Anti-immigrant Finns Party sacks rebellious vice chairman

Reuters News
Posted: Oct 26, 2015 6:33 AM

HELSINKI (Reuters) - The anti-immigrant, eurosceptic Finns Party, part of Finland's governing coalition, has expelled one of its three vice-chairmen in a dispute that highlights growing discord within the party headed by Foreign Minister Timo Soini.

The party, formerly known as the True Finns, has seen its support tumble since it joined Finland's new center-right government after an April national election.

In government, the Finns Party has compromised on a series of issues that have irked supporters. These include accepting a new eurozone loan program for Greece, economic austerity measures at home as well as the refugee crisis, which has seen 24,000 asylum seekers arriving in Finland so far this year.

The sacked vice-chairman, Sebastian Tynkkynen, said on his Facebook account on Monday that he had faced "Soini's guillotine" for proposing three weeks ago that their party quit the coalition government.

Soini told national broadcaster YLE that Tynkkynen had been sacked for breaking privacy laws by publishing the names of party members who supported the proposal for leaving the government without their consent.

An opinion poll by YLE recently showed support for the Finns Party had fallen to 10.7 percent from 15 percent in September, its lowest reading since August 2010.

(Reporting By Anna Ercanbrack; Editing by Jussi Rosendahl and Gareth Jones)