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Finns Party presidential candidate Huhtasaari in plagiarism row

Finns Party candidate for president Laura Huhtasaari has been accused of plagiarising parts of her Master's thesis. Jyväskylä University is investigating the claims, which Huhtasaari has denied.

Laura huhtasaari
Laura Huhtasaari Image: Derrick Frilund / Yle

A blog post by Liberal Party chair Tuomas Tiainen accusing Finns Party presidential candidate Laura Huhtasaari of plagiarising part of her Master's thesis is being investigated by Jyväskylä University.

The university will look at whether Huhtasaari's 2003 thesis contained sections substantially copied from other sources.

Jyväskylä University lawyer Sanna Anttilainen told STT that the university would decide within a week whether the threshold for a preliminary investigation—suspicion of fraudulent practice—had been reached.

Tiainen had used plagiarism detection software to test Huhtasaari's work, and found three instances where the thesis appears to be very similar to previously published texts.

"I have been following Huhtasaari's style, whereby she plagiarised statements in different contexts," wrote Tiainen. "She is, however, the Finns Party's vice-chair and presidential candidate. I don't have anything against her personally."

Huhtasaari declined to comment on the issue to Yle, but said on Twitter that she had spoken to someone who had overseen Master's theses who told her that plagiarism claims were baseless.

Huhtasaari had previously been accused of plagiarising her campaign logo by an emeritus professor of graphic design.

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