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Finns Party weighs expulsion of MP Ano Turtiainen

Last week Turtiainen was ejected from the FP parliamentary group over a racist tweet.

Ano Turtiainen was elected to Parliament last year. Image: Kimmo Brandt / AOP

The opposition Finns Party (FP) is considering an expulsion of MP Ano Turtiainen from the party. Chair Jussi Halla-aho confirmed to Yle that the party board will discuss the issue this week.

The party council meets on Saturday, and the party board usually meets on Fridays.

A week ago Turtiainen was dismissed as a member of the nationalist Finns Party parliamentary group due to a racist tweet, which Parliamentary group chair Ville Tavio described as the latest in a long string of inappropriate social media comments. Turtiainen’s Twitter post mocked George Floyd, an African-American killed by US police in late May.

Police: No investigation

Tavio said that Turtiainen could apply to rejoin the group next year “if he has permanently corrected his behaviour”.

Meanwhile police said on Wednesday that they would not begin a preliminary investigation into Turtiainen’s tweet. Police said that the post did not meet the standards for a crime of incitement against an ethnic group or defamation, noting that disparagement of someone who has died is not punishable under Finnish law.

Turtiainen hires Hirvisaari

Turtiainen, for his part, has sworn not to “beg” for re-admission to the parliamentary group, saying that instead that “it is the party leadership who should come hat in hand” to ask him to return.

He is the chair of the local Finns Party in the small southeastern town of Juva, where he is a municipal councillor, and a member of the party’s South Savo district board.

Turtiainen has established a one-man parliamentary group bearing his name. As his party secretary and assistant, he has hired former MP James Hirvisaari, who was expelled from the Finns Party in 2013.

Hirvisaari was first suspended from the FP parliamentary delegation in 2012 after he refused to fire an assistant who published a column calling for minority groups to be required to wear identifying armbands.

He was kicked out of the populist party the following year when he took a photo of a friend he had invited to Parliament House making a Nazi salute in the plenary hall.