Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Katainen government formation and ministers in Finland

This blog post is about the next prime minister of Finland, his election and government formation, as well as the ministers of the new Finnish cabinet.

PM Jyrki Katainen

The public broadcaster YLE reports that the leader of the National Coalition Party (NCP, EPP) and outgoing finance minister Jyrki Katainen has been officially nominated by president Tarja Halonen to become prime minister of Finland.

YLE also offers a portrait of Katainen (39), about to be elected later today.

Electing the prime minister

The election of the prime minister is on the agenda (in Finnish) of the Parliament 22 June 2011.

The main provisions of the Constitution of Finland on government formation:

Section 61 - Formation of the Government

The Parliament elects the Prime Minister, who is thereafter appointed to the office by the President of the Republic.
The President appoints the other Ministers in accordance with a proposal made by the Prime Minister.
Before the Prime Minister is elected, the groups represented in the Parliament negotiate on the political programme and composition of the Government. On the basis of the outcome of these negotiations, and after having heard the Speaker of the Parliament, the President informs the Parliament of the nominee for Prime Minister. The nominee is elected Prime Minister if his or her election has been supported by more than half of the votes cast in an open vote in the Parliament.
If the nominee does not receive the necessary majority, another nominee shall be put forward in accordance with the same procedure. If the second nominee fails to receive the support of more than half of the votes cast, the election of the Prime Minister shall be held in the Parliament by open vote. In this event, the person receiving the most votes is elected.
The Parliament shall be in session when the Government is being appointed and when the composition of the Government is being essentially altered.

Section 62 - Statement on the programme of the Government

The Government shall without delay submit its programme to the Parliament in the form of a statement. The same applies when the composition of the Government is essentially altered.

Ministers nominated

Formally, they are going to be appointed by the president, as proposed by the new prime minister. In practice the future ministers have been nominated by the political parties joining the coalition government.

The international edition of the daily Helsingin Sanomat presents the ministers of the six-party government in two instalments, first the cabinet members from the National Coalition Party, the Social Democratic Party, the Left Alliance and the Swedish People's Party.

Monday, the Green League and the Christian Democratic Party nominated their ministers, HS International reported. (By the way, there is a typo in the name of Tarja Cronberg, who is going to replace Heidi Hautala MEP in the European Parliament. Correct: Tarja, as in Tarja Halonen, the president.)

Ralf Grahn

P.S. The prize-winning euroblogger Nosemonkey has returned with a medley on the Greek drama (tradegy?) currently on stage in capitals around Europe: The euro crisis: What next? - What's your prediction?