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Court finds Citizens' Party sacking of Väyrynen was unlawful

The court also annulled the party's election of a new leader. But the veteran politician's future plans are on hold due to his wife's cancer diagnosis.

Paavo Väyrynen
Paavo Väyrynen Image: Heikki Saukkomaa / Lehtikuva

On Monday Helsinki District Court ruled that Finland's Citizens' Party acted illegally when it expelled its founder, veteran politician Paavo Väyrynen last March.

The court said that the party's board did not have the authority to fire Väyrynen and that the board had violated association regulatory laws when it removed him from the post.

At the time, the party said Väyrynen was dismissed for misuse of bank accounts and election funds.

Internal disputes within the party culminated in March when the party's board decided to remove its founder from his post as chair. The party accused Väyrynen of having misused some 38,000 euros in presidential campaign funds.

"In addition to his financial impropriety, he has misused his status as a trusted member of the party's board and has pursued a competing political party's, the Centre Party's, chair position," the bulletin says.

Väyrynen reacted to his sudden dismissal by filing a criminal complaint on the matter and now - some eight months later - the court found his firing was not lawful.

Wife's cancer diagnosis puts political plans on hold

During those eight months the 71-year-old Väyrynen managed to quit the Centre party, returned to parliament as an independent , announced he was establishing a new political party called the "Seven Star Movement" and declared that he is running for an MEP seat.

Since the summer Väyrynen has been working on gathering 5,000 endorsement signatures to make the "Seven Star Movement" an official party in next years' parliamentary election.

However the seasoned politico announced on Monday that he was suspending that work due to his wife Vuokko Väyrynen's bone marrow cancer diagnosis.

He said that he is unsure whether he will end up running for MP or MEP due to his wife's serious illness.

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