I couldn’t be happier, time for some new blood, like Jussi Halla-aho….
While it’s true that he shepherded his party from obscurity to being the second largest party in Finland, he threw it all away for a ministry role at the Finnish State Dept. (MFA). He refused to object to Muslim settlers being allowed in by the tens of thousands in 2015-16. He stabbed his base in the back over that and on other issues, now they’re limping along at around 6-8% in the polls.
Finns Party chair Timo Soini wrote in his blog on Sunday that he will not be in the running for the party chair position this June, marking the end of his 20 year career as leader of the populist party.
“I will not be seeking another term in the Jyväskylä party congress in early June,” he writes. “Something else is now in store.”
Soini writes that his decision was a difficult one to make, but he believes that it is the best decision for everyone involved. He said he started to lean towards a decision to hang up his party chair hat earlier this year.
Soini became the leader of the True Finns Party in 1997. Two years earlier, he and two others had created the new political party, which changed its name to the Finns Party in 2011. Soini ran for Parliament in the spring 1999 elections, but lost. He was later elected in 2003.
In the 2009 European Parliament election he won nearly 10 percent of all votes in Finland, becoming the first member of his party to serve as an MEP from 2009-2011, after which he returned to the Finnish Parliament.
Soini’s finest moment was perhaps the 2011 parliamentary election, however, when he rode the back of discontent and led his party to a historic victory. The Finns Party won 39 seats, making them the third largest party.
He himself received 43,437 personal votes in 2011, 1.5 percent of all votes cast, the highest of any candidate.
Soini and the Finns Party were a vocal and appealing opposition party, and Soini managed to raise the party’s popularity from 4.1 percent to 19.1 percent in just four years.
In the 2015 parliamentary elections, the Finns Party obtained 38 seats, becoming the second biggest party after the Centre Party. Coalition negotiations began on May 8 between the Centre Party, the Finns Party and the National Coalition Party, and Soini joined the government as Minister for Foreign Affairs.
Soini mentioned in his blog on Sunday that he would like to continue in his minister position until the end of the election term in 2019.
“This depends on several things: primarily if the party will continue in government,” he says.
He says he would like to see the Finns Party continue in the coalition.