Municipal elections Espoo is more right-wing, younger and more female-dominated – Pekpi Seppälä, 28, who has joined the council, wants to prevent the loss of nature

Energy technology student, techie Peppi in Seppälä is a cause for joy.

He is one of the fresh faces of the new Espoo City Council.

In the Greens, Seppälä’s achievement this year was greater than in previous elections, as the party lost three council seats. Support fell short of the previous election by 4.4 percentage points.

The party’s result in Espoo was still the second best in its history, Seppälä points out.

“The Greens did record well in the previous municipal elections, that this was a loss compared to that,” says Seppälä.

In the greens during the wee hours, it was only time to make preliminary estimates of the factors behind the figures.

The election was exceptional due to the conditions created by the corona situation. In addition, government accountability and a low turnout affected the result.

Read more: The Coalition Party increased its power in Espoo – the Greens’ biggest loser

In the 2017 municipal elections, the Greens were able to stand out strongly in council work and elections on indoor air issues, and it did. Now the themes that were important to the Greens were the usual ones, and they were also talked about by other parties.

Maybe the nomination was also affected, the Greens are thought.

Few well-known candidates from other parties, such as Mika Poutala (kd) and Vanessa Kurri (Coalition Party) drew voters commendably.

The Greens top name, Member of Parliament Inka Hopsu says you knew how to expect such an election result. Hopsu received the largest vote catch of his party, 1,572 votes.

“The Coalition was facilitated by the opposition, while we were weighed down by government responsibility. It will be visible in all elections. ”

Hopsu thinks that, in addition, the problems of the municipal economy, which affect the whole country, weigh heavily in large cities.

According to Hopsu, government parties are expected to ensure the vitality of cities and the quality of services, but the decisions made at the municipal level are not always so familiar.

Poll significantly changed the composition of the entire Espoo City Council.

Overall, the city council became even more female-dominated, with 63 per cent of city councilors being women. There are two men who have gone through the Greens: they are already familiar with positions of trust Mickey Kauste and Risto Nevanlinna.

In addition, the average age of delegates fell and new candidates went through clearly more than in the last election, by 44 per cent.

In addition to Seppälä, other young women unknown to the general public rose to the council on the Greens: Auli Elolahti, 29, and Leila Arstila, 22.

On the other hand, green people with experience in municipal politics fell. Sitting on the council for a long time Mari Anthoni as well as authorized Päivi Raunu fell. A veteran of the Greens of Espoo Sirpa Hertell remained in reserve.

In many council groups, new factors emerged to replace the familiar ones. In the Coalition Party, as many as half of the new council group is completely new. Greens have a third of newcomers.

Seppälä already known as chairman of the Green Youth Organization.

The teekkari, who was born in Jyväskylä, has already lived in Otaniemi and Matinkylä in Espoo.

The Green Alliance has been involved for a long time. The party membership book was acquired as soon as possible.

“So I’ve recognized color from a very young age. During the social studies class, it was said that at the age of 15 you can join a party and get a moped card. I immediately implemented both. ”

“It is clear that in order to get things done, we need to work with other ruling parties, especially the Coalition Party.”

In the City Council, Seppälä intends to work for equality and nature. The most important of the themes are halting natural loss and climate change, in municipal policy, zoning, energy solutions and transport.

“Espoo’s climate goals could be even more ambitious. In addition, the loss of nature requires quite concrete actions: taking into account natural areas, focusing on vegetarian food and reducing deforestation. ”

Especially In Seppälä’s opinion, the loss of nature is still a foreign matter for many parties.

“It may not be understood by other parties that the loss of nature is a crisis completely separate from climate change, but just as widespread and serious.”

An advocate of equality expects good discussions and fruitful cooperation from the city council.

“It is clear that in order to get things done, we need to work with other ruling parties, especially the Coalition Party.”

That is a big issue on the left side of Espoo in the forthcoming council term, as the election result took the city council as a whole a leap to the right. This is sealed not only by the growth of the Coalition’s power but also by the additional seats of the Christian Democrats and basic Finns.

“I myself am more inclined to the left than to the right. The fact that the decision-making of the whole city is clearly right-wing is also reflected in other parties, inevitably also in the Greens. ”

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