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Mikael Jungner will not seek re-election as Social Democrat party secretary
The secretary of the Social Democratic Party Mikael Jungner announced on Wednesday that he will not be continuing in the post.
As the basis for his decision not to seek re-election for a second two-year term, Jungner noted that the swelling in popular support for Paavo Lipponen - the SDP candidate in the presidential election - from its earlier dismal opinion-poll levels was not significant or adequate.
Jungner said he would have had the motivation to continue as party secretary, but the election result was not good enough.
Jungner's decision does not exactly come as a bombshell. Before the first round of voting in the presidential election, he had announced he would step down from his post if the SDP candidate's support did not rise appreciably from its low point of around 4% in advance polling.
Paavo Lipponen eventually came 5th with just 6.7% of the votes, behind Timo Soini (Finns Party), Paavo Väyrynen (Centre Party), and the two candidates who progressed, Sauli Niinistö (National Coalition Party) and Pekka Haavisto (Greens).
At the last Parliamentary election in April 2011, the Social Democrats gained 19.1% of the votes and 42 seats in the 200-seat Parliament.
Jungner also noted that he did not intend to endorse publicly either of the successful candidates in the presidential race.
He commented that the final spurt in the Lipponen campaign perhaps began too late in the day, and that it was ultimately engulfed by the phenomernal rise in support seen for Haavisto.
A new party secretary for the SDP will be chosen at the party conference in May.
Jungner, 46, was chosen to the position in May 2010, after having previously served as the managing director of the Finnish Broadcasting Company, YLE.
He was elected to Parliament from the Uusimaa constituency in 2011, gaining just over 8,000 votes.