Jussi Halla-aho

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Jussi Halla-aho
MEP
Jussi Halla-aho 2014.JPG
Leader of the Finns Party
Assumed office
10 June 2017
Preceded by Timo Soini
Member of the European Parliament
for Finland
Assumed office
1 July 2014
Member of Parliament
for Helsinki
In office
19 April 2011 – 30 June 2014
Succeeded by Mika Raatikainen
Personal details
Born Jussi Kristian Halla-aho
(1971-04-27) 27 April 1971 (age 46)
Tampere, Finland
Political party Finns Party
Spouse(s) Hilla Halla-aho
Children 5[1]
Alma mater University of Helsinki
Website Official website

Jussi Kristian Halla-aho (born 27 April 1971) is a Finnish politician and Member of the European Parliament (MEP) for Finland. He is the leader of the Finns Party,[2] part of the European Conservatives and Reformists.[3][4][5]

Halla-aho was first elected to the Helsinki City Council in 2008 and to the Finnish parliament in 2011. In 2014 he was elected to the European Parliament. On 13 March 2017, Halla-aho announced that he would stand in the Finns Party leadership election.[6] On 10 June 2017, he was elected Leader of the Finns Party.[2]

Early life[edit]

Halla-aho grew up in Tampere and lived there 24 years.[3][7] His mother was from Alajärvi.[8] During the 1980s he travelled to the Soviet Union with his father, who was a bus driver. The trip was the spark for his anti-leftist convictions.[3] When Halla-aho was young he worked as a waiter.[3] When conscripted, instead of military service he chose civilian service. He later expressed regret at his decision, calling the choice a "stupid political protest", and voicing support for the present conscription system.[9]

Education and scientific career[edit]

Jussi Halla-aho in 2006

After highschool graduation, Halla-aho enrolled in Pirkanmaa hotel and restaurant institute, where he obtained a professional degree to become a restaurant waiter. Halla-aho studied at the University of Helsinki from 1995 to 2000. During his post-graduate period (2000–2006), he worked at the Department of Slavonic and Baltic Studies as a researcher and teacher of Old Church Slavonic.[7] He obtained a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in 2006, having written his dissertation about historical nominal morphology of Old Church Slavonic.[3][10] He has published two articles in scientific journals, been interested in comparative Indo-European linguistics, and has written Old Church Slavonic Manual, which is used at the University of Helsinki.[7]

Political career[edit]

Electoral results[edit]

Halla-aho was elected a member of Helsinki City Council in the 2008 municipal elections as a candidate of the Finns Party (previously known as True Finns),[3][11] although he was not a member of the party until 2010. In the 2008 elections, he was the 18th most popular candidate in the entire country[12] and the second most popular candidate of the Finns Party after the party leader Timo Soini.[13] Halla-aho won the largest number of personal votes for the party in Helsinki.[14]

Halla-aho was elected to parliament in 2011. His vote share was the sixth highest in the country and the second highest within his party.[15] In the parliament he was made chairman of the Administration Committee,[16] which deals with immigration affairs among other matters.[17] However, in the summer of 2012 Halla-aho resigned from the position of committee chairman, while staying as a member of the committee.[18] Halla-aho was re-elected to the Helsinki City Council in 2012, being the third most popular candidate nationwide.[19]

Halla-aho was elected to the European Parliament in 2014. He was the second most popular candidate in the election with 80,772 votes.[20] He sits in the European Conservatives and Reformists Group (ECR). He is a member of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs, and a substitute member of the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection.[21]

In 2017, Halla-aho announced he would run for the party chair in the Finns Party leadership election, as the long-time leader of the party Timo Soini decided not to seek another term.[22] During the campaign, Halla-aho and Sampo Terho emerged as the leading candidates, according to opinion polls.[23][24] Halla-aho emerged victorious in the party conference in Jyväskylä on 10 June, winning a majority of delegates in the first round, and was officially nominated as the Leader of the Finns Party.[25][26] His selection resulted in a political crisis in Finland, as the leaders of the two other governing coalition parties, Prime Minister Juha Sipilä of Centre and Finance Minister Petteri Orpo of the NCP, stated they would not co-operate with the Finns Party led by Halla-aho.[27][28] The two leaders argued that their decision was based on value differences between them and Halla-aho's policies, and that the Sipilä Cabinet would duly be dissolved.[29] On 13 June, however, twenty Finns MPs, including former leader Soini, broke away from the parliamentary group and founded New Alternative. Sipilä announced that his cabinet would continue working with New Alternative, thus securing a parliamentary majority, and leaving the remaining Finns MPs in opposition.[30]

