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Finns Party seeks opposition backing for no-confidence motion over internal security

An interpellation requires the support of at least 20 lawmakers. The Finns Party has 17 MPs in parliament so would need other opposition parties on its side.

Eduskuntaryhmän puheenjohtaja Leena Meri kommentoi asiaa lehdistölle perussuomalaisten eduskuntaryhmän kokouksen jälkeen Helsingissä 3. lokakuuta.
Leena Meri, head of the Finns Party parliamentary group. Image: Emmi Korhonen / Lehtikuva

The Finns Party led by immigration hardliner Jussi Halla-aho is calling on other opposition parties to table an interpellation on the security situation in the country. The nationalist party wants to use the interpellation to test lawmakers’ confidence in the Juha Sipilä administration.

Chair of the Finns Party parliamentary group Leena Meri said that the government’s ineptitude with regard to its asylum policies has endangered peace in society.

“After the terrorist attack in Turku the government promised to tighten up on the detention of asylum seekers and to protect citizens. Nothing concrete has happened,” Meri said in a statement on Saturday.

The party also referred to suspected rape and sexual abuse cases recently uncovered in Oulu and charged that rejected asylum seekers are creating instability in society.

“Because the government has not taken rapid, effective or concrete action to combat the worst impacts of immigration, or with respect to detaining rejected asylum seekers or related to fast-tracking deportations of [people who have committed] serious offences, we will table a no-confidence motion in the government,” she continued in the statement.

Al least 20 lawmakers are required to file an interpellation, however the Finns Party has 17 MPs in parliament, which means they will have to turn to other opposition parties to support the motion.

SDP opts out, others in the dark

The other opposition parties in Parliament are the Social Democrats, the Greens, Left Alliance, Christian Democrats and the Swedish People’s Party.

Chair of the largest opposition parliamentary group the SDP, Antti Lindtman tweeted Saturday that his MPs will not support the interpellation.

"Each and every Finns Party MP has personally signed up for the Sipilä government's immigration policies. Do they plan a confidence vote in themselves? The party's credibility for an interpellation on this issue is zero," Lindtman wrote.

The SDP lawmaker was referring to the fact that the Finns Party accepted the government's immigration policies back in 2015, when it joined the Sipilä administration.

Meanwhile parliamentary group chairs for the Greens and the Left Alliance told STT news agency that the Finns party had not approached them about the proposed no-confidence vote and therefore did not want to comment on the matter.

Peter Östman, chair of the Christian Democrats' group told STT that his colleagues had no knowledge of any opposition interpellation.

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