Skip to content

Greens elect Sofia Virta as new party leader

Green party members elected second-term MP Sofia Virta as their new chair on Saturday.

Sofia virta ja maria Ohisalo.
Outgoing chair Maria Ohisalo (R) congratulates Sofia Virta (L), the newly elected leader of the Green Party, at the party's congress in Seinäjoki on 10 June 2023. Image: Heikki Saukkomaa / Lehtikuva
Yle News

Finland's Greens elected Sofia Virta as the party's new chair at their congress in the western city of Seinäjoki on Saturday.

A total of 4,731 votes were cast in the vote for the party’s leadership. Virta received 2,760 votes, while Saara Hyrkkö, a parliamentarian from Espoo, drew 1,941.

Some 59 percent of eligible Green Party members cast their votes.

Virta said she was pleased that despite the "enormous failure and electoral defeat" the party had experienced, the race for chairmanship was conducted in a good spirit.

"It shows that we remember that we are building a better world for everyone," she said in her acceptance speech.

The party lost seven seats in parliamentary elections on 2 April, dropping from 20 to 13 MPs.

In her remarks, Virta talked about working in a children's home in Kaarina. She said it was there, seven years ago, that her charges encouraged her to go into politics.

"I want to thank everyone who has stood by my side and believed that one can go from working night shifts at a Kaarina children's home to politics at the national level," she said.

Electoral defeat and presidential ambitions

Maria Ohisalo in April announced she would not seek re-election as party chair following a parliamentary election defeat that saw her party lose seven seats.

This week Finland's outgoing foreign affairs minister, Pekka Haavisto (Green), meanwhile announced that he would run in next year's presidential election. Haavisto has run for the office twice before, in 2012 and 2018, both times against current President Sauli Niinistö. Haavisto came in second in both of those elections.

Would you like a roundup of the week's top stories in your inbox every Thursday? Then sign up to receive our weekly email.

Latest: paketissa on 10 artikkelia