New Alternative must step up efforts to collect support cards, admits Elo

Jussi Halla-aho, the chairperson of the Finns Party, has reiterated his doubts over the political future of the New Alternative Parliamentary Group.

Simon Elo, the chairperson of the New Alternative, admits that the newly founded parliamentary group must step up its efforts if it is to meet the objective of collecting the 5,000 support statements required to enter a new party into the party register by the end of September - writes helsinkitimes.

“Our goal is to register the party during the course of September. That’s still our goal,” he assertedon Tuesday.

“Of course we have to step up our efforts. The support cards won’t collect themselves. Our representatives from all over the country are collecting them and putting together collection drives,” he added.

Elo declined to reveal the current number of voters who have expressed their support for establishing the new party, which is be entered into the party register as the Blue Reform. He told both Iltalehti and Helsingin Sanomat in July, however, that the splinter group had at the time collected roughly 2,000 support statements.

The New Alternative Parliamentary Group is currently at the mid-way point of its campaign to collect the necessary statements. The campaign was launched in late June.

Elo pointed out that the collection efforts are likely to become less difficult following the start of August. July, he explained, was a difficult month for the campaign collectors it effectively saw the entire country “shut down” due to summer holidays.

“As many of the collectors are still members of the Finns Party, they may not have been able to collect as much publicly as they would’ve wanted. But as more and more people are coming out of the closet, so to speak, and joining our ranks, the collection will become easier,” he added.

Only 15 of the 770 people who were elected to municipal councils on the ticket of the Finns Party in April have pledged their allegiance to the 20 Members of the Parliament who left the Finns Party and founded the New Alternative Parliamentary Group in June, tells Matti Putkonen, a representative of the Finns Party.

Jussi Halla-aho, the chairperson of the Finns Party, last week reiterated his doubts about the future of the New Alternative and Blue Reform.

“I don’t think this other group has any political future, because it really has no other agenda besides making sure certain people can hold on to their current posts. And I doubt people think such an agenda is worthy of their support,” he stated in an interview on YLE Radio Suomi on 4 August.

The Finns Party and the New Alternative have engaged in a war of words throughout this summer.

Timo Soini, a co-founder and long-term chairperson of the Finns Party, stated to Aamulehti in July that the Finns Party has become “an inhumane party”. He has also published a cryptic blog post to, apparently, vent his frustration with the way in which his two-decade tenure at the helm of the party came to an end in June.

“The party grew from zero to a ruling party with thirty-seven representatives under my leadership. Then came the deluge,” he wrote in a three-line blog post succinctly titled ‘?’ on 3 August.

Read more news on the city site of Helsinki.

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