Sampo Terho (right) will represent the newly-established New Alternative Parliamentary Group in discussions with the chairpersons of the Centre and National Coalition, Prime Minister Juha Sipilä (left) and Minister of Finance Petteri Orpo (not pictured).

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Jussi Halla-aho, the newly-elected chairperson of the Finns Party, has accused his predecessor, Timo Soini, of orchestrating yesterday’s mass exodus from the Finns Party.

“I think this is frankly a new low for Timo Soini,” says Halla-aho. “He spoke very harshly about defectors [in his blog] a week ago, as he has justifiably done throughout his career. I think this is an incredible stunt by him.”

The Finns Party Parliamentary Group on Tuesday lost the majority of its 37 members, as a total of 22 of its members abandoned what was previously the second largest parliamentary group – 20 to establish the New Alternative Parliamentary Group that will continue coalition co-operation with the Centre and National Coalition.

The newly-established parliamentary group announced yesterday that it has selected Sampo Terho, the Minister of European Affairs, Culture and Sports, as its representative to the primary decision-making body of the ruling coalition, the so-called trio.

“I’ll participate in discussions between the chairpersons of the ruling parties,” he said in a news conference on Tuesday, standing next to Prime Minister Juha Sipilä (Centre).

Simon Elo, the chairperson of the New Alternative Parliamentary Group, shed light on the reasons for forming the splinter group while appeared on YLE TV2’s Ajankohtainen Kakkonen on Tuesday.

“We’re firmly under the impression that behind the scenes there had been long-term efforts to hijack the party, which is no longer a political home for us,” he stated, referring to the rise of Halla-aho and his supporters to power at the Finns Party on Saturday.

Uusi Suomi on Tuesday asked Minister for Foreign Affairs Timo Soini, the ex-chairperson of the Finns Party, to comment on rumours that he notified Sipilä of the plans to establish the New Alternative Parliamentary Group already on Sunday.

“We’ve now formed a new [parliamentary] group. Let’s focus on that,” replied Soini.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Jussi Nukari – Lehtikuva
Source: Uusi Suomi

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