Kokoomus’ perilous path, caving into far-right populism and xenophobia

by , under Enrique Tessieri

Conservative parties like the National Coalition Party (Kokoomus) are on a dangerous path putting in peril human rights and the rule of law. The latest suggestion by Kokoomus parliamentary group leader, Kai Mykkänen, to pass legislation so Finland could suspend asylum applications like Greece is worrying.

The Islamophobic Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party clutched political power in the last decade with the help of anti-Muslim racism. Only white EU citizens were spared from their hateful rhetoric as long as they kept quiet.

Anyone from outside the EU with different skin color or religion was targetted and victimized by their hateful rhetoric.

Since the historic victory of the PS in the 2011 parliamentary election, when they won 39 seats from 5 seats previously, the party’s message has steered further to the far right.

Even if it was only a time when the PS would show it real far-right colors, it is disappointing to watch how Kokoomus has climbed into bed with the PS.

Kokoomus parliamentary group leader Kai Mykkänen stated after Greece decided to suspend asylum applications for a month that Finland should pass legislation to do the same.

Even if politics makes strange bedfellows as in the case of the PS and Kokoomus, it is worrying how much alike they are in their xenophobic knee-jerk reactions. Read the full story (in Finnish) here.

“Finland must be prepared, if necessary if we were exposed to pressure from a large number of [asylum] applications coming towards Finland,” he was quoted as saying in Yle and added that the country should be able to do what Greece did under exceptional circumstances.

Somebody should tell Mykkänen and his party that it is a human right, specifically Article 14, guarantees the right to seek asylum. It does not read that such a human right can be suspended under any circumstances.

With such arguments, we could put on hold our democratic system whenever a political party in power deems.

Kokoomus, never mind the PS, are placing Finland on a dangerous path.