Finnish Christian Democratic Party reelects its leader

The Finnish opposition Christian Democratic Party on Saturday reelected Sari Essayah as its chairperson.

There were no other candidates in the party election taking place in Oulu, northern Finland.

Essayah has been leading the party since 2015. The party now has five MPs in the 200-member Finnish parliament.

In her acceptance speech, Essayah raised the possibility of joint cabinet of all the three opposition parties and the Center Party.

Besides the Christian Democrats, the current opposition comprises the populist Finns Party and the conservative National Coalition. Their coalition together with the Center Party would have 113 MPs supporting the government, instead of the 117 MPs backing the current left-center left coalition.

In the government talks in May, the Center Party chose to join the left-center alliance, which is now in power. Another essential move was that the Social Democratic leader Antti Rinne preferred the Center rather than the conservative National Coalition Party.

Political observers have said that, although there is no indication of an immediate crisis in the current ruling coalition, the Center and the Greens have collided on several issues.

The reluctance of other parties so far to join forces with the populist Finns has been a key factor in forming an alliance. Essayah’s speech on Saturday matched the comments by some observers that the threshold of accepting the populist Finns as a political partner is lowering in Finland.