In light of the Finnish Supreme Court (KKO) sentence on Friday fining Perussuomalaiset (PS) MP Jussi Halla-aho for defaming a religion and incitement against an ethnic group, the next step that the PS MP should take is to resign as chairman of the administration committee of parliament.
PS head Timo Soini was quoted as saying on YLE in English that it was up to the members of the administration committee to decide whether Halla-aho could remain as chairman.
The only party that has so far asked Halla-aho to resign is the Left Alliance.
Being fined for defaming a religion and incitement of an ethnic group should be enough grounds to show Halla-aho the door.
The greatest damage the PS has done to Finland after winning its historic election victory in 2011 is to the credibility of an institution like parliament. Leaving Halla-aho to continue as chairman of the administration committee would be a further blow to credibility.
Social Democratic presidential candidate Paavo Lipponen said last year that clear boundaries should be drawn between democracy and those that believe in far-right ideology. Our political leaders in parliament now have that opportunity to show leadership.
The sentence by the Supreme Court is an important precedent since it sets clear lines on what is unacceptable hate speech by unscrupulous politicians.
Criminal Law Professor Terttu Utrianen said the KKO sentence was a good one, since it reinforces our European way of life, which hinges on social equality and multiculturalism.
Soini was quoted as saying on YLE in English that the PS does not intend to take any action following the ruling, since it was sufficient punishment for Halla-aho.
The PS MP said he may appeal the decision to the European Court of Human Rights.
Writes JusticeDemon of Migrant Tales: “A cynic might suggest that this newly discovered interest in defending human dignity as an end in itself comes at a rather convenient time [for Halla-aho]…”