Ex-Finnish PM assaulted near parliament

Steffen Trumpf
·1-min read

Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin and other leading politicians have condemned a recent assault on a former prime minister that occurred near parliament.

Juha Sipila, former Centre Party leader and prime minister from 2015 to 2019, told broadcaster MTV3 that he had been punched on January 7 by an unknown assailant who also shouted abuse at him.

Sipila did not state whether he had sustained any injuries.

Tabloid Iltalehti, which first reported the story, said he had suffered bruising.

Police are now investigating the incident.

"A assault on a member of parliament harms both individuals and the entire parliament," Marin, leader of the Social Democrats, wrote on Twitter.

Parliamentary speaker Anu Vehvilainen and member of the Centre Party said on Twitter: "The physical integrity of representatives is an important part of a credible democracy. We Finns can never accept that our representatives are subjected to violence."

Paavo Arhinmaki, lawmaker for the Left Alliance and former party leader, said "political violence must not be allowed in Finland".

The head of parliament security, Jukka Savola, told public broadcaster YLE that incidents of this kind were "very rare" and considered that this was considered a one-off occurrence.

Finland is due to hold local elections on April 18.