The chairman of the Coalition Party, Petteri Orpo, was allowed to say goodbye to a peaceful spring-winter weekend.
On Saturday, it became known that Kirsi Piha, the Coalition Party's number one candidate, gave up the most important task in Finland's most important city, namely the position of mayor of Helsinki.
Read more: Comment: Kirsi Piha's retirement reveals the Coalition's confusion and the mayor's model
Yard justified his retirement in his blog post on the grounds that he might not be able to successfully represent the “spectrum of values” in the Coalition.
After that, Orpok was also a wanted man to comment on the internal state of the Coalition and the situation of Helsinki's candidacy for mayor.
Read more: Jymy surprise: Elina Lepomäki will run for Helsinki City Council - “For now, I live in Helsinki”
Ilta-Sanomat also asked Orpo 10 questions:
1. When did you hear that Kirsi Piha was resigning as mayor?
- On Saturday a little earlier before he came to the public eye.
We discussed it.
2. What kind of discussion did you have?
How did he justify his decision to you?
- He reasoned very similarly to what he had written on his blog.
He was also sorry that he had come to the conclusion that it was impossible to continue.
That was, of course, very unfortunate.
I asked him to still consider, but the decision had already been made.
3. It is a hard blow to the Coalition when the election is already at the door.
What do you think about the operation of the yard?
How unfair do you find it unfair?
Kirsi Piha, the Coalition Party's number one candidate, announced that he would withdraw from the mayoral and municipal elections on Saturday. Photo: Emmi Korhonen / Lehtikuva
- It was almost the worst possible time for the party - especially for the Helsinki district.
It is less than two months for the municipal elections, and the nomination ends in a week, which is a very difficult time.
In politics, however, I got used to it, that surprises and disappointments can come.
However, the Coalition Party has the prerequisites to find a good and competitive mayoral candidate in Helsinki.
4. Where can the Coalition find a new mayoral candidate?
Has anyone already registered or expressed an interest?
- I have not had time to follow the media a lot, but I understand that several persons are said to questions the nominations.
When Jan Vapaavuori announced that he was not available for the second season, we did a thorough mapping job.
In the sense that the situation is pretty good that the groundwork has already been done.
5. How did you receive the surprising news on Sunday that Elina Lepomäki announced that she had moved to Helsinki and was running for the Helsinki Council?
Would he be overbearing even as a mayoral candidate?
Member of Parliament Elina Lepomäki (Coalition Party) can become one of Helsinki's rattlesmen in municipal elections. Photo: Seppo Solmela / IS
- It was really big and good news, when in the beginning he was not leaving the candidacy at all.
Elina is a strong politician and will certainly bring a lot of votes to the Coalition Party in Helsinki.
His candidacy for mayor would happen to me even right away, but there seems to be a pretty strong decision that he is not available for that.
But the very fact that he is a candidate for the council is big news for the party.
6. What do you say that may have come to the Yard as a surprise that he didn’t notice a month ago and left a retreat as the only option?
Did the tension in the party’s right wing become too great?
- Like I said, I don't know more about the reasons than Kirsi Piha has written.
I am very worried about the whole of Finland democratic state of the system, if the reason is that he has had to collide with social network inappropriate behavior, bullying or ilkeilyyn.
It is a serious situation for all parties and decision-makers who give time to deal with common issues.
The decision-making position or condition must be free from fear of being subjected to some form of bullying or assault.
Chairman Petteri Orpo demands that the Coalition Party be put in order in Helsinki before the elections. Photo: Jussi Nukari / Lehtikuva
- We do everything we can to ensure that the Coalition Party acts with respect and equality.
Coalitionism includes civilized behavior and respect for the other person.
The party is having a serious discussion with the Helsinki district about how to create a unified winning team in the municipal elections in Helsinki.
7. It has been estimated that you yourself did not adequately support the Yard.
How did you comment?
- Not true!
The yard has had the personal and unwavering support of my entire party leadership all along.
I've been reachable at all times.
I do not recognize this argument.
8. There is an internal struggle going on within the Coalition between liberals and value conservatives.
For example, Sini Korpinen, a candidate in Helsinki, said in Helsingin Sanomat that you are not leading a party but balancing between two camps.
How do you respond?
Petteri Orpo says that he is leading the Coalition Party with the steps that the Party Conference has outlined in the goal and principle programs. Photo: Markku Ulander / Lehtikuva
- I lead the party every day and every hour.
Throughout its history, the Coalition Party has had different tendencies, but the members are united by common values, which is why we are members of the Coalition Party.
The task of the chairman is to bring together the different trends.
I follow the line defined by the Party Conference in the goal and principle programs.
The Coalition Line is not defined on Twitter!
9. The Coalition Party has traditionally been seen as the unifying party of the center-right.
Is that true anymore?
Can't the Coalition still hold different opinions?
- Yes, it can.
I will come back again that we have strong common values.
We are supporters of Western free liberal democracy, and that involves freedom of choice, human rights and the fact that we treat everyone equally and are open-minded about internationalism.
On the other hand, stability is needed, and it is brought about by a secure society and institutions such as education, the police and the judiciary and the national defense system.
10. According to a study published on Saturday, the Greens have slightly passed the Coalition Party in Helsinki.
Why has this happened?
Where has the Coalition failed?
Petteri Orpo trusts that the seat of the mayor of Helsinki will remain in the Coalition Party. Photo: Markku Ulander / Lehtikuva
- Investigations come and go.
The Coalition Party commissioned economic research from Taloustutkimus.
The sample was 1,000 people, and according to it, the Coalition Party was by far the largest party in Helsinki.
I believe that the Coalition Party will remain the ruling party, and we assume that we will be the largest party in Helsinki even after the election.