tabloid Iltalehti says that Marin is to lead attempts to form a new government. Marin, 34, a second-term MP from Tampere, is expecting her first child next month.