The center wants to bring concrete importance to itself in an important theme, ie regional equality, in the municipal election debate.

Party secretary Riikka Pirkkalainen says that center-driven municipalities have also been challenged to consider their services.

They are encouraged to consider whether the municipalities have services to meet the needs that may have been created by the increased willingness to work remotely and the longing for space due to the corona.

- Whether they are internet connections or possibly even kindergarten places for families with young children, Pirkkalainen tells STT.

The ideal of the center is that Finns could live either in whole or in part in two locations.

Instead of aiming for a growing number of inhabitants in each municipality, Pirkkalainen says that more people should strive to maintain the vitality of their leisure municipality by settling there for as long a year or a week as they feel good.

The center wants to challenge the largest parties in large municipalities, for example, on zoning issues.

In large cities, nearby nature should be a municipal right, the center believes.

- From a central perspective, the big parties in big cities have forgotten the residents' longing for the nearby nature, Pirkkalainen says.

However, migration to growth centers should not be controlled for him.

Väyrynen's number to rise to the party government

A meeting of the Center Party Council will be held on Saturday and Sunday in Mikkeli.

The party leadership participates in the meeting mainly remotely due to the corona situation.

The agenda of the two-day meeting includes the municipal election program and preparations for the municipal elections, as well as the political review by Chairman Annika Saarikko.

The party council will also decide on the composition of the party board on Sunday.

Paavo Väyrynen, who returned to the Center at the beginning of the year, is due to join the party government.

He has been nominated by the Swedish-speaking district, which elected Väyrynen as chairman on Monday.

The Central Ostrobothnia district has proposed that the Swedish-speaking district be separated from the party.

The party board discussed the initiative on Friday.

Wrapping: 15% support possible

Municipal elections will be held on April 18.

The center has not yet officially set a target for the municipal elections, but veteran politician Seppo Kääriäinen painted for political journalists last week in Iisalmi that 15 percent support would be possible.

Realization will largely depend on the completion of candidate lists.

According to Pirkkalainen, the nomination of candidates is progressing at a good pace.

There are just under 2,800 candidates, several hundred more than at the same time before the previous municipal elections.

In the last municipal elections in 2017, the center received the third most votes with 17.5 percent support, only the Coalition Party and the SDP went ahead.

The center's support in Helsingin Sanomat's survey published this week was 11.7 per cent.

"There are no candidates moving to other parties"

Pirkkalainen will not assess what kind of party, such as the Basic Finns, will be the shooter in the forthcoming elections.

According to him, at least no other party has raised concerns about the candidate acquisition.

- There has been no phenomenon of candidates moving to other parties.

Kääriäinen considers it important for the party's success that its originality be unearthed.

Peculiarity for him specifically means regional equality, that is, that people must have an equal right to live, try and work everywhere in the country.

For him, President Saarikkok is also embracing regional policy thinking.