The leadership of the Opposition Party (NKP) is under strong pressure to clearly state what kind of behavior the party accepts from its own MPs, a researcher at the University of Turku Markku Jokisipilä said Yle Radio 1’s Ykkösaamu program on Monday morning.
Jokisipilä’s comments come after Helsingin Sanomat on Sunday published an article contains several women’s claims that the NCP MP Wille Rydman used his political position to reach young women and girls. In various capacities, Rydman has chaired the NCP Youth Working Group.
Rydman strongly denied Helsingin Sanomat’s allegations and has stated that he intends to seek legal advice following the publication of the article.
Helsingin Sanomat did not allege that Rydman had committed any crimes, but the activities of the Member of Parliament should not be assessed from a purely legal point of view, Jokisipilä pointed out.
"We are talking about behavior which, according to published data, is not criminal, but which clearly has features that are not considered acceptable in our current culture," Jokisipilä said.
The NCP faces “awkward” decisions before the parliamentary elections
The next parliamentary elections are scheduled to take place in less than a year, in April 2023, and the NCP has consistently reached voter rankings as the country’s most popular party.
Although Jokisipilä did not want to comment on whether the NCP will nominate Rydman as a candidate in next year’s election, he pointed out that the 36-year-old MP has the right to defend himself against the allegations.
Rydman’s account of the events differs significantly from the HS report.
"The Coalition must ultimately decide which solution is in the party’s interest." Jokisipilä said and added that the situation is "tricky" especially when there is no evidence of criminal misconduct.
NCP chair Petteri Orpo told Yle on Sunday that the party is investigating the matter "by all appropriate means"further noting that party leadership had been aware of rumors about Rydman "some time"but not on the seriousness and extent of the matter.
The party leadership has also said it welcomes a new police investigation into the allegations against Rydman.
Source: The Nordic Page