Parliamentary elections[edit]

Year Constituency Votes Percentage Result
2007 Helsinki 2,215 0.70% Not elected
2011 Helsinki 15,074 4.33% Elected

Municipal elections[edit]

Year Municipality Votes Percentage Result
2008 Helsinki 2,977 1.07% Elected
2012 Helsinki 6,034 2.11% Elected
2017 Helsinki 5,668 1.74% Elected

European Parliament elections[edit]

Year Constituency Votes Percentage Result
2014 Finland 80,772 4.67% Elected

[31]

Political interests[edit]

Halla-aho has stated that he became politically active because he finds the Finnish immigration policy a problem[32] and believes that Europe is heading towards a catastrophe because of massive immigration.[33] Halla-aho voices support for the welfare state, and places himself on the left side of the political spectrum, in matters of economic policy.[14] Still, he maintains that, all sides taken into account, if forced to choose between left-wing and right-wing politics he would choose the right-wing.[34]

Halla-aho maintains a blog titled Scripta which states that it treats issues such as ”immigration, multiculturalism, tolerance, racism, freedom of speech and political correctness”.[35] His blog had between 3,000 and 6,000 readers a day in 2008,[36] which made him the best known political blogger in Finland according to the newspaper Aamulehti.[37]

In a 2007 interview with Helsingin Sanomat Halla-aho explained his opposition to multiculturalism in the following way:

In Finland the starting point [of the conversation] is that multiculturalism is a richness in itself. This is an untenable claim. When rival value systems and codes of conduct are accepted in a society, it leads automatically to conflicts. Finland is no exception. It is mainly the attributes of the Muslim cultures, that make the integration of these groups into Finland impossible, as long as they hold on to their special characteristics and as long as the society encourages them to wrap themselves in this otherness. It creates a spiral of social exclusion and ethnic ghettoisation.[38]

Halla-aho has demanded that positive discrimination and what he calls privileges due to culture or nationality should not be allowed. Referring to his own works, he has affirmed that criticising "totalitarian fascist ideologies like political Islam" should not be considered racism and that facts cannot be criminalised.[39] According to Halla-aho, immigration is a taboo in Finland.[40] He has disclosed that he has received death threats because of his web columns.[34][37]

Halla-aho has been accused of racism by academics and members of the Finnish government,[41][42] and has been connected to the counterjihad movement.[43][44] He denies that he is xenophobic and maintains that he is simply “critical of immigration”,[3] and that he has supporters among immigrants, as well.[34]

Criminal charges and conviction[edit]

In December 2008, Halla-aho was put under investigation for incitement to ethnic or racial hatred (under Finnish law referred to as "ethnic agitation") for remarks published on his blog.[45][46]

On 27 March 2009, the Helsinki District Court ordered Halla-aho to stand for trial on charges of ethnic agitation and breach of the sanctity of religion. The charges were raised on the basis of remarks related to the sentencing of Seppo Lehto on Halla-aho's blog in 2008. Here, he wrote that the prophet Muhammad was a pedophile, making reference to Muhammad's relationship with Aisha, and that Islam is a religion that sanctifies pedophilia.[47] In another text, he asked if it could be stated that robbing passersby and living on taxpayers' expense are cultural and possibly genetic characteristics of Somalis.[42] The text was originally intended as a response to a Finnish columnist of the newspaper Kaleva, who had written that drinking excessively and killing when drunk were cultural and possibly genetic characteristics of Finns.[48]

On 8 September 2009, the District Court convicted Halla-aho of disturbing religious worship, and ordered him to pay a fine of 330 euros.[42] The charge of ethnic agitation was dismissed. In October 2010 the Court of Appeal agreed with the District Court's conviction.[49] Both the prosecutor and Halla-aho appealed the case to the Supreme Court.[50] The Supreme Court granted a leave to appeal in May 2011.[51] In a sentence given on the 8 of June 2012, the Supreme Court found Halla-aho guilty of both disturbing religious worship and of ethnic agitation and increased his fines accordingly to 400 euros.[42][52][53]

