The constitution is becoming an obstacle, says Kaj Turunen (PS), the chairperson of the Parliament's Commerce Committee.
The constitution is becoming an obstacle, says Kaj Turunen (PS), the chairperson of the Parliament's Commerce Committee.

The Constitution of Finland should be re-written to reflect the changes in the world around us, views Kaj Turunen (PS), the chairperson of the Parliament's Commerce Committee.

“We're drafting laws for today and the future,” he reminded in an interview with Uusi Suomi. “Our constitution is quite old and may not necessarily take into consideration completely how the world around us has changed.”

“The Government's proposal to entitle asylum seekers to ten per cent less social security benefits than Finns, for example, was in violation of the constitution,” he highlighted.

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Jaakko Jonkka, the Chancellor of Justice, cited the very same proposal as an example of the constitutional problems that have plagued the draft bills of the Government of Prime Minister Juha Sipilä (Centre) in an interview with Helsingin Sanomat on Saturday.

The Office of the Chancellor of Justice, he said, reminded repeatedly that the proposal should be reviewed in case of constitutional or human rights-related problems.

“The Government's proposal was suddenly presented to us for a review. For some reason the feedback we offered was never taken into consideration. At that point, we had no choice but to make sure the Constitutional Law Committee is asked to comment on the proposal,” he said to the daily newspaper.

The Government ultimately withdrew the proposal after it was deemed to be in violation of the constitution by the Constitutional Law Committee.

Turunen commented on the issue also on Twitter. “The Government is updating the legislation for today and the future. Also the constitution is in need of revisions, because it is becoming an obstacle,” he stated.

The Constitution of Finland, he stressed to Uusi Suomi, must guarantee the rights of Finns without affecting or undermining democracy and human rights in any way.

“It's currently being claimed that the problem lies with the current legislative practices. No one has drawn attention to the question of why [legislative projects] are stopped by the constitution, is there something in our constitution that should be revisited,” he pointed out. “The constitution was drafted at a time when we didn't have such high levels of immigration.”

Turunen also underscored that his views do not necessarily reflect those of other members of the Finns Party.

One of his party comrades, Laura Huhtasaari (PS), echoed his assessment by stating in an interview with Satakunnan Kansa that the constitution is outdated, identifying the section granting everyone the right to indispensable subsistence as particularly problematic.

“If someone is in the country illegally, are they included in the definition of everyone?” she asked.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Markku Ulander – Lehtikuva
Source: Uusi Suomi