Foreign Minister Timo Soini (Blue) has been admitted to hospital suffering from a “high grade fever” according to a statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The minister’s office isn’t commenting on exactly when he was taken to hospital, nor how long he might be off work.
It means that Soini’s upcoming visit to Iceland, scheduled to begin on Sunday, will have to be postponed until another time. The 56-year-old Foreign Minister was due to have met with Iceland’s President and Prime Minister, and discuss Arctic issues in particular.
Soini’s difficult month
It has been a difficult few weeks for Soini.
The embattled foreign minister faced a vote of no-confidence in parliament in September, brought by opposition MPs following his attendance at an anti-abortion rally in Canada while on an official trip representing the government.
The rare no-confidence vote in a government minister – which Soini survived – came after the Chancellor of Justice published a report which said it was “problematic”, and advised that Soini shouldn’t take a public stance on abortion while on official business, even in his private time.
There is some uncertainty about Soini’s political future as well. The True Finns party he founded split acrimoniously last summer, and Soini’s new party Blue Reform is polling around 2% in the latest opinion polls.
Soini says he will announce his next steps around Christmas – but there has been speculation about whether he plans to run again in the next parliamentary elections, or seek a job as a member of the European Parliament, or take some other international appointment.