Sampo Terho (NA), the Minister of European Affairs, Culture and Sports, has revisited his decision to leave the Finns Party to co-found the New Alternative Parliamentary Group.
“The choice was difficult on an emotional level but absolutely the right one rationally. We’ve got a long road ahead of us – without party subsidies, without even a party, without an organisation on the ground,” he stated in a meeting of the parliamentary group in Tapiola, Espoo, on Monday.
“We lost our district organisations and hundreds of local associations. In short, we lost 20 years of work.”
The New Alternative consists of 19 members after Ritva Elomaa, a second-term Member of the Parliament from Masku, re-joined the Finns Party Parliamentary Group in late June. The New Alternative was founded a few days after Terho was beaten to the reins of the Finns Party on 10 June by Jussi Halla-aho.
“I promised during my leadership campaign that we’d get a fresh start. I wasn’t thinking about this fresh of a start, but this is where we all find ourselves now,” said Terho.
The New Alternative has begun collecting support statements for establishing the Blue Reform Party. Simon Elo, the chairperson of the parliamentary group, conceded last week that the splinter group must step up its efforts if it is to meet its objective of collecting the requisite 5,000 support statements by the end of September.
The parliamentary group has previously suggested it is interested in nominating a candidate for the presidential elections held in January, 2018.
“I think we’d like to have an impact on the presidential elections,” Elo said on 15 June.
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Martti Kainulainen – Lehtikuva
Source: Uusi Suomi