18 Jun, 2024

Keskusta elects Kaikkonen as new leader

On 15 June, ALDE Party member Keskusta elected Antti Kaikkonen as the party’s new leader at a Congress in Jyväskylä, Finland. 

Kaikkonen received the overwhelming majority of votes from Keskusta members, prevailing over current Member of Parliament Tuomas Kettunen. 

He will serve as party leader for a two-year term alongside new Vice-Chairs Hilkka Kemppi, Kettunen and Markus Lohi, while Antti Siika-aho will continue in his role as Secretary General. 

Kaikkonen has been a member of the Finnish Parliament since 2003, representing the Uusimaa constituency. He served as Minister of Defence from 2019 to 2023, and as leader of Keskusta’s parliamentary group in 2016. 

“We are now building carefully and patiently. We are not running after every poll, but looking further ahead. We are building for success in the next parliamentary elections. We are building the Finland of the 2030s,” Kaikkonen told members after his election. 

“Finland will rise, as it has always risen before. The Centre Party will again play a decisive role in this. Finland needs direction, and that direction, by the way, is built in the centre.” 

Outgoing leader Annika Saarikko thanked members for the support as she passed over the leadership to Kaikkonen, having held the role for the last four years. 

“What touches me most about being a centrist is the strong sense of local ownership that each of you here represents. For me, Keskusta is the whole of Finland. There is now, after all these years, some kind of peace and balance within the party. Unity and a common dream,” she said. 

Keskusta received 11.8% of the popular vote in the last European elections, electing two Members of the European Parliament in Elsi Katainen and Katri Kulmuni.

Photo: Keskusta

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