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SDP's Maarit Feldt-Ranta's stomach cancer returns, calls off parliamentary run

The 50-year-old opposition MP was first diagnosed with stomach cancer in 2009.

 Maarit Feldt-Ranta (oik.) eduskunnassa ennen SDP:n eduskuntaryhmän kokousta 10. tammikuuta
Social Democratic Party MP Maarit Feldt-Ranta.

Social Democratic Party MP Maarit Feldt-Ranta announced on Thursday that she is on sick leave because her stomach cancer has returned and that she does not plan to run in the upcoming parliamentary election.

"This is not a farewell, but a message that I am moving towards a new, more private and calmer stage of life," Feldt-Ranta wrote on her Facebook page.

"Someday I will die, but all of the other days I'm alive and that's really what I've done, and intend to do in the future, as well," she wrote.

Feldt-Ranta, who's a member of Finland's Swedish-speaking minority, lives in the southern municipality of Raseborg. She was first elected to parliament in 2007 and served in many roles within the party and for the SDP's Swedish branch.

Second health issue for SDP this week

She was nearly selected - coming in second place - by fellow party members to represent the SDP in last year's presidential election and also served as the party's secretary in 2005-2008.

Her announcement that she doesn't plan to run for a parliamentary seat came only two days after the SDP's party chair Antti Rinne announced that he's on sick leave until late February due to coronary disease, pneumonia, and a hospital infection.

Since last summer, the SDP has consistently led public opinion polls and will launch its parliamentary election campaign in Helsinki on Saturday. The parliamentary election will be held on April 14.

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