HELSINKI – The leader of the populist, euroskeptic Finns Party says that he will step down in June when the party votes for a new chairman, leaving no clear leader to take over.
Timo Soini, who is foreign minister, changed Finland's politics by hugely increasing his party's popularity in two successive elections and entering the government for the first time in 2015.
The 54-year-old Soini, who co-founded the party, previously known as the True Finns, says that after two 10-year terms as chairman it was time to go.
He said, however, on Sunday that he would like to remain foreign minister until the current three-party coalition's term is due to end in 2019.
The Finns Party's popularity has fallen in polls to about 9-percent support, from 18 percent in the previous election.