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Oskari Tokoi

Antti Oskari Tokoi (April 15, 1873 - April 4, 1963) was a Finnish politician.

Tokoi was born in 1873 in Kannus in southern Ostrobothnia. In 1891 he moved to america where he worked as a miner and got involved in labour unions. He returned to Finland in 1900 and worked as a farmer and a merchant.

In 1905 Tokoi was elected the chairman of the workers association of Kannus. In 1907 he was elected to the Eduskunta as a representative for the Social Democrats. He was well liked by the other members of his party which resulted in him being elected speaker of the Eduskunta in 1913. In 1917 he was elected to head the Senate of Finland.

During the Finnish Civil War Tokoi sided with the reds and worked as "comissar in charge of provisions". After the war he fled to Russia. Between 1919 and 1920, he worked as a political advisor for the Murmansk Legion which was organised by the british to fight the bolsheviks. Because of the war, Tokoi couldn't return to Finland and was forced to flee, first to Canada and later in 1921 to the United States. Here he became an editor at the newspaper "Raivaaja".

In 1944 the Finnish Eduskunta made the so called "Lex Tokoi", by which Tokoi was released from all charges of treachery. After World War II he organised help for Finland among the finnish-americans. He visited Finland in 1957 for the 50-year celebration of the Eduskunta. He died in 1963 in the United States.