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Finnish Prime Minister Rinne resigns after postal strike

By
Don Jacobson
Finnish Prime Minister Antti Rinne leaves a press conference after handing in his letter of resignation to Finnish President Sauli Niinisto in Helsinki Tuesday. Photo by Pekka Sipola/EPA-EFE
Finnish Prime Minister Antti Rinne leaves a press conference after handing in his letter of resignation to Finnish President Sauli Niinisto in Helsinki Tuesday. Photo by Pekka Sipola/EPA-EFE

Dec. 3 (UPI) -- Finnish Prime Minister Antti Rinne, in office for only seven months, tendered his resignation Tuesday in the wake of a politically damaging postal strike.

The resignation was subsequently accepted by President Sauli Niinisto, marking the end of Rinne's term as the head of a government formed by the coalition of five parties and led by his own Social Democrats.

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During a press conference in Helsinki, Rinne said he made the decision to step down after one of the coalition partners, the Center Party, voiced a lack of confidence and criticism of his leadership following the settlement of a two-week strike by postal workers.

"All of the governing parties have confidence in me, except the Center Party," he said. "When I was told they no longer have confidence in me, I made the decision to resign."

Rinne's Cabinet also stepped down, but the moves will not trigger new elections since the Center Party, Social Democrats and the three other coalition members have each indicated they want the current government to continue, albeit under new leadership, analysts said.

Two Social Democrats, parliamentary party chairman Antti Lindtman and Transport Minister Sanna Marin, each voiced interest in replacing Rinne as prime minister Tuesday. The Finnish parliament is set to choose the new prime minister next week.

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