Ilkka Kanerva Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ilkka_Kanerva

Ilkka Kanerva
Ilkka Kanerva speaks to the press at a polling station in Kyiv on 31 March 2019 (cropped).jpg
Kanerva in 2019
Deputy Prime Minister of Finland
In office
26 April 1991 – 23 August 1991
Prime MinisterEsko Aho
Preceded byPertti Paasio
Succeeded byPertti Salolainen
Minister for Foreign Affairs
In office
19 April 2007 – 4 April 2008
Prime MinisterMatti Vanhanen
Preceded byErkki Tuomioja
Succeeded byAlexander Stubb
Minister of Labour[1]
In office
26 April 1991 – 12 April 1995
Prime MinisterEsko Aho
Preceded byMatti Puhakka
Succeeded byLiisa Jaakonsaari
Minister of Transport
In office
28 August 1990 – 25 April 1991
Prime MinisterHarri Holkeri
Preceded byRaimo Vistbacka
Succeeded byOle Norrback
Member of the Parliament of Finland
In office
ConstituencySouthwest Finland
Personal details
Born(1948-01-28)28 January 1948
Lokalahti, Southwest Finland, Finland
Died14 April 2022(2022-04-14) (aged 74)
Turku, Southwest Finland, Finland
Political partyNational Coalition Party

Ilkka Armas Mikael Kanerva (28 January 1948 – 14 April 2022) was a Finnish politician and a member of the Parliament of Finland. He was born in Lokalahti, now a part of Uusikaupunki in Southwest Finland. He was the Minister for Foreign Affairs from 2007 to 2008.[2] Kanerva was a member of the National Coalition Party.

With nearly 47 years in office, Kanerva was the longest-serving Member of Parliament in Finnish political history.[3]

Early life[edit]

Kanerva graduated with a master's degree in political science from the University of Turku in 1980. Kanerva was leader of the political youth organisation Kokoomuksen Nuorten Liitto ry. from 1972 to 1976 and was first elected to the Finnish Parliament in 1975.

Political career[edit]

During his public career, he served as Minister for Foreign Affairs (2007–2008), Deputy Prime Minister (1991), Minister of Labour (1991–1995) and Minister of Transport (1990–1991).[4] During the Finnish OSCE Chairmanship in 2008, Kanerva was the Chairman-in-Office of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe for 2008. In 2014 he was elected president of the Parliamentary Assembly of the OSCE.[5][6] Kanerva served as Emeritus President and Special Representative on Mediation of Parliamentary Assembly of the OSCE.[7]

The National Coalition Party announced the resignation of Ilkka Kanerva from the post of the Foreign Minister on 1 April 2008[8][9] due to a scandal involving hundreds of sexually suggestive text messages he sent to the erotic dancer, Johanna Tukiainen, from his work mobile phone.[10] Kanerva left for a sick leave on 1 April, and his term officially ended on 4 April 2008.[11]

Kanerva had a long career in athletics and, at an early age, he was actively practising track and field himself. From 1981 to 1982 and from 1989 to 1990 he held the chair in the Finnish Athletics' National Assembly. Kanerva served as Vice-President of Finnish Athletics, a post he held for 15 consecutive years until the 2005 IAAF World Championships in Helsinki, where he was also the President of Local Organizing Committee. Kanerva served as Honorary Chair of the Finnish Athletics Federation.[12][13] Kanerva also served as Vice-President of the Finnish Olympic Committee from 1993 to 2008. Additionally, Kanerva was a council member of the International Association of the Athletics Federations (IAAF) 2003–2011.[14] He was a Member of the EAA Council from 1999 to 2003.

Campaign finance[edit]

Kanerva was among the National Coalition Party members receiving support from construction industry in the election in 2007 in Finland without giving the public information of it in time. Others included: Sauli Niinistö, Jyrki Katainen, Jyri Häkämies, Marja Tiura, Sampsa Kataja, Jari Koskinen and Juha Hakola (politician).[15]

Texting scandal[edit]

In March 2008 it was revealed that Kanerva had sent 200 SMS messages within a month to Johanna Tukiainen, a 29-year-old erotic dancer. Kanerva had previously sent SMS messages to nude model Marika Fingerroos in 2005.[16][17][18] According to Kanerva, Tukiainen had wanted to perform with her dance group at his birthday party, and he responded to this request by text message.

On 30 March, Kanerva unexpectedly cancelled his plan to participate in Lennart Meri Conference in Tallinn, Estonia, and returned to Finland. The Hymy magazine published on 1 April 2008 printed several of the messages, and on the same morning party leader Jyrki Katainen stated that Kanerva can not continue in his position.

