Perussuomalaiset (PS)* Chairperson Jussi Halla-aho announced Monday that he will not seek reelection as the party’s head at the annual meeting in August, according to Yle News. While some party members expressed sadness about the news, Halla-aho will not be missed by many.
No reason was given for his departure. There is, however, some speculation that Halla-aho was never enthusiastic about leading the party. Moreover, his exit may be a new step in making the Islamophobic party appear “more normal.”
Even if the National Coalition Party (Kokoomus) has said that it could form a government with the PS, Halla-aho remains a controversial person due to his racist views and writings.
Ville Tavio, the head of the PS parliamentary group, believes that aside from the racism, Islamophobia, and ultra-nationalistic stances, the party is already “normal.”
“The Perussuomalaisety party is a democratic, popular movement in which its leaders must be able to change,” Tavio wrote, thanking Halla-aho for his leadership over the past four years. “[Our] support was raised from the grass roots and the party has shifted ideologically from populism towards a more rational, national, conservative direction.”
Even if the Finnish media has given tacit support to Halla-aho, few have openly criticized his racist views and policies.
If anything, Halla-aho and the PS is the racist undercurrent flowing in this country.
The PS leader has encouraged racists and given them a stronger voice. He made them feel comfortable enough to show their racism in public.