The Perussuomalaiset (PS) party’s parliamentary group chose Tuesday Pirkko Mattila to be the new chairwoman of the administration committee after PS MP Jussi Halla-aho was forced to resign last week. The PS MP from the northern Finnish town of Muhos got 25 votes, clearly beating challengers Juho Eerola and Ismo Soukola, who got 5 votes apiece, according to Helsingin Sanomat.
Political observers see Mattila’s appointment as a clear defeat for Halla-aho’s anti-immigration Suomen Sisu faction. Halla-aho had handpicked Eerola to be his successor.
The former chairman will continue to be a member of the committee.
PS MP Pirkko Mattila.
Mattila’s victory reveals as well that the PS is losing patience with its anti-immigration wing, which has received widespread negative coverage by the media and caused the party’s poll ratings to plummet.
The former chairman of the administration committee was forced to resign last week after he was fined by the Finnish Supreme Court fined for defaming a religion and for inciting ethnic hatred.
The administration committee oversees immigration policy.