June 4, 2019 / 7:55 PM / 13 days ago

Finland's Greens name Haavisto as foreign minister in new government

FILE PHOTO: Chairman of the Green League Pekka Haavisto attends the Green League's election party in Helsinki, Finland April 14, 2019. Lehtikuva/Roni Rekomaa via REUTERS/File Photo

HELSINKI (Reuters) - Finland’s Greens, fresh from their best ever election result in April and part of the incoming governing coalition, named party chief Pekka Haavisto as the next foreign minister on Tuesday.

Haavisto, 61, has a long background in international conflict resolution. He has run for president twice, finishing second to current President Sauli Niinisto on both occasions. Haavisto was a minister in three previous governments.

The new government, in which Greens will get three cabinet posts, will be sworn in later this week. Four parties including the Greens, who won 20 seats in the 200-strong parliament, agreed a joint government programme last week.

Earlier on Tuesday, Finland’s largest party, Social Democrats, named its seven ministers, including confirming Antti Rinne as the prime minister, and said it would propose former finance minister Jutta Urpilainen for the EU Commission post.

Social Democrats were placed first in the April 14 general election by a tight margin with just 17.7% of the vote, forcing them to partner with four smaller parties to form a majority government.

Two coalition partners - Centre and Left Alliance - will name its ministers on Wednesday, with Centre appointing the new finance minister.

Reporting by Tarmo Virki; Editing by Mark Heinrich and Marguerita Choy

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