Paavo Väyrynen, Simon Elo announce their new political homes

Two former frontline politicians have decided on where their political futures should be.

Composite picture showing Paavo Väyrynen (L) and Simon Elo (R) / Credit: News Now Finland

Two former frontline politicians have announced their new political homes on Monday.

Former Centre Party heavyweight Paavo Väyrynen says he’s returning to the party was so closely linked with over many years.

“I have decided to respond to the wishes of welcome and rejoin the Centre Party” Väyrynen writes in his blog.

“I intend to take full advantage of the statutory possibilities open to members of the party to influence its ideological and political line” he adds.

The 73-year old ex-Foreign Minister left the Centre Party after failing to secure a top ministerial position in Juha Sipilä‘s government in 2015.

He went on to found the Citizens’ Party but they later kicked him out over a disagreement about election expenses. Väyrynen then formed the Seven Star Movement and fielded several far right candidates at elections in 2019.

Väyrynen ran as a Seven Star candidate in both the general election and the European Parliament election in spring 2019 but did not win a seat.

The Lapland politician, who had failed in three previous bids to be president, ran as an independent candidate in opposition to the official Centre Party candidate Matti Vanhanen in the 2018 presidential elections. He came fourth, beating Vanhanen, but his share of the vote collapsed in comparison to his previous bid in 2012.

Simon Elo joins Kokoomus 

Meanwhile one of the founders of the Blue Reform party, which split as a more moderate faction of the Finns Party in summer 2017, has announced he’s now joining the National Coalition Party.

Simon Elo, who was Blue Reform’s Parliamentary Group leader in the last government, says he wants to “defend Western democracy, patriotism, equal dignity and a free market economy.”

The Espoo politician resigned from Blue Reform in August 2018 after his party was completely wiped out in the 2019 general election – losing 20 Members of Parliament including five government ministers.

Elo remains a member of Espoo City Council.

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