Prime Minister of Finland

Prime Minister of Finland

The Prime Minister ( _fi. pääministeri, Swedish: "statsminister") is the Head of Government of Finland. The Prime Minister is appointed by the President, who is the Head of State. The current Prime Minister is Matti Vanhanen of the Centre Party.


Under the provisions of the new Constitution of Finland (enacted in 2000), the President nominates a Prime Minister after the parties in the "Eduskunta" (Parliament) have negotiated the distribution of seats in the new Council of State and the government's programme. Parliament must ratify the nominated Prime Minister with an absolute majority in a vote without other candidates. If the nominee doesn't receive sufficient support, then a new round of negotiations and a second nomination by the President follows. If the second nominee also fails to gain an absolute majority, then a third vote occurs, in which any member of Parliament can nominate a candidate; in this round a plurality is sufficient for election. The President's formal appointment follows Parliament's election.

The above procedure was first used to elect Anneli Jäätteenmäki to the Prime Ministership in 2003. Previously it was assumed that the President would nominate the candidate who in a third round of voting would have gained a relative majority, usually the leader of the largest party. Before the new Constitution came into force, full formal powers to appoint the Prime Minister and the rest of the Council of State had been the privilege of the President, who was free to diverge from parliamentary principles, although ministers appointed had to have the confidence of the Parliament.

The Prime Minister nominates the remaining members of the Council of State, who are then, with the consent of Parliament, appointed by the President.

In 1918, the Finnish Senate was transformed into the Council of State (or cabinet) of Finland, and the position of "Vice-Chairman of the Economic Division of the Senate" was transformed into that of a Prime Minister. Kesäranta (in Swedish Villa Bjälbo), located in the Meilahti area of Helsinki, has been the official residence of the Prime Minister of Finland since 1919.

Since its independence (declared on December 6, 1917), Finland has had 86 cabinets, the longest lasting being the two cabinets of Prime Minister Paavo Lipponen, both lasting 1,464 days.

List of Prime Ministers

Living former Prime Ministers

*Mauno Koivisto
*Harri Holkeri
*Esko Aho
*Paavo Lipponen
*Anneli Jäätteenmäki

See also

*Politics of Finland
*Lists of incumbents

External links

* [ Official site]
* [ From Senate to independent Government]

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