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MP Haapoja Dies Suddenly

Centre Party MP Susanna Haapoja has died suddenly at the age of 42. Citing her wishes, her deputy for the seat is continuing his campaign for the European Parliament.

Susanna Haapoja, kesk.
Image: YLE / Derrik Frilund

A native of Kauhava in Ostrobothnia, Haapoja died around midday Saturday at Tampere University Hospital.

According to the Centre Party's online publication Verkkoapila, Haapoja suffered a brain haemorrhage on Friday. She fell ill while attending the inauguration ceremony for the new director of the Finnish Defence Forces' Training Air Wing in Kauhava.

Susanna Haapoja, an agrologist by training, was a second-term Member of Parliament and chair of the Kauhava city council.

Deputy to Continue MEP Bid

Her deputy for the parliamentary post, Lasse Hautala, says he will carry on with his campaign for a seat in the European Parliament, and consider taking over Haapoja's seat in the Finnish Parliament after next weekend's European election.

After conveying his condolences to Haapoja's family, Hautala noted that she was actively involved in his own campaign and considered it important that the province gains its own MEP. He said he based his decision on her views.

Hautala is a former Centre Party MP and chair of the Kauhajoki city council.

PM Memorialises Colleague

Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen has expressed his condolences over his party colleague's unexpected passing.

In a message on the Centre Party website on Saturday, the PM described Haapoja as a "cheerful, well-liked person" and a "genuine Southern Ostrobothnian whom we all deeply miss".

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