Finland's centre-right government resigns

Finnish government resigns after healthcare reform fails

Finland's Prime Minister Juha Sipila officially offered his government's resignation to the president on Friday morning and was accepted, the president's office said.

In a report by POLITICO, monitored by TUKO.co.ke, on Friday, March 8, the prime minister said his government's failure to implement a health care reform proposal during its current term had pushed him to make the move.

"I am accepting [the government's resignation]", Niinisto said during a brief conversation with Sipila, as aired by the MTV3 broadcaster.

His resignation is coming five weeks ahead of legislative elections scheduled for April 14.

There has been a hard fought struggle for the wide-reaching reform for over a decade, dividing successive governments.

The government's collapse came after Sipila failed to push through reforms that had been considered a crucial part of the country's three-party governing coalition plan to balance public finances, Efe news reported. Commentators have said that Sipila now chose to go as the key reform failed.

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"The social welfare and healthcare reform was one of our government's most important objectives", Sipila said at a press conference.

President Sauli Niinisto has asked the government to continue as a transition Cabinet until a new administration is appointed.

"I take the responsibility for the failure".

He has since 2015 headed a coalition made up of his Centre Party, the conservative National Coalition, and the eurosceptic Blue Reform party, a moderate faction spun off from the far-right.

Under the health care and social services reform, regional governments would take over the provision of care from local municipalities.

The Social Democrats have been leading opinion polls in the run-up to the election, with Sipila's Centre party trailing in third place at around 15 percent.

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