Maria Ohisalo elected new chair of Green League
16 Jun 2019, 20:53 ( 1 Month ago)
The Vihreä liitto (Finnish Green League) on Saturday chose Maria Ohisalo, the current minister for the interior, as its new chairman at the party convention in Pori, western Finland. The 34-year-old doctor of social sciences was elected unanimously. She was elected to parliament this year.
In her speech, Ohisalo raised financial inequality and the climate change as the two things she would combat against. She said she wants to build a country where the social safety net functions.
Ohisalo said that alienation is the worst internal security risk in Finland. "The security of even the lowest income people must be guaranteed," she said.
Ohisalo reminded that she knows personally what poverty is. Besides being a sociologist focusing on poverty, she was born to a low income family.
Ohisalo underlined equality also in combating the climate change. "Climate change must be warded off in such a way that no one is left behind. Those who already have problems with their livelihood shall not pay the bill."
Ohisalo said the program of the newly launched center-left government is historic in defining the goals of the climate policies. Finland is to become carbon neutral by 2035.
As minister of the interior, Ohisalo is also responsible for immigration affairs. She underlined that each application for asylum in Finland is being processed appropriately and ascertaining the lawful security.
She said it is possible to change the Finnish asylum policy and public debate on it. "We can resist hatred speech. I am not afraid of fascists," she said.
The Green League has 20 MPs in the parliament. The previous party chairman Touko Aalto resigned last autumn on health grounds. Earlier party chairman Pekka Haavisto was appointed as interim chairman and did not run for chairmanship now.