Finland’s center-right leader Petteri Orpo wins general election

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Finland’s center-right leader Petteri Orpo claimed victory in Sunday’s general election, with the far-right Finns Party in second place ahead of Prime Minister Sanna Marin’s Social Democrats in third.

“This was a great victory,” Orpo, the 53-year-old head of the conservative National Coalition Party, told his supporters, adding: “On the basis of this election result... we will start negotiating a government in Finland.”

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The biggest party in parliament traditionally gets the first chance to build a government, and since the 1990s that party has always claimed the prime minister’s office.

The head of the far-right Finns Party, Riikka Purra, thanked her supporters for the party’s “best election result ever.”

With 96 percent of votes counted, the center-right was credited with 48 of the 200 seats in parliament, the far-right with 46 and the Social Democrats with 43.

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