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Evergreen politico Paavo Väyrynen abandons bid for Centre Party chair

Centre Party grandee Paavo Väyrynen said he had already informed chair and PM Juha Sipilä of his decision to quit the race.

Paavo Väyrynen
Paavo Väyrynen Image: Heikki Saukkomaa / Lehtikuva

Veteran politician and honorary Centre Party chair Paavo Väyrynen announced Friday that he is withdrawing his bid to be elected chair of the party.

Väyrynen said in a release that he is instead ready to consider running to be chair of the party’s council of delegates, if responsibility for that election is handed over to the party congress.

The longtime politico – who is the only MP to have held office in every decade since the 1970s – said that he’d met with party chair and PM Juha Sipilä and informed him of the decision. Sipilä is seeking re-election as the party's leader.

The eurosceptic also indicated that he still had the option of returning to the Citizens’ Party that he had established in 2016, but which had expelled him in March over alleged misuse of party funds.

In January, Väyrynen contested the presidential elections and polled a respectable 6.2 percent in the ballot.

Väyrynen led the Centre Party from 1980 to 1990.

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