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Finland - 2011 Parliamentary Election

A new Parliament is elected every four years, and according to established practice, the government coalition sticks together for the whole four-year term. Traditions notwithstanding, changes took place in the government on 2010, a year before the 2011 election. The populist Finns / True Finns Party rocked the boat in the 17 April 2011 parliamentary elections. Timo Soini, the ebullient party chairman, led his party to a historic victory in the parliamentary elections held in 2011. In the 2011 parliamentary elections the Finns rode successfully on anti-EU sentiment and grabbed 39 seats in the 200-member Parliament. The Centre Party took a whopping beating in the parliamentary elections of 2011. This kind of political turmoil hads not been seen in Finland since the post-war years of the mid-1940s. . For the Finnish parliamentary election in 2011, turnout reached 70.5 percent.

The task of forming a majority government based on the outcome of the April 17th parliamentary elections was beginning to look impossible, but in June 2011 a six-party coalition government and a 100-page government program were created, as proof of Finlands political pragmatism. The composition of Finlands new government would surely raise eyebrows in many countries. The six-party coalition, led by Jyrki Katainen, Chairman of the centre-right National Coalition Party, included parliamentarians from the far left and right of Finlands political spectrum. Meanwhile two parties who position themselves between these extremes the Centre Party and the True Finns were left in opposition.

Sauli Niinisto was elected president after a substantial victory in the second round of elections on February 5, 2012. Garnering 62.6 percent of the vote, Niinist (National Coalition Party) won a strong mandate from the Finnish electorate. The margin of his majority over Pekka Haavisto (Green Party), the surprise rival in the run-off, was the largest since the current direct voting system was adopted in 1994. It appeared that no major changes in Finnish foreign and security policy were in store for some time, if at all. Niinists election marked a first in Finnish political history: Never before had politicians from the moderate conservative National Coalition Party held the president and prime minister posts simultaneously.

The broad coalition of four parties [down from the initial six] had been mired in discord, preventing it from working out any reforms. Alexander Stubb was elected by his center-right National Coalition Party (NCP) on 14 June 2014 to replace outgoing Party Chair Jyrki Katainen, and, by extension, take over his position as Finlands Prime Minister. Stubb is of the opinion that Finland should have joined NATO back in 1995, when it joined the European Union. Some Finns felt Stubb represented a right-wing approach to economic issues.

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