There’s more to this story which will be coming soon for the TT readers.
The political drama around the populist Finns Party continues. After Jussi Halla-aho was elected the new chair of the Finns Party, he announced he would take a more nationalistic, Euroscpetic line. This caused the near-collapse of the government, which was saved at the last minute by over 20 Finns Party ministers and MPs defecting and forming a new parliamentary group, the New Alternative. This pushed Halla-aho and the remaining 15 Finns Party members to the opposition.
Helsingin Sanomat, Ilta-Sanomat, Aamulehti and Turun Sanomat write about the rift between the two groups. Ther relationship ultimately severed after MP Tiina Elovaara claimed on Yle’s live A-studio broadcast she made her decision to deflect after she saw Halla-aho’s supporters making Nazi salutes at the Finns Party convention.
Members of the New Alternative have faced harsh criticism from regional party offices, most of whom stand by Halla-aho’s leadership. The New Alternative, members of which include former chair and Foreign Minister Timo Soini and ex-candidate for chairmanship Sampo Terho, took party members by surprise, and has created a deep wedge between Finns Party supporters.
The two groups are also in a dispute over who will receive financial support from the Finns Party support foundation. The New Alternative hasn’t requested funding, and according to party rules would only be eligible for it if the parliamentary group established its own political party and the board of the foundation decided to replace the current Finns Party.