President of the Republic of Finland

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President of the Republic of Finland
Standard of the President
Standard of the President
President Sauli Niinistö
Acting President
Sauli Niinistö
since March 1, 2012
Sauli Niinistö Tarja Halonen Martti Ahtisaari Mauno Koivisto Urho Kekkonen Juho Kusti Paasikivi Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim Risto Ryti Kyösti Kallio Pehr Evind Svinhufvud Lauri Relander Kaarlo Juho Ståhlberg
Official seat Presidential Palace and Mäntyniemi in Helsinki , Kultaranta in Naantali
Term of office 6 years (re-election possible)
Creation of office July 17, 1919
Last choice January 28, 2018
Next choice 2024
Salutation Herra Tasavallan Presidentti or Rouva Tasavallan Presidentti (Mr / Mrs President / in the Republic)
Deputy Prime Minister

The President of the Republic of Finland ( Finnish Suomen Tasavallan Presidentti , Swedish Republiken Finlands President ) is the head of state of Finland . He is directly elected by the people for six years. Since 1994 the president cannot be elected for more than two terms . According to the Finnish Constitution , the President must be born a Finnish citizen. The presidential office has existed since 1919. The current president has been Sauli Niinistö since March 1, 2012 , who was re-elected on January 28, 2018.

Presidential election

Candidates for the presidential election can be put forward by all registered parties that have won at least one seat in the previous parliamentary elections. A candidate can also be nominated by at least 20,000 citizens.

Between 1919 and 1988 the President was elected indirectly through an electoral body . For the presidential elections of 1988, direct and indirect elections were held in parallel: If none of the candidates could win the required majority in the popular election, the decision was made by the electors. The Finnish president has been directly elected by the people since 1994.

If only one candidate is nominated, he will automatically become president without any elections. Otherwise, the first ballot will always take place on the fourth Sunday in January of the election year. If the candidate gets more than half of the votes in the first ballot, then he is elected President. If neither candidate reaches the required majority, the two candidates with the highest percentage of votes will run against each other in a runoff two weeks later. The winner of this second ballot is then the legally elected President. If this ballot ends in a draw, the choice will be made by drawing lots. The Finnish Council of State (Finnish: Valtioneuvosto , Swedish: Statsrådet ) confirms the election result and, if necessary, draws the lottery ticket .

In the history of the Finnish presidential elections there have been some deviations from the actual procedure. The first President Kaarlo Juho Ståhlberg was directly elected by Parliament on the basis of a transitional rule in the 1919 Constitution . Since an election of the electors was organizationally impossible in 1940 and 1943 because of the continuation war, the electors' committee of the previous presidential elections carried out the election. In 1944, Gustaf Mannerheim was elected President for six years by parliamentary law after Risto Ryti had resigned halfway through his term in office. President Urho Kekkonen's third term in office was extended by four years in 1973 by an exceptional parliamentary law.

In the 2018 presidential election , Sauli Niinistö achieved an absolute majority in the first ballot. He is the first directly elected President of Finland to do so.


March 1, 2012: Sauli Niinistö takes over the presidency from Tarja Halonen

The elected president is sworn in by the president of the Reichstag and the outgoing president in the parliament building. He takes up his office on the first day of the month after the election. The formula of the oath is anchored in Article 56 of the Finnish Constitution and reads:

  • In Finnish : "Minä NN, jonka Suomen kansa on valinnut Suomen tasavallan presidentiksi, vakuutan, että minä presidentintoimessani vilpittömästi ja uskollisesti noudatan tasavallan valtiosääntöä ja lakeja sekä kaikin voiminan menest kaikin voiminans edistän Suomenestä."
  • In Swedish : "Jag NN, som av Finlands folk har valts till president för Republiken Finland, försäkrar att jag i utövningen av presidentämbetet redligt och troget skall följa republic's constitution and lagar together with efter all min formåga främja det finska folkets välfärd."
  • In German : I NN, who I have been elected President of the Republic of Finland by the Finnish people, hereby vow that in the exercise of my office as President I will honestly and honestly observe the constitution and the laws of the Republic and, to the best of my ability, the welfare of the Finnish people.

The term of office of the new president begins at the time of the solemn declaration (around 12:20 p.m. on the day of the inauguration), while that of the outgoing president ends. After the inauguration, the new president will be accompanied by his predecessor to the form of honor outside the parliament building.

The official address of the President is: His / Her Excellency , the President of the Republic of Finland (Finnish Suomen Tasavallan Presidentti , Swedish Republics of Finland President ).

Rights and obligations

The tasks and powers of the president are enshrined directly in the constitution.

Presidential meetings of the government

The Presidential Palace in Helsinki

The President of the Republic of Finland makes his decisions during the presidential meetings of the government, which are usually held at 11 a.m. every Friday. The President makes his decisions in these meetings on the basis of the presentations of the respective ministers who represent their areas of responsibility and who set out the positions that are important for the decision. The presidential meetings are chaired by the president himself.

All ministers attend the presidential meetings of the government. Also present are the Minister of Justice or his deputy, as well as a secretary from the government meeting who monitors compliance with the schedule. Since the President alone makes the decisions, no vote is given. During the summer, presidential meetings are not held weekly. The meeting place is sometimes in Kultaranta , the president's summer residence in Naantali .

