When social media was flooded with images of Sanna Marin dancing at a party last summer, it was her lowest blow Riikka Purraalready in electoral campaign gear: “Take a drug test”, he had challenged her.
The insinuation was that Marin, grappling with the turning point of theNATO membershipwasn’t clear enough. Sanna Marin test did it: negative. But it will be known on Sunday evening, after the vote for the renewal of Parliament, that it is not obvious that she will confirm her leadership, if and how much it will cost her. Meanwhile, Riikka Purra is already celebrating.
On April 2nd, Finland votes for the renewal of Parliament: a single chamber, 200 seats, a tradition of large majorities that will be interrupted on Sunday, in any case: in an election that also seems a referendum on the “new” leadership style of the young social democrat Marinno less than two rivals are contending for the leadership of the executive, with almost identical polls.
In first place, to a few decimal places: Petteri Orpo, 53, former finance minister and now leader of the centrist National Coalition Party. In the latest projections you have 19.8%. Equal merit, then, with 19.2% each, there are Sanna Marin and Riikka Purra: social democracy against sovereignty.
Purra represents the ‘Finnish’ party, already ‘True Finns’ and in the 1950s Rural Party, a mixture of “pitchforks” and combat bundles. Today, like many of the European ultra-right, they have a milder tone. In short, the script looks like the one written in Sweden last autumn: the Swedish Democrats, born on the ashes of a neo-Nazi party, withdrew the presidency from the social democrat Andersson.
“Do you want a Swedish-style black-blue government?” is now the refrain of almost all of Sanna Marin’s public speeches: in 2017 both the Social Democrats and the centrists swore not to ally with the Finns, but in this campaign Petteri Orpo he said several times that “their tone has changed.”
Warhorse of Riikka Purra, immigration. In Finland, of the 5.5 million inhabitants, 8.5% are of foreign origin; immigration is regulated and in force ius sanguinisbut “subsidies for immigrants, which the Finns no longer have”, are the leitmotiv of the rallies of the 45-year-old leader, who has repeatedly traced her xenophobic positions to harassment received, as a young girl, from an immigrant.
The fight against immigration is also at the root of his political formation: very active, as a young man, in the “comments” section of the blog Scripta by Jussi Halla-aho, a right-wing leader with an anti-communism fixation, understood there, “at the age of twenty, that I would enter politics”.
Sanna Marin grew up with two mothers; she at 12 lost hers, “a woman very passionate about politics”. Marin is an environmentalist; Purra is the only candidate who is planning an about-face on the “zero emissions” policywhich sets for 2050 and not for 2030. Another leitmotif: the foreign nurses hired in the pandemic, “who do not speak the language well”.
Who will be, after the accession initiated by Marin, to ferry the country into NATO? When Hungary gave the green light for Helsinki to join the alliance on Monday, the first tweet was from Riikka Purra: ‘Kiitos!’, thank you! On the Atlanticism of his party, however, there is the shadow of the noble father Timo Soini, who has always been anti-EU and anti-NATO (which he considered a lesser evil than the EU).
But many pre-war ideas are no longer valid and the first to pay the price could be Sanna Marin.