On 23 September, ALDE Party member Keskusta unanimously approved their support for Olli Rehn as candidate for Finland’s presidential elections taking place on 28 January 2024.
Rehn, currently the governor of the Bank of Finland, previously served as the European Commissioner for Enlargement from 2004-10, Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs from 2010-14, and Finland’s Minister of Economic Affairs from 2015-16.
In an address to the Congress in Turku, Finland, ALDE Party Co-President Timmy Dooley highlighted the successful and democratic selection of the party’s presidential candidate and examined the challenges the party’s leadership will have to face, being in national opposition and local government.
“Olli Rehn is not just a Keskusta candidate; he is a candidate for a popular movement. He needs the support of both party members and the broader Finnish public. His extensive expertise, his character, and balanced approach make him the right choice to navigate Finland through this very difficult time. I know Olli Rehn is committed to being the president of all Finns, and this is what the country needs,” said Co-President Dooley.
“But let's not forget the EU elections. What happens in Brussels deeply affects the daily lives of our citizens. As the Co-President of ALDE Party, I can affirm that your voice in Europe is vital. The choices made at the EU level can amplify or mitigate the challenges Finland faces, so let's ensure that liberal voices are heard loud and clear.”
Rehn, who was also a Member of the European Parliament in the ALDE Group between 2014-15, thanked Keskusta for the party’s support and vowed to uphold the values of democracy, responsibility, rule of law and a commitment to the welfare and security of the Finnish people if he is elected.
“To me, the Center Party represents, above all, a movement for education and humanity. It's a robust people's movement that has been important to me since my youth. It's a movement of friends and warm encounters, through which we influence the kind of Finland we want to build,” said Rehn.
Olen kiitollinen keskustaväeltä tänään saamastani tuesta. Minulle keskusta on ennen muuta sivistys- ja ihmisyysliike, monella tapaa tärkeä jo nuoruudesta.— Olli Rehn (@ollirehn) September 23, 2023
Lähden nyt kampanjaan valitsijayhdistyksen ja keskustan ehdokkaana, tavoitteena olla kaikkien suomalaisten presidentti. pic.twitter.com/lcK1YbMXZq
“The President must be the President for all Finns. That's why I'm running for President through an electoral alliance. Together, we can build a better future for our country and contribute to a more peaceful and just world.”
Keskusta leader Annika Saarikko endorsed Rehn as the best-placed candidate for the Finnish presidency and confirmed the party will wholeheartedly back his candidacy.
“It is easier to build from the middle than from the sides. The president is the leader of the whole country. I am sure that Olli has met more Finns during his life than any other candidate. From east to west, from south to north. He knows this country. Olli Rehn represents stability, trust and unity,” she said.
”Uuden presidentin on oltava valmis tehtäväänsä ensimmäisestä päivästä alkaen.— Suomen Keskusta (@keskusta) September 23, 2023
Sellainen ehdokas on Olli Rehn. Suomen Pankin pääjohtaja, tohtori.”@AnnikaSaarikko
Lue puhe kokonaisuudessaan osoitteesta https://t.co/ccgmAnJ2iI pic.twitter.com/aRlABdiYJR
In addition, Keskusta members elected Antti Siika-aho as the party’s new Secretary General, taking over from Riikka Pirkkalainen who stepped down from the role after five years of service. Finally, Hilkka Kemppi was elected as the party’s new Vice-President, taking over from Pakarinen. Kemppi, in her second term as a Member of the Finnish Parliament for the constituency of Häme, was elected with 66.4% of the vote.
This article is an informative update on ALDE Party members' recent activities. ALDE Party has not provided any financial support for the above activities.