Finland’s parliament returns Petteri Orpo as PM, replacing Sanna Marin

HELSINKI (Reuters) -Finland’s newly elected parliament on Tuesday voted in favor of National Coalition Party leader Petteri Orpo to become prime minister, as widely expected, ushering in a right-wing government and ending Social Democrat Sanna Marin’s rule.

Orpo will lead a coalition of the conservative NCP, the nationalist Finns, the minority-language Swedish People’s Party and the Christian Democrats, which together won a majority of parliamentary seats in the April 2 election.

The new finance minister will be Rikka Purra, head of the eurosceptic Finns Party, while the NCP’s deputy leader Elina Valtonen will become foreign minister when the government takes office later on Tuesday.

“I warmly thank you for the confidence you’ve shown me,” Orpo told parliament shortly after the vote.

A self-styled fiscal conservative, Orpo campaigned on a promise to reduce the government’s budget deficit by cutting spending while also reducing taxes and seeking to boost private sector job creation.

The new coalition also shifts immigration policy to the right, aiming to cut refugee quotas, raise the bar for work-based visas and make it more difficult for foreigners to obtain citizenship, key priorities for the Finns Party.

(Reporting by Essi Lehto, editing by Terje Solsvik)