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Finnish Foreign Minister survives no-confidence vote over pro-life views

Timo Soini (Getty Images)

Finland’s Catholic Foreign Minister has survived a confidence vote in parliament after opposition parties tried to force him to quit over his pro-life views.

Timo Soini received 101 votes in his favour against 60 calling for him to go. The Swedish People’s Party, Social Democrats, Left Alliance and the Green League proposed the no-confidence motion against the minister, who has been in office since 2015.

Soini has expressed pro-life views on several occasions over the past few months. During an official trip to Canada in early May, he joined a vigil at the Ottawa March for Life, writing on his blog: “In Ottawa, one night I attended an evening vigil by the Pro-Life movement. It was an outdoor event, not in church. The event preceded a major pro-life march in Ottawa the next day.”

Soini’s party, Blue Reform, had threatened to withdraw its support from the government if he had lost the vote. The loss of the party’s 18 MPs would have been enough to deprive the government if its eight-seat majority, thus possibly bringing about its collapse.