Prime Minister Sipilä: We’re All Friends Again

Leaders of Finland's three government coalition parties get together for 'trust talks' after MP defection caused public rift.

File picture from 2017 of coalition party leaders (L-R) Petteri Orpo (NCP); Juha Sipilä (Centre); Sampo Terho (Blue) / Credit: Government of Finland Flickr

Afternoon ‘trust talks’ between the leaders of Finland’s three-party coalition government seem to have resulted in an outbreak of trust.

Prime Minister Juha Sipilä (Centre) said he agreed with Petteri Orpo (NCP) and Sampo Terho (Blue) to increase openness to prevent new problems arising among the political partners. He told journalists that he doesn’t believe there will be any more open wounds between the three parties.

“Last week there were already telephone calls. Things were resolved last week […] perhaps there was not so much drama as it seemed” he said.

The talks were convened after a Blue Reform politician switched sides, and defected to Orpo’s National Coalition Party.

The MP said he has been considering the move for months, but Terho accused the NCP of paching the MP, and deliberately undermining the government in a bid to prompt new elections. Orpo denied this.

Today, Orpo said that all three government parties were working “in good faith” and will concentrate on implementing the government’s legislative agenda.

“We agreed that work will continue, we have big things ahead of us” said Orpo, while conceding that the defection of the Blue Reform MP to his party had not been handled well.