Other controversies[edit]

In September 2011 Halla-aho wrote in Facebook that Greece's debt problems cannot be resolved without a military junta.[54] He soon retracted the comment, clarifying that his intention was merely to point out that making necessary but unpopular decisions is not easy in a democracy.[55] Timo Soini, the leader of the party, demanded a temporary suspension of Halla-aho from the parliamentary group.[56] In the end the parliamentary group unanimously (Halla-aho himself included) suspended Halla-aho for two weeks, although Soini had initially called for a month-long suspension.[57][58]

Personal life[edit]

Halla-aho lives in Eira in Helsinki with his wife Hilla Halla-aho and their four children.[59][3] In May 2017, it was revealed that he had also had one child with another woman in 2015. Information was leaked to the press by the unnamed mother, who was disappointed that Halla-aho had always mentioned publicly that he only had four children. Halla-aho confirmed the information when asked, but declined to further comment it.[1]

Halla-aho's hobbies include reading J. R. R. Tolkien, astronomy, as well as pistol and rifle shooting.[60] He is a member of Suomen Sisu, an association that seeks to promote Finnish nationalism.[61] He is not a member in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland, and considers himself a moderate agnostic atheist.[62]

Publications[edit]

Academic works[edit]

Political works[edit]

In 2009, Halla-aho published a collection of his web columns titled Kirjoituksia uppoavasta Lännestä (Writings from the sinking West or Writings about the sinking West) in print. The book's first edition sold out in three days.[63]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Vuorikoski, Salla:Jussi Halla-aholla lapsi avioliiton ulkopuolella - "Ei vaikuta kampanjointiin" Suomen Kuvalehti - 24.5.2017 (in Finnish)
  2. ^ a b "Jussi Halla-aho elected Finns Party leader". Yle News. 10 June 2017
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Mäkinen, Esa: What does Jussi Halla-aho really want?, Helsingin Sanomat – International Edition Metro, 30.11.2008. (in English)
  4. ^ Sauvala, Milka: Maahanmuuttokriitikko perussuomalaisten äänikuningas Helsingissä, Helsingin Sanomat, 26.10.2008. (in Finnish)
  5. ^ Viljanmaa, Toni: Perussuomalaiset saivat parikymmentä maahanmuuttokriitikkoa valtuustoihin, Satakunnan Kansa 27.10.2008. (in Finnish)
  6. ^ http://yle.fi/uutiset/osasto/news/hardliner_halla-aho_throws_hat_into_ring_as_finns_party_chair/9506541
  7. ^ a b c Jussi Halla-aho, Jussi Halla-aho's personal homepage (in English)
  8. ^ Rautio, Pirjo: Jussi Halla-ahon juurilla, Pohjalainen, 22.11.2008 (in Finnish)
  9. ^ Maria Pettersson: Jussi Halla-aho, City-lehti 1/2009 (in Finnish)
  10. ^ Problems of Proto-Slavic Historical Nominal Morphology: On the Basis of Old Church Slavic, Slavistik-Portal, 2006 (in English)
  11. ^ Valitut ehdokkaat - Helsinki, Kunnallisvaalit 2008, Ministry of Justice, Finland. (in Finnish)
  12. ^ Koko maa – Ääniharavat, Vaalit 2008 tulospalvelu, 27.10.2008, YLE. (in Finnish)
  13. ^ Perussuomalaisten Halla-ahosta rikostutkinta, MTV3-STT 12.12.2008. (in Finnish)
