Social Democrats win elections in Finland but hard times await migrants, minorities and especially Muslims

by , under Enrique Tessieri


With 99.5% of the votes counted, it appears that the Social Democrats will win the elections. While the Finnish media has spoken about the Perussuomalaiset’s (PS) good showing, there has not been a word said about how far-right populism will continue to impact and change the country.

Considering the dismal leadership that our politicians, starting from President Sauli Niinistö, have shown in tackling xenophobia, none of us should be surprised by the result and the PS’ success at the polls.

Social Democrat chairperson, Antti Rinne, has said that he refuses to form a government with the Islamophobic PS.

If the rise of the PS under Jussi Halla-aho, who was convicted in 2012 for ethnic agitation and breaching the sanctity of religion, it is a stark warning that hard times await Finland’s migrants, minorities and especially Muslims.

What does the rise of the PS, which is the only party that had a clear anti-immigration message, mean for the country? How will it influence other parties and will it bring them in line with the PS’ anti-immigration message like the Danish People’s Party has done in Denmark?

The same fact that Sarah Chander, senior advocacy officer of the European Network Against Racism, raises an important question concerning social inequalities in society.

One good piece of news was the dismal result of the Blue Reform party, which did not win a seat in parliament.

If the election result is anything to go by, the good showing of the PS and some of its most Islamophobic voices show that a large segment of voters has a taste for Islamophobia and racism.

Social Democrats (SDP), Perussuomalaiset (PS), National Coalition Party (KOK), Center Party (KESK), Greens (VIHR), Left Alliance (VAS), Swedish People’s Party (RKP), and Christian Democrats (KD). Source: Helsingin Sanomat.

The Perussuomalaiset (PS) party imploded on June 13, 2017, into two factions, the PS and New Alternative, which is now called Blue Reform. Despite the name changes, we believe that it is the same party in different clothing. Both factions are hostile to cultural diversity never mind Muslims and other visible minorities. One is more open about it while the other says it in a different way.

A direct translation of Perussuomalaiset in English would be something like “basic” or “fundamental Finn.” Official translations of the Finnish name of the party, such as Finns Party or True Finns, promote in our opinion nativist nationalism and racism. We, therefore, at Migrant Tales prefer to use in our postings the Finnish name of the party once and after that the acronym PS.