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Elections in Finland

Finland Electoral District Map
Description : Map showing the Finland electoral districts. Disclaimer
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2015 Elections in Finland
The 2015 Parliamentary elections are due to be held in April 2015. The Ministry of Justice overseeing the elections process announced 19 April 2015 as the Voting Day. The Advance Voting will take place from April 8 to April 14 and advance voting abroad will take place from April 8 to April 11 . The results of the elections will be announced on April 22, 2015.

Eduskunta or the Parliament in Finland
On March 1, 2000, the New Constitution of Finland came into force and further strengthened the Parliament making it the supreme organ of the state.

The Parliament is unicameral and comprises 200 representatives who are voted for a four year term.

The Eduskunta is the supreme authority to enact laws, deliberate on the Budget, monitor and supervise the authorities subordinated to the government and discuss matters pertaining to international agreements and policy.

  The Parliamentary function is conducted under three different groupings:
  • The Plenary Session is responsible for all legislation.
  • The Committeesare responsible for deliberating on all matters of policy and governance. Various Committees prepare draft Reports that are then debated in Parliament.
  • The Parliamentary Groups are responsible for shaping policy.

The Speaker along with the Deputy Speaker is responsible for conducting all the sessions of Parliament.

All legislations passed by the representatives in Parliament enjoy immunity from judicial review and individuals enjoy Parliamentary immunity from prosecution unless it involves serious offence.

Finland is divided into 13 electoral districts and the number of representatives returned from each district depends on the proportion of population residing in a district. Aland is the only exception that returns only one representative.

The Parliament chooses a Prime Minister who is officially appointed by the President of Finland.

Elections are held every four years, however, the President of Finland can call for an early election on the advice from the Prime Minister and after consulting all factions within the Parliament. In Finnish history, the Parliament has been dissolved eight times and early elections have been called but none after 1975.

The 36th Parliamentary elections to the present Parliament were held on April 17, 2011, while the 1st Parliamentary elections were held on 15-16, 1907.

  The Current Parliament
The current Speaker of the Parliament is Eero Heinäluoma of the Social Democratic Party, Pekka Ravi of the National Coalition Party is the Deputy Speaker and the second Deputy Speaker is Anssi Joutsenlahti of the Finns Party.

During the first plenary session of the Parliament each year, members elect a Speaker and two Deputy Speakers for a one year term.

The incumbent Prime Minister is Alexander Stubb of the National Coalition Party.

  Political Composition of the Current Parliament
The ruling coalition comprising four parties collectively controls 102 seats in the Parliament and the opposition parties collectively holds 98 seats. 101 seats are needed for a majority, however, only once in 1916, did the Social Democrats managed a majority winning 103 seats.

The four parties forming the current ruling coalition are: National Coalition Party, Social Democratic Party, Swedish People’s Party and the Christian Democrats. The single MP from Àland is also part of this coalition. Prior to 2014, Green League and Left Alliance were part of the ruling coalition.

The ruling coalition comprises Kokoomus (44), SDP (42), SFP-RKP (10), and KD (6) totaling 102 seats.

The opposition parties comprise PS (37), Kesk (36), Vas (12), Vihr (10), Dissident-Vas (2), and M11 (1) totaling 98 seats.

Election Process
Finland conducts its Parliamentary elections under the following principles:
  • The right to vote is universal and equal – any Finnish citizen above the age of 18 years or above has a right to cast his or her vote through a secret ballot.

  • The election is direct and follows a proportional system (D’Hondt method) i.e., if a party wins a certain percent of votes, then it is entitled to hold similar proportion of seats in the parliament.

Voting Process
The entire election process is organized by the Election Unit of the Ministry of Justice.

The entire election process is fair, transparent and is held under observation of the United Nations (UN), European Union (EU) and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

The total number of polling stations is approximately 2200 with at least one polling station located in every municipality. There are 320 central election committees of the municipalities under whose supervision the elections are conducted.

All voters are registered with the Population Register Centre, which compiles the voting register. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is responsible for conducting advance voting in overseas locations.

Each voter is sent a voting card, which serves as proof of right to vote, in advance and is required to report at the polling station along with the card, where his or her name is registered in the voting register.

  Advance Voting Process
For advance voting, voters can cast their votes at special advance polling stations located in every Finnish Embassy or at any municipal office in Finland. For voters, who cannot visit a polling station, such as medically unfit or those incarcerated in prisons, special polling stations are set up in hospitals, prisons etc. In certain cases where an individual is medically unfit to travel to a polling station, arrangements are made for an election commissioner to visit the residence to collect the vote.

  Registered Political Parties as on March 2015 are:
  1. National Coalition Party
  2. The Finnish Social Democratic Party
  3. Centre Party of Finland
  4. Swedish People's Party in Finland
  5. Christian Democrats in Finland
  6. Green League
  7. The Left Alliance
  8. The Finns Party
  9. Finnish Labour Party
  10. Independence Party
  11. For the Poor
  12. Pirate Party of Finland
  13. Change 2011
  14. Sinivalkoinen Rintama - Blue and White Front r.p.
  15. The Communist Party of Finland
  16. Communist Workers Party (Finland) - For Peace and Socialism

Last Updated on: May 12, 2020




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