Sunday 8/1/21
POLITICS

Purra aims to be Finland's Le Pen: "We want to limit immigration"

"We will never take part in a government where we would not be able to significantly change Finnish immigration policy," she said.
Halla-Aho-Riikka-Purra-by-@Halla_aho---Twitter
The incumbent president of the Party of True Finns, Jussi Halla-aho (L), and the vice president Riikka Purra. Photo: Twitter/@Halla_aho/File photo.

Little or nothing will change in the True Finns party (Perussuomalaiset) with the step down of its charismatic leader, Jussi Halla-Aho, expected for autumn.

The now vice president of the right-wing populist party and Member of Parliament Riikka Purra announced on Thursday her determination to run for the party's leadership.

Halla-aho, the politician who rebuilt the party after the split in 2017 with a message focused on nationalism, euroscepticism and the rejection of immigration, shook national politics on 21 June when he announced that he does not intend to run for re-election in the party congress in mid-August.

Riikka Purra, who was Halla-aho's right-hand person and whom many in Finland compare to the leader of the French National Rally Marine Le Pen, has said that she wants to be the new leader of the 'persut'. And her words at the press conference indicate that she does not intend to change the party's policies.

"We want to limit immigration that is detrimental to Finland, the kind that causes expenses or other significant problems," Purra said on Thursday at a press conference.

Government alliances

Now that some voting polls place the Perussuomalaiset leading the opposition almost on par with the right-wing National Coalition Party (Kokoomus), Purra emphasized that immigration policy will be decisive in establishing any possible post-electoral alliances.

"We will never take part in a government where we would not be able to significantly change Finnish immigration policy," she said.

With the country hit by the crisis derived from the Covid-19 pandemic, Purra also pointed out that, in the future, she would like his party to pay more attention to the economy.

But to chair the True Finns party, Purra must first win the congress to be held in mid-August in Seinäjoki. At least two other candidates, Sakari Puisto and Ossi Tiihonen, have expressed their intention to challenge her for leadership.

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