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Ville Niinistö shoo-in for third term as Greens chief

In line with Greens tradition, the ex-environment minister is expected to step down in 2016 after six years at the helm.

Ville Niinistö vihreiden vaalivalvojaisissa.
Ville Niinistö was all smiles on election night although his party was bound for the opposition. Image: Yle

Finland’s second-largest opposition party, the Greens, have re-elected Ville Niinistö for a third and final term as chair.

Niinistö served as environment minister from 2011 until last autumn. In September, his party quit the government to protest the approval of a revised permit for the Fennovoima nuclear power plant 

Niinistö, who has led the party since 2011, ran unopposed. According to the Finnish Greens’ practice, no-one serves as chair for more than three terms.

The 38-year-old political historian is a nephew of President Sauli Niinistö.

The Greens are meeting in the northern city of Oulu until Sunday. On Saturday they are to choose a party secretary and leader of the party’s 15 Members of Parliament.

A poll released this week showed the Greens as the only party to significantly gain popularity since the April election besides Prime Minister Juha Sipilä’s Centre, with the support of 10.5 percent of eligible voters.

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