A longtime coalition activist and multiple ministers is dead.
The Coalition Party announced late Thursday night that Ilkka Kanerva, 74, had died as a result of a serious illness. Kanerva was on sick leave for a long time before his death.
As late as Wednesday night, he tweeted that he was continuing his sick leave. In his Twitter update, he also comments on Finland’s security policy report.
The Coalition informed Kanerva’s departure and extended his warm condolences to Kanerva’s relatives.
Kanerva did not chair the meetings of the Defense Committee after the outbreak of the war in Ukraine. He has been replaced by Jari Ronkainen (PS), Vice Chairman of the Committee.
Kanerva also did not appear much in the media during the first part of the year. However, Kanerva did not publicly want to open up about the reason for his sick leave.
Ilkka Kanerva had a huge career in politics.
He rose to parliament from the ranks of the National Coalition at the age of 27 as early as 1975. In terms of parliamentary days, Kanerva has been a member of parliament for the longest time. He was a Member of Parliament for more than 46 years.
As a minister, he was on three occasions. First as Minister of Transport in Holker’s Government 1990-91, then as Minister of Labor in Aho’s Government 1991-95, and finally as Foreign Minister in Vanhanen II’s Government 2007-08.
In local politics, Kanerva served for ten years in the Turku City Council since 1972. In addition, he was the chairman of the Association of Southwest Finland since 1995.
The Foreign Ministry was the culmination of Kanerva’s career. When it ended prematurely with the text message uproar, it was a tough place for Kanerva.
Knowledge and pursuit of foreign and security policy was a matter of the heart for Kanerva. He chaired the Parliamentary Defense Committee for a long time and was at the heart of security policy issues.
Outside of politics, Kanerva is remembered for his sport. Kanerva, who played athletics as a young man in the ranks of Leisku in Lokalahti, was the vice-chairman of the Finnish Olympic Committee from 1993 to 2008 and a member of the board of the International Athletics Federation from 2003 to 2011.
Kanerva also did extensive work at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). In 2014, he was elected President of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly.
Ilkka Kanerva and Elina Kiikko got married in May 2019. Kanerva has two daughters from their first marriage.