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Two immigrant MPs heading to Parliament

Helsinki has elected two immigrant candidates to parliament. Nasima Razymar and Ozan Yanar are not the first MPs born elsewhere, but they represent a different wave of immigration to those that preceded them.

Nasima Razmyar SDP:n eduskuntavaalien vaalivalvojaisissa Helsingissä.
Nasima Razmyar is a new SDP MP from Helsinki. Image: Antti Aimo-Koivisto / Lehtikuva

Social Democrat Nasima Razmyar and Green Ozan Yanar are set to take their places in parliament after Sunday's election. The two become the only immigrant legislators in the next parliament.

There have been MPs born in Sweden or Estonia, or born to foreign parents in Finland, but none born as far afield as Afghanistan or Turkey. Razmyar's roots are in Afghanistan. Her father was a diplomat, and the family was based in Moscow when the Soviet Union collapsed and they decided to move to Finland. With 5,107 votes she was elected on the SDP slate in Helsinki.

Yanar was born in Turkey and grew up in the UK and Cyprus before moving to Finland aged 14. He is chair of the Greens' youth organisation and has worked as an economist for the blue-collar trade union confederation SAK. In his spare time he says he likes to play football, and supports the Istanbul club Besiktas.

He got 4,184 votes and has apparently narrowly made it through on the Green League ticket in the capital.

This story has been edited to remove a reference to Elisabeth Nauclér, the outgoing Åland MP who was born in Sweden. Åland will be represented by Mats Löfström.

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