The Greens are the clear early favorites in the presidential race, but will the membership polls spring a surprise? IS’s political editor Erno Liisi writes, Oras Tynkäinen’s spring solutions are stirring up bad blood in the party.
The Greens, who experienced the biggest election defeat in their history in the spring, are clearing their desks of jobs, as a party meeting in June could see a completely new party leadership.
Accountability has indeed been practiced in the current leadership, if accountability is defined as leaving a position of trust after an electoral defeat.
President Maria Ohisalo announced after Easter that he was not available for the expansion season. Party secretary Veli Laikanen also announced that he did not wish to continue in his position.
The party’s vice-president, chairman of the parliamentary group, Atte Harjanetta, was expected in the race for the presidency, but he is also not a candidate for the next term as vice-president.
Iris Suomela, who had been voted out of parliament in the spring elections, announced shortly after the elections that she would seek another term as vice-president, but had other ideas. Suomela announced on social media on Friday that she was not running for vice president, but for chairman of the party council.
Among the vice-presidents, only MP Hanna Holopainen is applying for another term, but no one can be sure of her choice.
Even the chairman of the party council will change – probably to Suomela – when Silja Kerenen, who is now leading it, will not seek another term.
So who will be chosen to replace those who quit?
Second-term MPs from Espoo Sara Hirko and Karina to Sofia Varta are competing for the presidency. The pre-favourite of the race is Hirakko, but the members’ vote could produce a surprise. Hirako is considered a candidate for the green “establishment”, even though he himself does not seek such a label. Hirko’s strengths are leadership skills and calmness.
– He’s a smiling junkie. Obeys others up to a certain point, but is finally ready to make a decision and move on, describes IS Hirakko.
He is a smiling diva.
Virtue is as foreign to his party as a member of the Green parliamentary group can be. The members who elect the chairman know Hirko better than Vira.
Punya attempted to campaign for the leadership of the party as a “new face”. This is a beautiful expression of inexperience and unfamiliarity. Virtra, who has an entrepreneurial background, has some influence within the party – at least among those who are on the “right wing” of the party. Virtue is praised as a charismatic performer.
– He has the potential to become a bigger celebrity than Sara.
However, all party workers interviewed for this article are of the opinion that the race will require at least one additional candidate—preferably a well-known one. The race lacks stardust and piques the interest of the general public.
The Greens acknowledge that the situation, in which one of the more prominent Greens declined to run for president, became awkward.
– it was embarrassing. Embarrassing As Hell, A Prominent Green Influencer Talks.
it was embarrassing. Embarrassing as hell.
In the opinion of the Greens themselves, the vice-presidential race had the elements of an interesting race – at least until last Friday. Iris Suomela withdrew from the party, as there would be no room for her in the presidency.
Oras Tynkäinen, Member of Parliament from Tampere who was voted out of the Finnish Parliament, will be appointed to the vice-presidency.
Although Tynkinen’s election to the post of Vice-President was considered certain, the decisions he took after the election also caused resentment in the party.
– This gives the impression that when Oraas managed to win (in the Finnish parliamentary elections), he decided to go and ensure the arrangement of the next parliamentary elections. Green Influencer says I got a slight feeling that Oras wants to take away the rest of the power from Iris.
– A lot of people are really disappointed that Oras didn’t take responsibility, said another Green Influencer, referring to Tynkinen’s refusal to run for president.
A lot of people are really disappointed that Oras didn’t take responsibility.
Tynkkynen justified his absence mainly by personal reasons. However, in his explanation, he practically directly stated that he was not interested in the presidency.
– He has been nominated several times and has always denied it. A prominent Greens influencer says it is futile to ask any longer.
At least you can’t blame her for taking on too much responsibility. Now if ever he was needed.
There are also defenders of the Tynkkys. Many Greens admire Tynkkinen’s principles in a situation where the pressure of running for office was immense.
– It is clear that he doesn’t really want to be president. And you cannot do those things out of a sense of duty.
If and when Tynkkyenen is one of the three vice presidents, the other two seats would be sufficient, at least theoretically. There are a total of eight candidates for the post of Vice President.
Of the vice-presidents running for office, Lappeenranta MP Hanna Holopainen is the only one who cannot be sure of continuity. Bella Forsgren, a second-term member of parliament from Jyväskylä, and Nura Koponen from Espoo and Mari Holopainen from Helsinki, who dropped out of parliament in the spring elections, are also running for vice presidency.
Forsgren has the best seam for the vice presidency from this trio. They not only have a parliamentary seat, but also the appeal of “provincial greens” and women’s organization. Forsgren serves as the chairperson of Green Women.
Koponen’s path to the presidency is hindered by his unfamiliarity and the fact that Hirkko, the candidate for the presidency, is also from Espoo.
Mari Holopainen’s path to the party leadership is complicated by Tuuli Kausa, another vice-presidential candidate from Helsinki. Kousa’s background is being talked about in discussions as the potential surprise of the race.
Also sharing the votes of the “provincial Greens” at the party meeting with Hanna Holopainen and Forsgren is Silja Kärnanen from Kajaani, who is giving up the chair of the party council.
Anna Möring and Sona Raitamäki are expected to be the top two from Helsinki in the party secretary contest.
Moring is a long-term green influencer and a leading expert of the Monimoitoiset pereet organization network. Möring is considered the favorite of the current party elite to continue the work of the exhausted party secretary Veli Likkainen.
Raitmäki had time to register for the race before Vali Likkanen announced that he was leaving his position. Raitamaki works as a Social Relations Specialist at Union Pro.
Also running for the post are Aleksi Mantila from Lahti, who works in the Green Party office, and Jako Mustakalio, the party’s former vice president from Tampere.
Based on background discussions, the future party leadership of the Greens could be as follows.
Speaker: Sarah Hirko.
Vice-chairmen: Oras Tynkäinen, Bäla Forsgren and Hanna Holopainen.
Party Secretary: Anna Möring.
President of the Party Council: Iris Suomela.
The Green Party meeting will be held in Senjoki on 10-11. june.
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