Kanerva was granted sick leave, and later that day it was released that his term as Foreign Minister would end on 4 April 2008 due to loss of confidence. He was replaced by Alexander Stubb.[19]

Corruption trial[edit]

Kanerva was accused of and investigated in a bribery case in 2010–2013. The Helsinki Court of Appeals found him not guilty in 2013.[20][21]

On 9 June 2011, in the Helsinki District Court Ilkka Kanerva was accused of accepting bribes. The prosecutor demanded a two-year prison sentence and €56,000 in damages for the received advantage. Police had charged Kanerva in May 2010.[22][23] The accepted bribes were connected to the building of a shopping center.[24]

Ilkka Kanerva was suspected of receiving bribes and interviewed by police in the end of March 2010.[25] Kanerva was accused of receiving 17,000 € from Nova Group (Finland) (construction business, a key actor in the Finance scandal 2007) during his 60-years anniversary in 2008 and over 50,000 € in favor of the aimed new large shopping centers. The prosecutor demanded two years of imprisonment for bribery.[26] The claims were kept secret until the trial in April 2012. The media had applied publicity prior to the trial based on the political importance but failed to receive it.[27]

In 2012 Ilkka Kanerva was convicted and sentenced to 15 months for corruption and abuse of office by District Court.[28][29][30]

Ilkka Kanerva, Arto Merisalo, Tapani Yli-Saunamäki and Toivo Sukari were seeking to overturn their bribery convictions in March 2013. The prosecutor wanted a longer sentence against Kanerva.[31]

The Helsinki Court of Appeal overturned MP Ilkka Kanerva's sentence for acceptance of bribes in June 2013.[32] In 2012, the District Court had found Kanerva guilty of accepting tens of thousands of euros worth of gifts from the executives, who were seen to thereby gain influence over Kanerva's actions as chair of the Regional Council of Southwest Finland. Among other things, the council has decision-making power over the zoning of new shopping centres. The Court of Appeal also overturned the sentences for aggravated bribery of three businessmen, Arto Merisalo, Tapani Yli-Saunamäki and Toivo Sukari. The District Court had sentenced Merisalo and Yli-Saunamäki to long prison terms.[33]


Kanerva died after an illness in 2022.[34][35]


  1. ^ "Finnish Government – Ministers of Labor force". Valtioneuvosto.fi. Retrieved 14 April 2018.
  2. ^ "Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland – Ministers of Foreign Affairs". Valtioneuvosto.fi. Archived from the original on 16 July 2011. Retrieved 30 January 2018.
  3. ^ "Pitkäaikaisimmat kansanedustajat edustajapäivien mukaan" (PDF). Eduskunta (in Finnish). 16 April 2019. Retrieved 26 May 2022.
  4. ^ Eduskunta: Ilkka Kanerva, Kansallisen kokoomuksen eduskuntaryhmä
  5. ^ "Ilkka Kanerva of Finland elected President of OSCE Parliamentary Assembly". www.oscepa.org. OSCEPA. 2 July 2014. Retrieved 2 July 2014.
  6. ^ Ilkka Kanerva Etyjin yleiskokouksen presidentiksi
  7. ^ Special Representative on Mediation
  8. ^ Tiedotustilaisuus Ilkka Kanervan erosta yle information 1 April 2008 (in Finnish)
  9. ^ London Telegraph 2 April 2008; Finnish minister quits over saucy texts.
  10. ^ Iltasanomat 1 April 2008: Näin Kanerva tekstaili: "Miten ois koskettaa yökerhossa sua sormilla"
  11. ^ The Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs 1 April 2008: National Coalition Party proposes Alexander Stubb as foreign minister
  12. ^ IAAF Council Member Ilkka Kanerva is appointed as Finnish Foreign Minister
  13. ^ "Finnish Athletic Federation". Archived from the original on 15 March 2016. Retrieved 6 February 2017.
  14. ^ Kanerva ulos IAAF:n hallituksesta
  15. ^ STT:Tässä ovat Kehittyvien maakuntien Suomi -puolueen kansanedustajat Taloussanomat. 30 May 2008
  16. ^ Foreign Minister admits to sending text messages to dancer, Helsingin Sanomat
  17. ^ National Coalition Party leader perplexed by Kanerva SMS message uproar, HS
  18. ^ Kanerva Garners Support of Both Party and Government, YLE
  19. ^ Katainen liikuttui kertoessaan Kanervan erottamisesta - HS.fi - Politiikka
  20. ^ Kanerva oikeudenkäynneille piste
  21. ^ Ilkka Kanerva on syytön
  22. ^ Sukaria epäillään Ilkka Kanervan lahjonnasta HS 6 May 2010 A5
  23. ^ Syyttäjä vaatii Kanervalle vähintään kahta vuotta vankeutta Helsingin Sanomat 9 June 2011
  24. ^ Syyttäjä: Kanerva syyllistyi lahjuksen ottoon HS 30 November 2011
  25. ^ Markkula, Hannes: Ilkka Kanervaa epäillään lahjusrikoksesta Ilta-Sanomat. 29 March 2010
  26. ^ Syyttäjä vaatii Kanervalle vähintään kahta vuotta vankeutta HS 9.6.2011
  27. ^ Kanervan lahjussyyte pysyy salaisena oikeudenkäyntiin asti Helsingin Sanomat. 21 February 2011
  28. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 9 December 2013.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  29. ^ "Helsingin Sanomat - International Edition - Home". Archived from the original on 23 April 2012.
  30. ^ "Suspended sentence for NCP's Kanerva". 18 April 2012.
  31. ^ MP Kanerva back in court on corruption charges
  32. ^ Hovioikeus: Ilkka Kanerva on syytön
  33. ^ Kanerva’s bribery sentence overturned
  34. ^ "Kansanedustaja Ilkka Kanerva on kuollut". Yle Uutiset (in Finnish). 14 April 2022. Retrieved 14 April 2022.
  35. ^ "Ilkka Kanerva on kuollut" (in Finnish). Ilta-Sanomat. 14 April 2022. Retrieved 14 April 2022.

External links[edit]

Preceded by Minister for Foreign Affairs (Finland)
Succeeded by