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Finnish MPs can decide on NATO membership by simple majority: Committee

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Helsinki, Jan 13 (Ajit Weekly News) The Constitutional Law Committee of Finland’s Parliament ruled that lawmakers can make the final decision on whether the Nordic nation joins the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) based on a simple majority.

However, the committee did not take a stand on when the vote should take place, reports Xinhua news agency.

There has been debate in Finland on whether Parliament could complete the legislative process while ratification in Hungary and Turkey is still under way.

Committee chair Johanna Ojala-Niemela said at a press conference on Thursday that “there is no obstacle to either course of action. If Parliament wishes, it can table the question before Hungary and Turkey ratify”.

Speaker of Parliament Matti Vanhanen and Foreign Affairs Committee chair Jussi Halla-aho have proposed that the matter should be left for the next Parliament to decide if the two countries have not taken their decisions prior to that time.

President Sauli Niinisto has also said that Parliament can decide either way.

Commenting on the committee’s decision not to require a two-thirds majority, Ojala-Niemela said that “this transfer of powers to NATO is not significant enough to require a two-thirds majority”.

According to the committee, Finland would continue to maintain its legislative, judicial, and budgetary powers even after joining the alliance.

The required majorities for passing the NATO laws have no practical political importance, noted local analysts.

In May 2022, the country’s Parliament endorsed the decision to apply for NATO membership with a majority.

–Ajit Weekly News

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