Heinäluoma exits the race

Er... about yesterday's headline... It was - how should I say this - very, very wrong. In fact, it was the opposite of right. In my defense, everyone else got it wrong, too.

Eero Heinäluoma announced today (fi) that he isn't running for Social Democratic Party chair. It's a bit of a bombshell and now lots of people (fi) who thought they didn't stand a change are scrambling to get in the race.

24d (fi) and Uutispäivä Demari (fi) have quotes from Heinäluoma's speech:

"We've suffered an undeniable election defeat and due to it, too, there is a need for reform. What is the chairman's responsibility and trust, what conclusions should be drawn?"

"After listening to the discussion for quite some time, I've reached the conclusion, that I should as the chairman take a clear responsibility for the election result. I've decided not to stand as a candidate in the election for party chair."

"I hope that a change of chair will give our supporters a strong message that we take the feedback we received in the election strongly."

"I hope that a change in party leadership will give our movement new strength, new energy, and also a new unity."

According to Helsingin Sanomat, he also quoted Martin Luther King(!): "If you can't be a sun, be a star."

I suspect that the constant negativity surrounding Heinäluoma after the parliamentary election got to him. He could have held on and had another crack at it. For some reason he didn't want to.

It'll be interesting to see whether former Heinäluoma supporters can line up behind a single replacement candidate. I doubt many of them will now become Tuomioja supporters, but obviously Tuomioja's chances are suddenly much better if there's no one dominant establishment candidate.

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