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Ohisalo seeks re-election as Green Party chair, announces pregnancy

The Interior Minister will be going on maternity leave in December.

 Vihreiden puheenjohtaja Maria Ohisalo kertoo puheenjohtajakautensa jatkon suunnitelmista puolueen tiedotustilaisuudessa kertoi raskaudestaan liikuttuneena.
Ohisalo made the announcements in a personal press briefing on Wednesday morning. Image: Emma Kornonen / Lehtikuva
Yle News

Green Party chair and Interior Minister Maria Ohisalo announced on Wednesday morning that she will be standing for re-election as the leader of the party at the Greens' autumn congress.

"I am committed to taking the party to the parliamentary elections in two years," she said.

Ohisalo also announced that she will be going on maternity leave in December, and the party will therefore need to find a temporary replacement for her as party chair, if she wins the leadership race.

"There is more to life than politics," Ohisalo said just before announcing that she is expecting her first child.

"If all goes well, my husband Miika and I will have a new addition to the family by Christmas. This is a huge and exciting thing, bigger than anything that has come into my life before" Ohisalo said.

Speaking at the press briefing on Wednesday morning, the Green Party chair also mentioned the party's disappointment with the poor showing at the recent municipal election. The party garnered just 10.6 percent of voter support, which was a significant loss for the Greens compared to the previous election in 2017.

"We tried but did not succeed," Ohisalo said of the party's performance, citing the pandemic situation and voter disillusionment as possible reasons for the drop in support for her party.

However, according to an Yle poll, Ohisalo's position as leader of the Greens looks strong despite the party's troubles. Survey respondents backed Ohisalo's performance as party chair and as a government minister, giving her an average approval rating of 8.2 points out of 10.

Ohisalo was the only candidate to run for the party's leadership in 2019. Other possible candidates are yet to throw their hats into the ring this time around, although "challengers are always welcome to join the race," the party leader pointed out.

The Green Party congress is to be held remotely on 11-12 September, just after Parliament reconvenes following the summer recess.

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