Soini officially declared as True Finns presidential candidate
Minimum goal to get into runoff round
Leaders of the opposition True Finns party officially declared the party’s leader Timo Soini as its presidential candidate on Saturday.
Speaking on Saturday Soini, lashed out at critics of his party, particularly the Social Democrats, saying that he will not tolerate having his party and himself labelled as extremist.
“I will fight against such labels. I know what being a True Finn is, and what it is not. I will not accept them and I will not submit to having the old parties calling us names, or looking down their noses at us in other ways”, he insisted.
According to Soini, it is ludicrous to suggest that an "extremist" group could get more than 20 per cent support. He also took issue with recent accusations about hate speech.
“The True Finns do not hate anybody - not anybody”, he charged.
There was no doubt about what the theme of the upcoming election would be for him.
“We criticise the European Union. Why is this? Because there is good reason to! My friends, the EU isn’t working. There is nothing that can be done about it”, Soini thundered.
Soini emphasised that the currrent economic crisis is primarily a crisis of the EU.
“This is about a payment problem, one that has not gone away with these support packages - and it will not go away!”
Soini says that the EU is becoming an income transfer union.
“At one time there was the Soviet Union, and more socialism was seen there as the solution to problems. Socialism didn’t work in the east, and it doesn’t work in the west. There is no point in yearning after it. On the contrary, competition in the European banking and economic sector will go if this kind of a debt union is established.”
Soini says that not having a candidate of the True Finns in the election debates would be a disaster.
Soini praised Finland’s foreign and security policy line, as long as Finnish EU membership is not written into the constitution, and as long as proposed cuts in the defence budget are not implemented.
“We are in good company with Ireland, Switzerland, and Sweden by not being militarily aligned.”
Soini came out sharply against proposals now before Parliament on changes to Presidential authority.
He expressed astonishment that the National Coalition Party, the Social Democratic Party, and the Centre Party, which have strong presidential candidates, all want to curb presidential authority.
“And naturally, the Left Alliance and the Christian Democrats are constantly turning their coats from their position in the government. In the previous Parliament they constantly voted against it, but the light of reason has reached them. And for the Greens, anything for them goes at any time.”
Soini’s minimum goal is to get to the second round of the presidential elections. He admitted that he had to weigh his options when considering whether or not to run for the office.
“I pondered whether I am up to this, because the risk of getting elected exists. And that risk is growing!” Soini said.
At a press conference on Saturday, Soini emphasised that he is quite willing to run as his party’s candidate.
Previously in HS International Edition:
Poll puts Väyrynen and Soini neck-and-neck in presidential race (19.9.2011)
Poll: Niinistö well ahead in presidential race – Lipponen distant second (29.8.2011)
Green MP Pekka Haavisto to run for President (9.6.2011)
Social Democrats name Lipponen as presidential candidate (10.10.2011)
Timo Soini joins presidential race (26.9.2011)