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The Finnish government has resigned.
On Friday morning, Prime Minister Juha Sipilä (Centre), stepped into the crossfire of flashes at the premier’s official residence, Kesäranta, to explain why he had decided to submit the resignation. The reporters were furiously tapping away at the keyboards, trying to catch Sipilä’s speech word by word.
Sipilä looked tired. His eyes were moist. He looked a man who has given his everything since stepped into the power on May 28, 2015.
He had just arrived from the president’s official residence, Mäntyniemi, a short jog away, where he submitted his request for resignation to President Sauli Niinistö.
President Niinistö had heard about Sipilä’s intentions yesterday evening while the two discussed the matter briefly over the phone.
Today, the president accepted the government’s resignation and asked it to continue on a caretaker basis until a new government has been appointed.
In front of the reporters, Sipilä talked about disappointment over not being able to finish the healthcare reforms, which was one of his key goals.
Finland has been seeking solutions to address the social and healthcare of the rapidly aging populations but failed to find any politically meaningful measures. Cutting the high healthcare costs is one of the major political obstacles.
Because the government cannot find mutual understanding in the reforms before the parliamentary term ends on Tuesday, March 19, Sipilä couldn’t see another solution but to dissolve the government.
“I have said many times before that I have come to politics to seek solutions and to fix Finland. My government has succeeded in many things; before all to create jobs to the Finnish people and to end the reckless incurring of debts,” Sipilä said.
“We were able to finish 80 percent of the work and goals but one of the five most important was not finished,” Sipilä said and continued, “I have also said that my government works with the principle of ‘tulos tai ulos’ (achieve results or be finished). I am a man of principle. One must carry responsibility in politics. It’s the responsibility of words and deeds and deeds undone. I listened carefully to what my inner voice is saying. My conclusion is that my government has to submit a resignation. That’s what I have just done to the president of the republic. I will carry my own responsibility.”
Sipilä’s resignation comes just one month before the parliamentary elections are due on April 14 but according to Sipilä, he would have submitted the resignation regardless of how much of the electoral period would have been left.