BREAKING NEWS: Government agreement announced
Ministries allocated to parties – parties to decide on filling posts in coming days
After spending nearly two months to form a new government, National Coalition Party leader Jyrki Katainen announced on Friday evening that an agreement had been reached on the composition of a six-party coalition.
Perhaps the most unexpected turn of events was that the Left Alliance will get the weighty portfolio of the Minister of Transport. The post will likely be taken by the party’s chairman Paavo Arhinmäki. The next Minister of Culture will also be from the Left Alliance. Merja Kyllönen from Kainuu is expected to take on the post.
The new government will have a total of 19 ministers.
The two largest parties, the National Coalition Party and the Social Democrats will get six portfolios each, the Left Alliance the Greens, and the Swedish People’s Party will each get two, and the smallest of the partners, the Christian Democratic party, will get one.
The largest party, the National Coalition Party, will get the posts of Prime Minister, the Minister of Social Affairs and Health, the Minister of Foreign Trade and European Affairs, and the Minister of Agriculture and Forestry.
The new Prime Minister will be Jyrki Katainen, and the Minister of Social Affairs and Health will probably be Paula Risikko.
As the second-largest party in the new government, the Social Democrats will get the second-most important portfolio – that of Minister of Finance.
The SDP will also get the posts of Minister for Foreign Affairs, Minister of Social Services, Minister of Education, Minister of Labour, and Minister of Housing and Communications.
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs will be divided into three parts in such a way that the National Coalition Party will get a ministerial portfolio dedicated to EU affairs, which was tailor-made for outgoing Minister for Foreign Affairs Alexander Stubb.
The SDP will get another ministerial post in the Foreign Ministry, and one and the Greens another one, which involves development policy and supervision of state ownership.
The Swedish People’s Party will get the posts of Minister of Defence and Minister of Justice.
The Christian Democrats will get the post of Minister of the Interior. The job is expected to go to the party’s chairwoman Päivi Räsänen.
The parties will decide over the weekend and early next week who to name to the various posts.
Previously in HS International Edition:
Government talks: six parties again seek common ground on taxes and cuts (13.6.2011)
Government talks to resume among same parties as before (10.6.2011)
Katainen to continue efforts to form government – says no alternatives ruled out (7.6.2011)