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NCP candidate in racism storm over answers to Yle's election compass

The Vaasa politician wrote that low-income earners and certain ethnic minorities should be housed in separate residential areas.

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Petteri Kalliola is running on the NCP ticket in the west coast city of Vaasa. Image: Yle/Johanna Ventus

A National Coalition Party (NCP) candidate for the upcoming local elections has become embroiled in a racism storm over his answers to Yle's election compass.

The compass invites candidates to answer a series of questions, and allows voters to see how their answers match up with candidates.

Petteri Kalliola, who is running on the NCP ticket in the west coast city of Vaasa, answered in the compass that he 'completely disagreed' with the statement "My city should aim for a mix of backgrounds and social classes in all residential areas."

He also added a comment to his answer recommending that lower-income earners and certain ethnic minorities be housed in one district so that their location is known.

When his answers were widely shared on social media, Kalliola admitted that the comments were inappropriate and added that they highlighted his inexperience as a politician.

"The answer is a complete low point. It was made in a slightly exaggerated way and does not represent my own values," he told Yle.

In an answer to a separate question, Kalliola commented that Finland needs immigrants that are willing and able to work, not "parasites" who are supported by the Finnish taxpayer.

"The answer really does not reflect my own views, as I am tolerant of everyone," Kalliola told Yle in an interview.

He added that he was not drunk when he answered the questions, but he was tired, and that difficulties in his private life influenced his responses and comments.

Party accepts resignation

In a tweet on Wednesday evening, the NCP's Executive Director for the region Riikka Varila wrote that Kalliola had submitted his resignation, and this had been accepted by the Vaasa branch of the party.

Varila added that election legislation does not allow for candidate lists to be amended once they have been submitted, but that Kalliola will not be included on any party pamphlets or promotional materials due to his responses to the election compass questions.

NCP party secretary Kristiina Kokko also told Yle that Kalliola's comments do not reflect the values of the party.

"These views are completely contrary to the values of the National Coalition Party and we do not accept them. They do not represent the party line and seriously offend many groups of people," Kokko said, adding that each candidate is responsible for his or her own conduct.

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