Finland PM Sanna Marin conceded defeat in the federal election on Sunday night to the centre-right National Coalition Party with almost 98% of the votes counted.
The one-term Social Democrat Party PM conceded to Petteri Orpo of the National Coalition Party with over 97% of the votes counted.
“Based on this result, talks over forming a new government to Finland will be initiated under the leadership of the National Coalition Party,” said Orpo.
Orpo’s party had won 20.7% of the votes, just ahead of The Finns, a right wing populist party that’s called for stricter immigration and refugee intake controls, which had received 20.1% of the votes when Marin conceded.
Marin’s Social Democrat Party was sitting third, having received 19.9% of votes.
Marin, 37, was criticized heavily after people discovered photos of her on someone’s Instagram account that showed her partying it up during the COVID lockdown era.
She later took a drug test to prove she had nothing illegal in her system, and released her negative test results.
In December 2021, Marin was also criticized for going to a nightclub after she said she missed a text message requiring her to isolate after a COVID close contact encounter.
Last year, Russia promised to respond after Marin applied to NATO, as the two countries share a 1,340km border.
On Sunday, Orpo said he intends to move forward with Marin’s NATO plans.
“The most important thing in the next government is to fix our economy, push economic growth, balance public economy. And the second very important issue is to build up NATO-Finland,” he said.