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Finns Party hopes to win 1,000 seats on local councils in October
Soini says party aims to destroy "local hegemonies" of SDP, Nat. Coalition, and Centre
The Finns Party hopes to win 1,000 seats on local councils in local elections in the autumn, and to double their support from previous local elections.
The party now has about 440 seats on local councils around Finland.
Party leader Timo Soini said on Saturday that the Finns Party is also hoping to double the number of candidates from four years earlier, when more than 1,800 people were on the party’s candidate lists around Finland.
Soini sought to inspire his forces on Saturday at a meeting of the party’s delegate council in Helsinki.
“Our goal is to raise the party to the same size class in the provinces as the parliamentary group is in Parliament”, Soini said.
The Finns Party is currently the largest opposition party in Parliament with 39 MPs. Soini feels that the Finns Party is the best party in Finland for campaigning in the open air.
Finns Party candidates are required to commit to the party’s election platform. Soini did not give any detailed explanation of how the party plans to investigate the candidates’ backgrounds.
One problem with the party, which has experienced rapid growth, has been that sometimes individual candidates can prove to be more of a burden than an asset.
In the parliamentary elections candidates were also required to sign a paper openly describing their backgrounds and their goals.
The party is still working on its municipal election platform.
Soini says that municipal reform is necessary. However, the Finns Party opposes mandatory mergers of local authorities.
Soini said that decisions on organising social and health care, and of reforming the system of state subsidies to municipalities need to be done simultaneously.
Nothing more was revealed about the municipal programme on Saturday, as Soini said that others would copy the best ideas for their own use if they are disclosed too early.
He also said that the Finns Party enjoys very good credibility, which it nees to challenge local old-boy networks.
“Our task is to change the old party hegemony, which has lasted for decades. In the countryside the Centre Party, and in the cities, the National Coalition Party and the Social Democratic Party have had hegemony.”
One of the themes that Soini says will be part of the municipal election campaign is that of Finnish corruption. He says that the party wants to investigate the activities of “big foundations” as well as the linkages between commerce and urban planning.
In its alternative budget the Finns Party wants to impose taxes on foundations.
“People in them have big salaries and magnificent benefits, and scheming runs rampant. We will turn up the volume on this.”