Finland's Rinne Targets Government Program Agreed by May 27

(Bloomberg) -- Finland’s election winner, Social Democrat leader Antti Rinne, set a preliminary timetable for talks to form a government.

Rinne targets sending questionnaires to other parties on April 26, and expects responses by April 30, he told reporters in Helsinki on Thursday. After a quick analysis of the responses and any follow up questions, he plans to start formal negotiations on a common platform for the coalition on May 6 with select parties.

“The timetable is tight and there’s little room for failure,” he said. “It would be good to have a decision by May 27, but it isn’t set in stone and there is some room for maneuver.”

Rinne, who won Sunday’s election with a hair-thin margin of 7,666 votes against the populist Finns Party, is expected to be given the mandate to form a government, as he represents the parliament’s biggest party.

Finland's Rinne Targets Government Program Agreed by May 27

Rinne needs at least one of the three large parties in his coalition to secure a parliamentary majority. The talks are likely to be difficult, as his values clash with the populists’ and the Center Party’s massive loss means it may prefer the opposition, giving the National Coalition leverage in negotiations with the Social Democrats.

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