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Finns vote in municipal elections

Finns vote in municipal elections

Finns braved regional power cuts, heavy rain and strong winds in many areas to vote Sunday in municipal elections across the country to choose from 38,500 candidates vying for more than 10,000 seats on local councils.
Results were expected to be announced early Monday. Early predictions indicated that the two leading government parties and the main opposition Social Democrats were running neck-and-neck.
However, the local elections were not likely to influence the composition of the center-right coalition government or its main lines of policy. Election issues have been dominated by debates over public services, including health care, education and child care.
Last year, Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen's Center Party won the parliamentary elections and formed a coalition government with three other parties that hold 125 seats in the 200-member Parliament.
On Sunday, polling stations were opened for 11 hours and reported a steady stream of voters casting ballots. Election observers predicted higher turnout than in the previous local elections in 2004, when 58.6 percent of the electorate voted _ the second lowest rate in more than 50 years.
In this election, more than 1 million people, or 24 percent of eligible voters, went to the polls in a week of advance voting at post offices that ended Wednesday.


Updated : 2021-05-19 08:53 GMT+08:00