Heinäluoma vs Tuomioja II on the cards

Social Democratic Party MP and former Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja will reveal Saturday whether he'll challenge incumbent Eero Heinäluoma for the party chairmanship. Helsingin Sanomat reports (fi) that sources close to Tuomioja believe he will enter the race. In 2005, when Heinäluoma was elected to the job, Tuomioja gathered a third of the vote.

Since the parliamentary election loss, Tuomioja has been busy searching for a new direction for the party. Inasmuch as he's found one, what better way is there to put it in practice than as the chairman of the party? I don't think he's going to win, mind you, but it would be interesting to see him try and what repercussions it would have to SDP's policies.

Other potential candidates who have not ruled out a run are former Justice Minister Johannes Koskinen and Jutta Urpilainen. The party meeting will be held in June, so now's a good time to announce one's candidacy.


egan said...

Was it Tuomioja who complained about the SAK-orientated policies of the SDP a while back? I wonder how much influence they have in this leadership election process. Is it a block union vote, or more subtle than that?

Ari said...

Egan, Tuomioja has said something like that, but he's careful to talk about the _perceived_ link between SAK and SDP. He doesn't say that either side excessively influences the other, only that it's a bad thing that people think they do.

Re the election, I don't want to make too strong claims ahead of time. My understanding is that while SAK is obviously very influential with Soc Dem politicians, it's not powerful enough dictate who the party chair is.