  14. ^ a b Great ideological disparity among True Finns in Helsinki region, Helsingin Sanomat - International Edition - Metro (in English)
  15. ^ http://yle.fi/vaalit/tulospalvelu/2011/ehdokkaat_aanimaarajarjestyksessa.html
  16. ^ http://www.kaleva.fi/uutiset/joutsenlahti-puhemiehistoon-halla-aho-hallintovaliokuntaan/897477
  17. ^ http://web.eduskunta.fi/Resource.phx/parliament/committees/administration.htx
  18. ^ http://www.hs.fi/politiikka/Halla-aho+eroaa+hallintovaliokunnan+puheenjohtajan+teht%C3%A4v%C3%A4st%C3%A4/a1305574404538
  19. ^ http://www.vaalikone.fi/kunta2012/tulos/
  20. ^ http://vaalit.yle.fi/tulospalvelu/2014/eurovaalit/ehdokkaat_aanimaarajarjestyksessa.html
  21. ^ European Parliament: Jussi HALLA-AHO, accessed 7 July 2014.
  22. ^ "Halla-aho's bid for Finns Party leadership boosts interest in party membership". Yle News. Yle. 2 April 2017. Retrieved 8 April 2017. 
  23. ^ "Taloustutkimus: Perussuomalaisten äänestäjät kannattavat Halla-ahoa puolueen seuraavaksi puheenjohtajaksi selvästi enemmän kuin Terhoa". Taloustutkimus. Helsingin Sanomat. 17 May 2017. Retrieved 12 June 2017. 
  24. ^ "Taloustutkimus: Perussuomalaisten äänestäjät kannattavat Halla-ahoa puolueen seuraavaksi puheenjohtajaksi selvästi enemmän kuin Terhoa". Lännen Media. Aamulehti. 3 June 2017. Retrieved 12 June 2017. 
  25. ^ Mattila, Sanni (10 June 2017). "Jussi Halla-aho on perussuomalaisten uusi puheenjohtaja: "Olen sanaton"". Iltalehti. Retrieved 10 June 2017. 
  26. ^ "Jussi Halla-aho valittiin suoraan ensimmäisellä kierroksella". perussuomalaiset.fi. Finns Party. Retrieved 10 June 2017. 
  27. ^ "Juha Sipilä on Twitter". Twitter.com. Juha Sipilä. Retrieved 12 June 2017. 
  28. ^ "Petteri Orpo on Twitter". Twitter.com. Petteri Orpo. Retrieved 12 June 2017. 
  29. ^ "PM Sipilä: Govt collapsed over sharper differences with Finns Party". Yle.fi. Yle News. Retrieved 12 June 2017. 
  30. ^ "Tällainen on Uusi vaihtoehto – Nämä kansanedustajat jättivät perussuomalaiset". Yle. 13 June 2017. Retrieved 13 June 2017. 
  31. ^ "Information Service". vaalit.fi. Ministry of Justice of Finland. Retrieved 3 July 2017. 
  32. ^ Ruissalo, Pekka: Timo Soini ja Jussi Halla-aho närkästyivät rasismisyytöksistä, Aamulehti 21.10.2008 (in Finnish)
  33. ^ Poikkeustapaukset, Helsingin Sanomat, 2.3.2007.
  34. ^ a b c Pettersson, Maria: Jussi Halla-aho, City, nro 1/2009 (in Finnish)
  35. ^ Halla-aho, Jussi: Johdanto uudelle lukijalle, Scripta. (in Finnish)
  36. ^ Jussi, Noora: Yllätysvoitot perustuivat blogeihin, Vihreä Lanka, 29.10.2008. (in Finnish)
  37. ^ a b Viljanmaa, Toni: Perussuomalaiset | Hallan vaara , Aamulehti, 5.12.2008. (in Finnish)
  38. ^ In Finnish: "Suomessa on lähtökohtana, että monikulttuurisuus itsessään on rikkaus. Tämä on perustelematon väite. Kun yhteiskunnassa hyväksytään kilpailevia arvojärjestelmiä ja käyttäytymiskoodeja, se johtaa automaattisesti konflikteihin. Suomi ei ole poikkeus. Lähinnä muslimikulttuurien piirteet tekevät näiden ryhmien sopeutumisen Suomeen mahdottomaksi niin kauan kuin ne pitävät kiinni erityispiirteistään ja yhteiskunta rohkaisee heitä kääriytymään tähän erilaisuuteen. Se luo syrjäytymisen ja etnisen gettoutumisen kierteen." Poikkeustapaukset, Helsingin Sanomat, 2.3.2007 (in Finnish)
