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Home NATIONALRinne announces his candidature for SDP chair
Sun, 02 Feb, 2014 12:40:06 AM
FTimes-STT Report, February 2
Trade Union Pro chairman and SDP leader Antti Rinne announced his candidature for the post of party chair during in interview with Yle on Saturday.Photo – Lehtikuva.
Chairman of the trade union Pro Antti Rinne on Saturday formally announced that he was going to run for the post of the chair of Suomen Sosialidemokraattinen Puolue (social democratic party) against the incumbent Chairperson Jutta Urpilainen.
In an interview with the YLE TV, the trade union leader revealed his desire to contest for the top post of the party that is the second biggest component of the six-party alliance government.
SDP will hold elections this May to select party leadership. Current chief Urpilainen is also the country’s Finance Minister.
Rinne also said he would continue as the Chair of the trade union during the campaigns.
While talking about the challenges for the party, he did not want to put any blame on Urpilianen. He said the entire party line had been lost.
He also said this diversion from the party line had contributed to a decline in trust for the party in municipalities.
“The trade union movement has 2.3 million members, most of them are social democrats,” claimed Rinne, adding that the trade union leaders could easily contest for the posts and there was nothing to be shy of.
Rinne added that he had wide support within the party although he refused to reveal who the actual supporters were.
He, however, affirmed that his supporters would reveal themselves in a few days. “Clearly, there are a lot of men and women who are along.”
Urpilainen has been leading the party since 2008. In 2002, current Foreign Affairs Minister Erkki Tuomioja challenged former prime minister and social democratic party stalwart Paavo Lipponen, but failed to win.
Veteran Lipponen held the post for many years defeating Tuomioja by a huge margin.
Lipponen retired from chairmanship in 2005 and was succeeded by Eero Heinäluoma.
Heinäluoma led the party for three years until his resignation, following dismal performance of the SDP in the 2007 parliamentary election.
The post of the party leader was again contested in 2008, when the then 32-year-old Jutta Urpilainen defeated Tuomioja to become the new leader.
Urpilainen’s leadership as the party head has stayed unchallenged until now.
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