Former Centre Party chair Paavo Väyrynen has announced he will run for Parliament in the Uusimaa electoral district as a candidate of his new party, the Seven Star Movement.
The 72-year-old independent MP and former foreign minister, who has been elected to Parliament 11 times since 1970, said in his blog he had made “a difficult choice” between Uusimaa and Lapland, where his political career began in 1970. Väyrynen has lost his seat only once in 2011 when he ran as Centre Party candidate in Uusimaa, southern Finland, some 700 km from his hometown of Kemi.
The veteran politician said the Seven Star Movement aims to nominate 200 candidates across the country, excluding the autonomous Åland Islands. According to Väyrynen, the search for candidates who he would be responsible for training begins on Friday.
Väyrynen asserts that based on last year's presidential election, where he received 6.2 percent of the vote, the movement has “good chances” to win a seat in each of Finland’s 12 constituencies.
The former MEP founded the Seven Star Movement in July last year after he was expelled from the nationalist, eurosceptic Citizens’ Party – another political group he established – amid allegations of financial irregularities. He and his former party have since been embroiled in legal battles. By December, his new movement gathered 5,000 formal voter endorsements, making it eligible to be registered as a political party.
The general election will be held on 14 April.