Ilkka Kanerva

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Ilkka Kanerva
Deputy Prime Minister of Finland
In office
April 26, 1991 – August 23, 1991
Prime Minister Esko Aho
Preceded by Pertti Paasio
Succeeded by Pertti Salolainen
Minister for Foreign Affairs
In office
April 19, 2007 – April 4, 2008
Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen
Preceded by Erkki Tuomioja
Succeeded by Alexander Stubb
Minister of Labour
In office
April 26, 1991 – April 12, 1995
Prime Minister Esko Aho
Preceded by Matti Puhakka
Succeeded by Liisa Jaakonsaari
Minister of Transport
In office
August 28, 1990 – April 25, 1991
Prime Minister Harri Holkeri
Preceded by Raimo Vistbacka
Succeeded by Ole Norrback
Member of the Parliament of Finland
Assumed office
Constituency Southwest Finland
Personal details
Born (1948-01-28) January 28, 1948 (age 68)
Finland Uusikaupunki, Finland
Political party National Coalition Party

Ilkka Armas Mikael Kanerva (born 28 January 1948) is a Finnish politician and a member of the Parliament of Finland. He was born in Lokalahti, now a part of Uusikaupunki in Southwest Finland. He was the Minister for Foreign Affairs from 2007 to 2008.

Kanerva is a member of the National Coalition Party. He graduated with a master's degree in Political Science from the University of Turku in 1980. Kanerva was leader of the political youth organisation Kokoomuksen Nuorten Liitto ry. from 1972 to 1976 and was first elected to the Finnish Parliament in 1975. As of 2011 he is the longest standing Member of Parliament.

Kanerva had an active and controversial KGB relationship during the Cold War.[1]

As Minister for Foreign Affairs, Kanerva was the Chairman-in-Office of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe for 2008. In 2014 he was elected president of the Parliamentary Assembly of the OSCE.[2][3]

The National Coalition Party announced the resignation of Ilkka Kanerva on April 1, 2008[4][5] due to a scandal involving hundreds of sexually suggestive text messages he sent to the erotic dancer, Johanna Tukiainen, from his work mobile phone.[6] Kanerva left for a sick leave on 1 April, and his term officially ended on 4 April 2008.[7]

Texting scandal[edit]

In March 2008 it was revealed that Kanerva had sent 200 SMS messages within a month to Johanna Tukiainen, a 29-year-old erotic dancer. Kanerva had previously sent SMS messages to nude model Marika Fingerroos in 2005.[8][9][10] According to Kanerva, Tukiainen had wanted to perform with her dance group at his birthday party, and he responded to this request by text message.

On March 30 Kanerva unexpectedly cancelled his plan to participate in Lennart Meri Conference in Tallinn, Estonia, and returned to Finland. The Hymy magazine published on April 1, 2008 printed several of the messages, and on the same morning party leader Jyrki Katainen stated that Kanerva can not continue in his position.

Kanerva was granted sick leave, and later that day it was released that his term as Foreign Minister would end on April 4, 2008 due to loss of confidence. He was replaced by Alexander Stubb.[11]


Campaign finance[edit]

Kanerva was among the National Coalition Party members receiving support from construction industry in the election in 2007 in Finland without giving the public information of it in time. Others included: Sauli Niinistö, Jyrki Katainen, Jyri Häkämies, Marja Tiura, Sampsa Kataja, Jari Koskinen and Juha Hakola (politician).[12]

Corruption trial[edit]

On June 9, 2011 in the Helsinki District Court Ilkka Kanerva was accused of accepting bribes. The prosecutor demanded a two-year prison sentence and €56,000 in damages for the received advantage. Police had charged Kanerva in May 2010.[13][14] The accepted bribes were connected to the building of a shopping center.[15] The judgement will be on 18. April 2012.[16] The trial takes longer time based on four other ongoing corruption trial connected to this one.

