Minister Guzenina-Richardson chooses not to stand for re-election to vice-chair position in Social Democrats
Guzenina-Richardson proposes MP Antti Lindtman to follow her as party vice-chairman
The anticipated struggle for offices at this year's Social Democratic Party conference lost some of its edge on the eve of the event, when Minister of Health and Social Services Maria Guzenina-Richardson, one of the current SDP vice-chairpersons, announced she will not be seeking to get re-elected for a leadership position within the party.
In the Wednesday issue of the party publication Demokraatti, Guzenina-Richardson says that in her view she does not have enough support to warrant her running again for a chairmanship position.
“When the word from the field is that a reshuffle among the vice-chairs is in order, it is best to make room for it”, she writes.
Guzenina-Richardson also points out that her ministerial duties take up a lot of her time.
Guzenina-Richardson’s wish is that MP Antti Lindtman from Vantaa would take over her vice-chairperson position. “In my view, at this point in time the party would benefit from someone like him as a vice-chairman.”
On Wednesday, Lindtman still wanted to “sleep on it” before making his decision, but he did admit to having received a fair number of appeals to declare his candidacy.
Lindtman, 29, whose background is with the Central Organisations of Finnish Trade Unions (SAK), is a rising star within the SDP ranks. He has even been asked to run for the party secretary position, but he has no plans to answer that call.
Guzenina-Richardson is one of the three vice-chairpersons of the party.
A total reshuffle of the chairmanship positions may be in the making, for another vice-chairwoman Pia Viitanen is running for a leadership position in the party council, and there has also been discontent voiced towards vice-chairman Ilkka Kantola.
Among the candidates running for the vice-chair positions are, for example, Minister of Housing and Communications Krista Kiuru and MP Jukka Kärnä.
The party conference begins in Helsinki today and runs to Saturday.
The Social Democrats won a rearguard action at the last election in 2011 and joined the present government coalition after four years in opposition.
They have 43 MPs in the current Parliament.
Previously in HS International Edition:
Fierce battle brewing up over leadership positions in SDP (23.5.2012)
Criticism swells over actions of Minister of Health and Social Services Maria Guzenina-Richardson (23.2.2012)
Mikael Jungner will not seek re-election as Social Democrat party secretary (25.1.2012)
Social Democratic Party of Finland (Wikipedia)
SDP Official Site - Briefly in English