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Finns Party breakaway group to be named Blue Reform

The breakaway group of Finns Party MPs briefly known as the New Alternative have registered as an association known as Blue Reform. The move takes the group one step closer to becoming a bona fide political party.

Blue Reform (formerly New Alternative) parliamentary group chair Simon Elo (left) with Culture Minister Sampo Terho and vice chair Tiina Elovaara. Image: Antti Aimo-Koivisto / Lehtikuva

The Finns Party MP splinter group the New Alternative is now Blue Reform, a registered association that eventually aims to become a political party. In a press release issued Monday, the group said that it will soon begin rounding up support cards in a bid to register as a political party. Current legislation requires aspiring political parties to present signed support cards from 5,000 eligible voters before they can be entered into the Justice Ministry’s party register.

In its maiden press release, Blue Reform described its platform as reforming Finland while respecting the dignity of all people.

"We believe that states should be independent actors in the international arena. We respect human rights, and we do not accept anything that violates human rights."

According to the group, the new name reflects "stability, peace, reform, effectiveness and patriotism."

Last Tuesday roughly 20 Finns Party MPs defected from the party’s parliamentary group and formed their own faction, the New Alternative. The renegades included all of the Finns Party MPs with ministerial portfolios as well as Speaker Maria Lohela. The new parliamentary group immediately declared its willingness to form a coalition government with Prime Minister Juha Sipilä.

On Monday, Sipilä and Finance Minister and National Coalition party chair Petteri Orpo declared that they would not be government partners with a Finns Party led by ultra-nationalist Jussi Halla-aho. Finns Party delegates had elected Halla-aho as party chair at a party convention in Jyväskylä the previous weekend.

On Tuesday, Sipilä announced that he would reconstitute his government coalition with the Centre Party, the National Coalition Party and MPs from the New Alternative, now Blue Reform.

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