Finland’s prime minister resigns over postal service dispute

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Parliament to decide on new prime minister next week as Antti Rinne steps down after fewer than six months in office

Finland’s prime minister resigned on Tuesday after a key coalition partner withdrew its support from his five-party cabinet.

Antti Rinne, who took office in June, has faced heavy criticism in the past several days over how he and a fellow party member in charge of government companies dealt with Finland’s state-owned postal service, whose workers went on strike for two weeks in November.

The announcement prompted the formal resignation of the cabinet made up of Rinne’s Social Democratic Party, the Center Party, the Greens, the Left Alliance and the Swedish People’s Party of Finland.

No early election is expected. Parliament will decide on a new prime minister next week.

The ruling coalition had demanded that Rinne explain the government’s statements and actions.

However, one key coalition partner – the Center Party – said the explanations were not acceptable and cited a lack of trust in Rinne, urging him either to resign or to face a no-confidence vote.

Rinne tendered his resignation to Finnish President Sauli Niinisto, who told the 57-year-old Social Democrat: “Thanks for the short, but many moments of good cooperation.”

SOURCE: AP NEWS AGENCY

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