Parties turn their attention to Euro Parliament elections

After a busy domestic election season, the nominations and campaigning begins for the European Parliament elections in May.

File photo / Credit: @europeancommission Instagram

After the rush of the Finnish general election, political parties are turning their attention to the upcoming European Parliament elections which take place at the end of May.

With two elections in quick succession, parties had kept EU election preparations low key in part to avoid any confusion about which candidates were standing in which election.

The deadline to nominate candidates for the elections is 6th April, and now more Finnish politicians have started to throw their hat into the ring – or decline to run.

Assault MP plans Euro Parliament bid

On Wednesday morning Finns Party MP Teuvo Hakkarainen told Keskisuomalainen newspaper that he plans to run for the European Parliament.

The 59-year old recently had his punishment for a criminal conviction increased by an Appeals Court.

He was found guilty of a drunken December 2017 attack on a female member of parliament, where he physically assaulted her and tried to forcibly kiss her.

The Finns Party took no substantive action against him, and he ran successfully to retain his seat in the national parliament. If Hakkarainen gets elected to Brussels his seat in parliament would be given to another Finns Party candidate who didn’t manage to get elected in their own right.

Centre right politicians fall by the wayside 

Meanwhile former Prime Minister Alex Stubb (NCP) and former Labour Minister Jari Lindström (Blue) say they won’t be candidates for an MEP job.

Linström failed to get elected in Sunday’s vote, while Stubb has a job at the European Investment Bank in Brussels – although his bid to be the next ‘President of Europe’ last autumn was widely seen as a promotional campaign for a top EU job in the next Brussels administration, possible as ‘High Representative’, a de facto foreign minister role.

Another ex Blue Reform MP, defence minister Jussi Niinistö (Blue) already announced he won’t be a European Parliament candidate after he too lost his seat in the election.

The Blue Reform party may go into an electoral alliance with the Christian Democrats for the European Parliament elections.