Finland’s municipal elections may be postponed as infections surge

Already at the start of February, justice ministry officials started getting ready to delay the municipal elections set to take place on 18 April, according to press reports. [Shutterstock/Von ffikretow@hotmail.com]

Seeing the surge in coronavirus infections, politicians and civil servants will have to quickly decide whether to go ahead with April’s municipal elections or postpone them till autumn.

At the start of February, justice ministry officials started preparing to delay the municipal elections set to take place on 18 April, according to press reports.

“If it is the case, as it may be now, that a significant number of eligible voters will not be able to exercise their voting rights, or at least will not be able to exercise them safely, then, of course, the balance of concerns will start to move,” Justice Chancellor Tuomas Pöysti told the Finnish News Agency in an interview.

However, politicians have so far rejected postponing elections and denied accusations of lacking an alternative plan. According to Justice Minister Anna-Maja Henriksson, online and postal voting options have been discussed, but ruled out due to a tight timetable.

Hope has now been placed in the vaccination programme as a final decision regarding the elections has been promised by the end of February. With elections having to be organised soon in the Netherlands and the UK, Finland is not the only country facing this dilemma.

(Pekka Vänttinen | EURACTIV.com)

Subscribe to our newsletters

Subscribe
Contribute