Not obtaining the two-thirds majority needed to change the bylaws, the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* Youth turned down a motion from the party to change its bylaws 56 votes in favor to 45 against. The vote was a definite setback to PS chairperson Jussi Halla-aho.
Even if the party will make a decision in early March on how to proceed after the vote, it means that PS Youth will split from the parent party.
The only ones who appear surprised by the result is the PS leadership. Under Halla-aho, the party has promoted, even encouraged, ethnonationalism and fear-mongered about how white Finns will become a minority in their own country thanks to Muslim migrants.
PS party secretary Simo Grönroos, who is a declared ethnonationalist and a member of the fascist-spirited Suomen Sisu, confirmed after the vote that the party would establish a new youth association.
“Of course it is important that the party has its own youth organization,” he was quoted saying in Yle News, “so yes the party will found its own youth wing.”
Halla-aho is in the same quandary as former PS leader Timo Soini when internal power struggles were waged between him and the far-right Islamophobes led by Halla-aho.
Thanks to a media that is normally toothless in confronting PS politicians with tough questions, and other politicians who fear that opposing the PS’ racist policies may be counterproductive, Halla-aho and his cronies have had an easy ride in Finland.
Former PS Youth second vice president Toni Jalonen, changed that momentarily when he admitted over the weekend at a conference in Estonia that he is “an ethnonationalist, traditionalist, and a fascist.”