  39. ^ Toisinajattelijana Suomessa – Policyn haastattelussa Jussi Halla-aho Policy 1/2008, p. 16, Helsingin yliopiston Valtio-opin Opiskelijat ry. (PDF) (in Finnish)
  40. ^ B-Studion perjantaivieras: Jussi Halla-aho Nelonen, 19.12.2008 (Video) (in Finnish)
  41. ^ Kammonen, Teemu J. (September 14, 2009). "Halla-ahon ryöpytys jatkuu: "Rasisti"". Uusi Suomi. Retrieved 2014-07-08. 
  42. ^ a b c d Dunne, David (14 June 2012). "Finns Party MP remains defiant after race hate conviction" (PDF). Helsinki Times. Retrieved 8 July 2014. 
  43. ^ Huusko, Jukka (2011-07-29). "Halla-aho kiistää tiiviit yhteydet vasta-jihad-liikkeeseen". Helsingin Saanomat. Retrieved 2014-07-08. 
  44. ^ Lydén, Marianne (2012-09-09). "Hatretoriken mot islam måste utmanas". Hufvudstadsbladet. Retrieved 2014-07-08. 
  45. ^ Grönholm, Pauliina: Poliisi aloittaa rikostutkinnan Halla-ahosta, Helsingin Sanomat, 12.12.2008 (in Finnish)
  46. ^ Police to Investigate Helsinki City Council Member's Blog YLE, 12.12.2008 (in English)
  47. ^ http://www.mtv.fi/uutiset/rikos/artikkeli/islamin-yhdistaminen-pedofiliaan-toi-halla-aholle-sakot-myos-hovilta/2038802
  48. ^ Karvonen, Kyösti (13 June 2012). "Kaleva ja Halla-aho". Kaleva. Retrieved 2014-07-08. 
  49. ^ Mölsä, Ari (29 October 2010). "Halla-ahon blogituomio pysyi myös hovissa" (in Finnish). YLE. Retrieved 27 December 2010. 
  50. ^ "Halla-ahon blogikirjoittelu KKO:n punnittavaksi" (in Finnish). HS. 10 May 2011. Retrieved 21 October 2011. 
  51. ^ "VL:2011-53". Edilex database (in Finnish). Edita Publishing Oy. 10 May 2011. Archived from the original on 24 April 2012. Retrieved 28 September 2011. 
  52. ^ KKO tuomitsi Halla-ahon myös kiihottamisesta kansanryhmää vastaan, Helsingin Sanomat, 8.6.2012
  53. ^ http://suomenkuvalehti.fi/jutut/kotimaa/halla-ahon-sakot-laskettiin-vanhoilla-tiedoilla-asia-ei-tullut-mieleenkaan/
  54. ^ "Finnish lawmaker's remarks spark call for ouster". Archived from the original on 21 March 2012. Retrieved 15 September 2011. 
  55. ^ "Halla-aho: Kreikkaan tarvittaisiin sotilasjuntta". 14 September 2011. Retrieved 15 September 2011. 
  56. ^ "Soini odottaa tukea Halla-Ahon erottamiselle". Retrieved 15 September 2011. 
  57. ^ UPDATE: Jussi Halla-aho suspended from the Finns Party's parliamentary group for two weeks
  58. ^ "Jussi Halla-aho erotettiin eduskuntaryhmästä kahdeksi viikoksi". 15 September 2011. Retrieved 15 September 2011. 
  59. ^ http://www.halla-aho.com/scripta/lisaantykaa_ja_tayttakaa_toyota_corolla.html
  60. ^ Kontulan Perussuomalaiset ry: Jussi Halla-aho (in Finnish)
  61. ^ Vahti, Jukka: Suomen Sisun jäsenet pyrkivät valtuustoihin perussuomalaisten listoilta, Vihreä Lanka, 9.10.2008 (in Finnish)
    *Onnittelemme valtuustoihin päässeitä Suomen Sisun jäseniä, Suomen Sisu 28.10.2008 (in Finnish)
  62. ^ Susiluoto, Klaus (August 2009). "Oikeus olla leimatumatta rasistiksi". Lue! (in Finnish). Karprint: 80. Halla-aho ei kuulu kirkkoon. Hän määrittelee itsensä maltilliseksi agnostiseksi ateistiksi. 
  63. ^ Halla-ahon kirjan ensimmäinen painos myytiin loppuun, Iltalehti, 4.3.2009 (in Finnish)

External links[edit]

  • Jussi Halla-aho – Halla-aho's personal homepage (in English)
  • Scripta – Halla-aho's blog (in Finnish)
  • Inter arma – Halla-aho's column on gun control (in English)