Prime Minister Juha Sipilä (Centre) has announced the resignation of the government.
In 2015 Sipilä made a promise to quit if his flagship legislation to reform social, health care and the way Finland’s regions work, failed to get through parliament.
The move comes after months of stalled debate on the reform, known as sote in Finnish, which has seen it mired in parliamentary committees and facing opposition not just within parliament, but from Finland’s biggest cities who were concerned about their own future funding if the government’s plans became law.
Sipilä has just returned from a two day, four country trip meeting other EU leaders to brief them on Finland’s upcoming plans for the EU Presidency. This morning, he meets with President Sauli Niinistö to officially tender the resignation of the government.
Update: The President has accepted the government’s resignation and asked it to continue on a caretaker basis until a new government has been appointed.
The collapse of the three party centre-right coalition government, comprising Sipilä’s Centre Party, the National Coalition Party and Blue Reform, comes just six weeks before planned general elections. However, there is unlikely to be any change in the timetable of the elections which are scheduled to take place on 14th April.
Sipilä is holding a press conference on Friday, and we’ll update with full details and analysis later.