Wednesday 10/20/21
AL-HOL

Haavisto wins confidence vote over handling of repatriation

Last week, the Constitutional Law Committee criticized Haavisto for breaching administrative laws.
Pekka-Haavisto-by-Lauri-Heikkinen---Vnk
File photo of the Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto. Photo: Lauri Heikkinen/Vnk.

Finnish Foreign Minsiter Pekka Haavisto won a vote of no-confidence in parliament on Tuesday, called over his dealing with staff in the repatriation of Finnish children from a refugee camp in Syria.

Haavisto has been under fire over his role in last year's efforts to repatriate orphaned Finnish children from the al-Hol camp, home to people displaced from Islamic State-occupied territory.

Haavisto was for instance criticized for sidelining a senior Foreign Ministry official who opposed the repatriation due to concerns about the safety of Foreign Ministry staff who were to handle it.

Last week, the Constitutional Law Committee criticized Haavisto for breaching administrative laws but found there were insufficient grounds to prosecute him.

101 votes in his favour

Haavisto received 101 votes in his favour and 68 against him in the 200-seat legislature. Thirty lawmakers were absent.

The opposition Finns Party had pressed for the vote.

Haavisto's Greens are part of the ruling coalition led by Prime Minister Sanna Marin, leader of the Social Democrats.

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