Veteran Finnish politician Paavo Väyrynen has offered himself up to be the leader of the Centre Party – but only on a temporary basis.
Although the Centre Party doesn’t have a leadership vacancy, Väyrynen says that he could take charge through the 2021 municipal elections and the 2023 Parliamentary elections.
“If I could save the party with my candidacy, I would of course have a direct obligation to be available” he writes, claiming that a number of people have contacted him to encourage him to do this.
This week marks the 50th anniversary of Väyrynen being elected as a Member of Parliament. Since then he’s held the leadership of the Centre Party for a decade; run for president four times; been a local council in Helsinki; foreign minister; education minister; labour minister; deputy prime minister, and an MEP.
After quitting the Centre Party in 2016 when he didn’t get a senior position he thought he was due in Juha Sipilä‘s cabinet, he went on to found the Citizens’ Party – then separated from them acrimoniously a short time later.
After that, Väyrynen formed the Seven Star Movement which attracted far right neo-Nazi candidates to stand at the 2019 European Parliament elections.
“I will be involved in political activities for a long time” writes the 73-year old.
“As long as there is enough health and support.”
Väyrynen is not currently a Member of Parliament, nor a Member of the European Parliament after failing to get enough support to be elected in spring last year.