Ilkka Kanerva was suspected of receiving bribes and interviewed by police in the end of March 2010.[17] Kanerva was accused of receiving 17,000 € from Nova Group (Finland) (construction business, a key actor in the Finance scandal 2007) during his 60-years anniversary in 2008 and over 50,000 € in favor of the aimed new large shopping centers. The prosecutor demanded two years of imprisonment for bribery.[18] The claims were kept secret until the trial in April 2012. The media had applied publicity prior the trial based on the political importance but failed to receive it.[19]

In 2012 Ilkka Kanerva was convicted and sentenced to 15 months for corruption and abuse of office.[20][21][22]

Ilkka Kanerva, Arto Merisalo, Tapani Yli-Saunamäki and Toivo Sukari were seeking to overturn their bribery convictions in March 2013. The prosecutor wants a longer sentence against Kanerva.[23]

The Helsinki Court of Appeal overturned MP Ilkka Kanerva's sentence for acceptance of bribes. In 2012, the District Court found Kanerva guilty of accepting tens of thousands of euros worth of gifts from the executives, who were seen to thereby gain influence over Kanerva’s actions as chair of the Regional Council of Southwest Finland. Among other things, the council has decision-making power over the zoning of new shopping centres. The Court of Appeal also overturned the sentences for aggravated bribery of three businessmen, Arto Merisalo, Tapani Yli-Saunamäki and Toivo Sukari. The District Court had sentenced Merisalo and Yli-Saunamäki to long prison terms.[24] After the acquittal the Deputy State Prosecutor filed an appeal to the Supreme Court against Kanerva's acquittal.[25]


  1. ^ Kokoomus, Kekkonen ja NKP:n luottamus - Kansallisen Kokoomuksen toiminta hallitusaseman saavuttamiseksi 1969–1981
  2. ^ "Ilkka Kanerva of Finland elected President of OSCE Parliamentary Assembly". OSCEPA. 2 July 2014. Retrieved 2 July 2014. 
  3. ^ Ilkka Kanerva Etyjin yleiskokouksen presidentiksi
  4. ^ Tiedotustilaisuus Ilkka Kanervan erosta yle information 1.4.2008 (Finnish)
  5. ^ London Telegraph April 02, 2008; Finnish minister quits over saucy texts.
  6. ^ Iltasanomat 1.4.2008: Näin Kanerva tekstaili: "Miten ois koskettaa yökerhossa sua sormilla"
  7. ^ The Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs 1.4.2008: National Coalition Party proposes Alexander Stubb as foreign minister
  8. ^ Foreign Minister admits to sending text messages to dancer, Helsingin Sanomat
  9. ^ National Coalition Party leader perplexed by Kanerva SMS message uproar, HS
  10. ^ Kanerva Garners Support of Both Party and Government, YLE
  11. ^ Katainen liikuttui kertoessaan Kanervan erottamisesta - - Politiikka
  12. ^ STT:Tässä ovat Kehittyvien maakuntien Suomi -puolueen kansanedustajat Taloussanomat. 30.5.2008
  13. ^ Sukaria epäillään Ilkka Kanervan lahjonnasta HS 6.5.2010 A5
  14. ^ Syyttäjä vaatii Kanervalle vähintään kahta vuotta vankeutta Helsingin Sanomat 9.6.2011
  15. ^ Syyttäjä: Kanerva syyllistyi lahjuksen ottoon HS 30.11.2011
  16. ^ Kanerva-jutussa tuomio vasta puolen vuoden kuluttua! Ilta Sanomat 30.11.2011
  17. ^ Markkula, Hannes: Ilkka Kanervaa epäillään lahjusrikoksesta Ilta-Sanomat. 29.3.2010
  18. ^ Syyttäjä vaatii Kanervalle vähintään kahta vuotta vankeutta HS 9.6.2011
  19. ^ Kanervan lahjussyyte pysyy salaisena oikeudenkäyntiin asti Helsingin Sanomat. 21.2.2011
  20. ^
  21. ^
  22. ^
  23. ^ MP Kanerva back in court on corruption charges
  24. ^ Kanerva’s bribery sentence overturned
  25. ^

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Erkki Tuomioja
Minister for Foreign Affairs (Finland)
Succeeded by
Alexander Stubb