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Last Updated: Wednesday, 18 June, 2003, 16:42 GMT 17:42 UK
Leak scandal sinks Finnish PM
Anneli Jaeaetteenmaeki after her resignation
Jaatteenmaki was implicated in leak scandal
Finnish Prime Minister Anneli Jaatteenmaki has resigned amid a row over leaked documents.

Ms Jaatteenmaki had been under pressure after allegedly using confidential material to aid her election campaign and then lying about how she had got the documents.

The leaked documents were damaging to her political rival, Social Democrat Paavo Lipponen, who she narrowly beat in March elections.

Ms Jaatteenmaki had denied requesting the secret documents, but confirmed to parliament earlier on Wednesday that she had received faxed excerpts of them.

However, she continued to insist that she had not requested them.

US ties

The documents suggested that Mr Lipponen had closer ties to the US over Iraq than he was publicly admitting.

Ms Jaatteenmaki was Finland's first female prime minister, and her position alongside President Tarja Halonen made Finland the only country in Europe to have women as both prime minister and president.

Ms Jaatteenmaki was heading a coalition of her own Centre Party, the Social Democrats and the Swedish People's Party.

She led her opposition Centre Party to a narrow election victory in March.

The party took 55 seats, just two more than the Social Democrats.




SEE ALSO:
Opposition wins Finnish poll
17 Mar 03  |  Europe
Country profile: Finland
26 Sep 02  |  Country profiles
Timeline: Finland
06 Mar 03  |  Country profiles


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