A new political movement called Liike Nyt ("Movement Now") has been established in Finland by a group of cultural figures headed by NCP MP Harry "Hjallis" Harkimo. The veteran politician broke the news on Yle's morning talk show on Saturday.
The group is formed by seven people, none of whom are career MPs. Ex-National Coalition Party member Harkimo, a businessman who was elected to parliament in 2015 but quit the NCP party on Thursday, is joined by communications agency chief Mikael Jungner, previously an MP for the Social Democratic Party as well as the former managing director of broadcaster Yle.
The other members are journalist and media personality Tuomas Enbuske, entrepreneur Alex Nieminen, founder of the Slush business event Helene Auramo, PhD researcher Karoliina Kähönen and communications manager Sarian Antila.
The movement is currently privately funded by the board members themselves. Harkimo is the acting chair of the breakaway group, and says he will also relinquish his 27-year ownership of the Helsinki ice hockey team Jokerit to better focus on his political aspirations.
Harkimo and the movement's website claim a desire to bring visibility, increased transparency and fresh approaches to Finnish politics. The movement says it emphasises open discourse, reciprocal social care, contemporary responses to climate change and entrepreneurship as drivers of Finland's future.
The Liike Nyt movement, which claims no direct political role models and dissociates itself from party politics, invites everyone interested in "renewing social policy-making by giving power to those whom societal changes affect the most" to join their ranks.
Founders say that no MPs have been asked to join the organisation. Co-founder Jungner said on Yle TV on Saturday that Liike Nyt is not affiliated with any political party and does not intend to nominate any candidates for political office in future elections. Harkimo was less categorical, saying that although the party currently had no plans to stand candidates, he may consider running if that were to change.