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Greens MP Toivola leaving national politics following scandals

In his departure announcement, Toivola said the past few weeks have been the most challenging of his political career.

Vihreiden kansanedustaja Jani Toivola.
Greens MP Jani Toivola. Image: Heikki Saukkomaa / Lehtikuva

Greens MP Jani Toivola has announced that he will not run in next April's general election.

In a Facebook messaged posted on Wednesday, Toivola said the past few weeks have been the most challenging of his political career.

Toivola faced heavy criticism in recent weeks after it was reported he had been receiving living expenses compensation paid by parliament for an apartment rental in the town of Riihimäki that he hadn't used in two years.

Toivola had received a total of over 9,000 euros in apartment rental compensation, despite not living in the flat for which he'd received the subsidies. He subsequently changed the arrangement and registered himself as a Helsinki resident.

In Wednesday's Facebook post Toivola, who has served as an MP since 2011, said his years in parliament have meant very much to him, particularly the people he met during that time.

"The matters that were made public occurred during a period when I was seriously depressed. At first I did not dare stop the train but instead increased its speed, and until the end tried to show that I could handle it until everything slipped out of my hands," Toivola wrote.

Story continues after photo.

Vihreiden Jani Toivola eduskunnan täysistunnossa Helsingissä 2. lokakuuta
Greens MP Jani Toivanen in parliament 2 October. Image: Jussi Nukari / Lehtikuva

Toivola said that he finally was able to take a breath, get some help and is now happy.

Last week Toivola received a serious reprimand from the Greens' parliamentary group chair Krista Mikkonen, who scolded Toivanen for his housing arrangement, how he used his parliamentary taxi ride privileges and for payments he received for educational visits he made to schools.

In a blog post on his web page, Toivola explained that he billed and was paid by the Children and Youth Foundation a total of 14,742 euros for more than one hundred visits he made to different schools during 2015-2016.

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