MP Ano Turtiainen has been temporarily expelled from the parliamentary group of the True Finns (Perussuomalaiset, in Finnish) as a result of a controversial tweet in which he mocked George Floyd, the African-American man whose death at the hands of police in Minneapolis triggered a wave of massive protests and looting in the United States.
Despite the fact that the tweet was deleted by Turtiainen shortly after its publication, it quickly sparked a wave of rejection is social media, even from the leadership of his own party, which considered his behaviour unacceptable.
However, the chairman of the Perussuomalaiset parliamentary group, Ville Tavio, did not scold him for the racist undercurrent of the tweet, but for "mocking a deceased person."
"We do not tolerate this sort of social media behaviour from our representatives," Tavio said Wednesday.
Group meeting on Thursday
On Thursday, a meeting of the Perussuomalaiset parliamentary group was held with Turtiainen's tweet on the agenda.
At the end of the meeting, the chairman of the group reported Turtiainen's expulsion for the coming months due to his "repeated inappropriate behavior on social media."
The expulsion is not final: "Turtiainen may aspire to become (again) a member of the group after the turn of the year if the group at that time considers that his behavior has permanently improved," Tavio said.
Ano Turtiainen is a Member of Parliament of the far-right party True Finns. He was elected in the 2019 parliamentary election at the South-Eastern Finland constituency.
On Wednesday, 3,000 people gathered in downtown Helsinki to protest for George Floyd's death.