Opposition censures govt statement against racism, submits no-confidence motion

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The parliament on Wednesday held debate on the anti-racism statement submitted by the Kansallinen Kokoomus (National Coalition Party-NCP) led four-party rightwing government.

The government on August 31 submitted the statement to the parliament with the view to promote equality, gender equality and non-discrimination in Finnish society.

“It its Programme, the Government has committed to promoting democracy, the rule of law and human rights. The Government has pledged to promote equality and non-discrimination and to combat racism,” said Prime Minister Petteri Orpo in the parliament while speaking on the statement.

Meanwhile, leaders of the opposition parties strongly criticized the government for the statement and also expressed doubt whether, all the ministers would be refrained from using the racist remarks.

Three opposition parties- Suomen Sosialidemokraattinen Puolue (Social Democratic Party of Finland-SDP), Vihreä Liitto (Green League) and Vasemmistoliitto (Left Alliance)- in a statement announced to place a no-confidence motion in the parliament against the government statement.

The parliament is expected to vote on the motion on Friday.

Meanwhile, pointing out the racist remarks made by Finance Minister Riikka Purra and Economic Affairs Minister Wille Rydman of the radical rightist Perussuomalaiset (Finns Party), the second largest component of the alliance government, Vihreä Liitto and Vasemmistoliitto also submitted no-confidence motions against the two ministers.

Purra came under fire following widespread controversy raised over racial, apparently violent and anti-immigrant comments made in guise of an identity of ´riikka´ in 2008 on a blog hosted by former Chairperson of her party Jussi Halla-aho, also Speaker of the present parliament.

On July 11, Purra admitted that she made the controversial remarks on the Scripta blog 15 years ago in guise of a username "riikka" and apologised for the racial, violent and anti-immigrant comments.

Rydman made the remarks in text messages sent to his former dating partner when he was a lawmaker of the conservative Kansallinen Kokoomus (National Coalition Party-NCP), the main component of the alliance.

Petteri Orpo-led four-party right-wing alliance government took office on June 20.

On July 6, Rydman was appointed as the Minister of Economic Affairs replacing his party colleague Vilhelm Junnila.

Earlier on June 30, Junnila decided to resign following the controversy raised over his links to far-right groups.

Rydman left Kokoomus and joined Perussuomalaiset in January, 2023 following allegations of inappropriate behavious to women in June 2022.

Another Perussuomalaiset leader and Interior Minister Mari Rantanen faced strong criticism for her social media post related to far-right ideology and immigration.

Speaker of the parliament and former Perussuomalaiset Chairperson Jussi Halla-aho, who hosted the Scripta blog was convicted of inciting hatred against an ethnic group in 2012.

  •  Parliament
  •  Debates
  •  Statement
  •  Racism

Source: www.dailyfinland.fi

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