Convening by the President

By virtue of his office, the Finnish President has the power to fill the following offices:

In addition, the President has the power to fill the following offices:

Appointment and dismissal of ministers

The Prime Minister and the other members of the government are appointed and dismissed for their offices by the President. After the parliamentary elections or in any other situation in which the parliament is reformed, the President proposes the Prime Minister, taking into account the consultations of the parliamentary groups and the Speaker of the Parliament. As soon as Parliament approves this proposal by a majority of votes, the President will proceed with the appointment of the Prime Minister and the Ministers. The constitution obliges the president to dismiss a government or a minister if he has lost parliamentary confidence.

International Relations

The Finnish president heads the country's foreign policy together with the government . State treaties and other international obligations that affect Finnish legislation are implemented by parliament. Unless otherwise agreed, international obligations are implemented through presidential decrees. The President makes decisions about war and peace with the consent of Parliament.


The President signs and reviews all parliamentary bills before they become laws . The President must decide on ratification within three months and can consult both the Supreme Court and the Supreme Federal Authority on the receipt of the bills before giving his approval. If the President refuses to approve, Parliament can reconsider its proposal and have it resumed by a majority. The bill can then come into force without ratification. If Parliament fails to resume the bill, it can have the bill expired at its own discretion.

Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces

The Finnish President is the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces. However, he can delegate this task to another Finnish citizen. The President's office decides on the mobilization of the armed forces. If the mobilization is made at a time when Parliament is not in session, it must be convened immediately. As the commander in chief, the president has the power to issue general policy military orders, including decisions on significant changes in readiness and defensive measures.

Emergency powers

In special exceptional circumstances, the President has the power to impose emergency laws on the government, which can last up to a year. The order must be submitted to Parliament for consideration.


The incumbent Finnish President is the Grand Master and is thus authorized to bear the distinction of the Order of the Lion of Finland and the Finnish Order of the White Rose . Furthermore, the president awards the honorary titles Vuorineuvos and Valtioneuvos . The President gives a New Year's address on January 1 each year .

List of Finnish Presidents

# image Surname Taking office Resignation Political party
1 Kaarlo Juho Ståhlberg Kaarlo Juho Ståhlberg July 27, 1919 March 1, 1925 ED
2 Lauri Kristian Relander Lauri Kristian Relander March 1, 1925 March 1, 1931 ML
3 Pehr Evind Svinhufvud Pehr Evind Svinhufvud March 1, 1931 March 1, 1937 COOK
4th Kyösti Kallio Kyösti Kallio March 1, 1937 December 19, 1940 ML
5 Risto Ryti Risto Ryti December 19, 1940 (1) 4th August 1944 ED
6th Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim 4th August 1944 March 8, 1946 independent (2)
7th Juho Kusti Paasikivi Juho Kusti Paasikivi March 8, 1946 March 1, 1956 COOK
8th Urho Kekkonen Urho Kekkonen March 1, 1956 January 27, 1982 ML / KESK
9 Mauno Koivisto Mauno Koivisto January 27, 1982 (3) March 1, 1994 SDP
10 Martti Ahtisaari Martti Ahtisaari March 1, 1994 March 1, 2000 SDP
11 Tarja Halons Tarja Halons March 1, 2000 March 1, 2012 SDP
12 Sauli Niinistö Sauli Niinistö March 1, 2012 officiating COOK

(1) on behalf of Kallio from November 27, 1940
(2) commander in chief of the armed forces
(3) in charge of Kekkonen since September 11, 1981


Sauli Niinistö Sauli Niinistö Tarja Halonen Tarja Halonen Martti Ahtisaari Martti Ahtisaari Mauno Koivisto Urho Kekkonen Juho Kusti Paasikivi Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim Risto Ryti Risto Ryti Kyösti Kallio Kyösti Kallio Pehr Evind Svinhufvud Pehr Evind Svinhufvud Lauri Kristian Relander Lauri Kristian Relander Kaarlo Juho Ståhlberg Kaarlo Juho Ståhlberg

The reception on Independence Day

Traditionally, on Independence Day ( Finnish : itsenäisyyspäivä ) on December 6th of each year, a reception takes place in the Presidential Palace and is a highly regarded date in the Finnish President's calendar. The reception is broadcast on Finnish television and the reporting is followed by many viewers. The number of invited guests from politics, society, sport and culture fluctuates between 1600 and 2000.

The history of the reception on Independence Day goes back to 1919. In 1922 President Ståhlberg and his wife invited members of the government, diplomats, high-ranking officers, veterans, artists and other celebrities to the presidential palace. The reception, which started at 9 p.m., lasted until late at night. Similar receptions were also held in the following years, but not regularly in the early years.

With four exceptions, the reception has taken place in the palace every year since 1946. In 1952 the reception was canceled by President Paasikivi due to illness . In 1972 the reception in connection with the Independence Day concert took place in Finlandia Hall . The Prime Minister was the host at the time as the presidential palace was being renovated. In 1974 the reception was waived due to the death of the wife of the then President Urho Kekkonen . In 1981 the reception was also held in the Finlandia Hall. The acting Prime Minister Eino Uusitalo held the reception because of the poor health of Kekkonen.

Web links

Commons : Presidents of Finland  - Collection of images, videos and audio files