Finnish foreign minister criticised for attending anti-abortion vigil

Source: Reuters

HELSINKI (Reuters) – Finland’s government watchdog reprimanded Foreign Minister Timo Soini on Tuesday for taking part in an anti-abortion vigil during an official visit to Canada.

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Finland’s Foreign Minister Timo Soini delivers the opening speech at the Finns Party congress in Jyvaskyla, Finland, June 10, 2017. LEHTIKUVA/ Jussi Nukari via REUTERS/Files

Soini attended the event in Ottawa in May with his deputy, who posted a picture on Twitter, prompting calls from the opposition for Soini’s resignation.

Finland is known for pioneering gender equality. The law allows abortion and the government is committed to promote women’s rights in its foreign and security policy.

Parliament is due in the coming days to hold a no-confidence vote brought by some opposition parties over Soini’s behaviour, but, despite some criticism from his government colleagues, it is unlikely to pass due to the coalition’s majority.

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