A Finns Party candidate for parliament has claimed that an attack on Foreign Minister Timo Soini might have been a ‘false flag’ operation carried out just to boost votes for government coalition parties ahead of next month’s election.
Writing on Facebook, Arto Luukkanen said that although the Finns Party condemns “violence, vandalism and threats during the election” he thinks that “attempts may be made to influence the election through violence or spectacular tricks”.
“The intention is to push out reluctant voters on behalf of the government and rulers, when their poll numbers are going down” he said.
“Black ops are in now” adds the Finns Party candidate.
Politicians respond to Soini’s attack
A man born in 1967 was arrested in connection with an attack on Sunday afternoon which targeted Foreign Minister Timo Soini (Blue).
The man was wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with the logo of far right vigilante group Soldiers of Odin, and attempted to punch Soini. He also hit a policeman on the head with a bottle before being wrestled to the ground and detained at the election campaign event in Vantaa.
Today, police say they believe the man acted alone; while MTV Uutiset reports that the founder of the Soldiers of Odin says the man wasn’t a full member of the organisation, just a supporter.
Finnish politicians react
In the aftermath of the incident, Finnish political leaders spoke out about violence on the campaign trail.
“An attack against democracy is unacceptable. Political violence should not be accepted. We must work together to defend our valuable common democracy” said Prime Minister Juha Sipilä (Centre).
“Finland is an exceptional country in the sense that politicians can walk here on the streets and there is no barbed wire around Parliament. Let’s keep Finland as it is. Things are influenced by voting, not brawling” said Jussi Halla-aho (Finns).
“I condemn all kind of violent acts, and I do not accept incitement to violence of any kind. Everyone must live in peace and be able to participate in social debate without fear. Political differences must be resolved by speaking” said Petteri Orpo (NCP).
“In a civilized democracy, political disagreements are never resolved by violence. I call on party leaders to adopt a common position against all political violence. Democracy is such a precious thing that it must be put right now to those who despise it” said Antti Rinne (SDP).
“Electoral protection is absolute for every candidate and has to be respected, as well as the physical integrity of every human being. In democracy, political violence should not have any space. Such action is completely condemned” said Li Andersson (Left).