The Prime Minister of Finland, Juha Sipila stepped down just few weeks to a general election. This comes after his government had failed to push its flagship health policy through Parliament.
The former businessman tendered his resignation to President Sauli Niinisto, who asked him to stay on as caretaker until the April 14 vote. Sipila’s decision is also an admission that the government was unable to rally enough support to push its pro-market reforms through parliament.
Finland has growing concerns over its ageing population, and will need to put pragmatic measures in place to address such. Statistics Finland has estimated that more than a quarter of the population will be aged over 65 by 2030, making a more cost-effective welfare policy a top priority. The government’s plan involved a drastic reorganization of the way health care is administered at a local level.
The collapse of the reform is a massive disappointment,” Sipila said at a press conference in Helsinki on Friday. “We have been under a lot of pressure from the European Union to get this done, but there wasn’t enough time.”
he prime minister came under fire from the nationalist Finns Party, a former ally, which accused him of playing “a shameful trick” on the electorate.
“Prime Minister Sipila tendered the government’s resignation today citing the collapse of the health and social care reform, even though the real reason was the decline in the popularity of Sipila and his Center Party,” Finns Party member of parliament Ville Tavio said in an emailed statement.
The African Question
Although the Finnish system of governance might not be the same as most African systems, a failed policy is still a failed policy. On a continent bedeviled by failed government policies, leaders still perpetuate their rule by employing mischievous tactics to control masses.
One wonders if this could happen on a continent where voting patterns are based on tribal and ethnic affiliations. Africans would have to take a cue from this and demand more accountability from their ‘stomach politicians’.