Finnish Prime Minister Juha Sipila has tendered his government’s resignation after he failed to push through a social and health care reform package.
“Prime Minister Juha Sipila has submitted the resignation of the government to President of the Republic Sauli Niinisto… today,” Niinisto’s office said in an announcement made just five weeks ahead of legislative elections scheduled for April 14.
“The president has accepted the government’s resignation and asked it to continue on a caretaker basis until a new government has been appointed.”
Sipila, a former businessman who earned millions as an IT entrepreneur before becoming prime minister in 2015, has made health and social reform one of his top priorities in office, seeing a shake-up as necessary to cut the ballooning costs of treating a rapidly ageing population.
Since 2015, he headed a coalition made up of his Centre Party, the conservative National Coalition, and Blue Reform, a moderate faction spun off from the far-right.
The proportion of over-65s in the Nordic country, which has a population of 5.4 million, is expected to reach 26 percent by 2030.
The reform has been a hard wrought struggle over a decade and has divided successive governments.