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List of presidents of Finland


List of presidents of Finland

This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of

The President of Finland is Finland's head of state. Under the Constitution of Finland, executive power is vested in the president and the government, with the president possessing limited powers. Since 1991 no president may be elected for more than two consecutive terms. Presidents used to be elected indirectly, by an electoral college or by Parliament, but since 1994 the president has been elected directly by the people for a term of six years. The president must be a native-born Finnish citizen. The office was established by the Constitution Act of 1919. The current office-holder is Sauli Niinistö.

List of Presidents

      National Progressive Party       Agrarian League       National Coalition (Party)       Social Democratic Party of Finland

# Portrait Name Elected Took Office Left Office From party Birth and death
1 Kaarlo Juho Ståhlberg 1919 26 July 1919 2 March 1925 National Progressive Party (Ed.) b. 28 January 1865, Suomussalmi
d. 22 September 1952, Helsinki
Speaker of parliament in 1914–1917. Elected as president by the Parliament in 1919.
2 Lauri Kristian Relander 1925 2 March 1925 2 March 1931 Agrarian League (ML) b. 31 May 1883, Kurkijoki
d. 9 February 1942, Helsinki
Speaker of parliament in 1919–1920. Governor of Viipuri Province in 1920–1925. Elected as president by electoral college in 1925.
3 Pehr Evind Svinhufvud 1931 2 March 1931 1 March 1937 National Coalition Party (Kok.) b. 15 December 1861, Sääksmäki
d. 29 February 1944, Luumäki
Speaker of parliament in 1907–1912. Regent (interim head of state) of Finland 1918. Prime minister in 1917–1918 and 1930–1931. Elected as president by electoral college in 1931.
4 Kyösti Kallio 1937 1 March 1937 19 December 1940
Agrarian League (ML) b. 10 April 1873, Ylivieska
d. 19 December 1940, Helsinki
Speaker of parliament in 1920–1921, 1922, 1924–1925, 1929 and 1930–1936. Prime minister in 1922–1924, 1925–1926, 1929–1930 and 1936–1937. Elected as president by electoral college in 1937. Resigned in 1940 because of poor health, whereupon Risto Ryti became acting president. Died in office.
5 Risto Ryti 1940
(acting for Kallio from 27 Nov. 1940)
19 December 1940
4 August 1944
National Progressive Party (Ed.) b. 3 February 1889, Huittinen
d. 25 October 1956, Helsinki
Prime minister in 1939–1940 and during his presidential term 1940–1941. Elected as president by electoral college in 1940, and re-elected in 1943. Resigned in 1944.
6 Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim 1944 4 August 1944 11 March 1946
Commander-in-Chief of the Defence Forces b. 4 June 1867, Askainen
d. 27 January 1951, Lausanne, Switzerland
Regent (interim head of state) of Finland 1918–1919. The only Marshal of Finland. Elected as president in 1944 by the Parliament. Resigned in 1946.
7 Juho Kusti Paasikivi 1946
11 March 1946 1 March 1956 National Coalition Party (Kok.) b. 27 November 1870, Hämeenkoski
d. 14 December 1956, Helsinki
Prime minister in 1918 and 1944–1946. Elected as president by the Parliament in 1946 and re-elected by electoral college in 1950.
8 Urho Kekkonen 1956
1 March 1956 27 January 1982 Agrarian League (ML) b. 3 September 1900, Pielavesi
d. 31 August 1986, Helsinki
Speaker of parliament in 1948–1950. Prime minister in 1950–1953 and 1954–1956. Elected as president by electoral college in 1956 and re-elected in 1962, 1968 and 1978. In 1973, the term that started in 1968 was extended by four years by means of an emergency law. Resigned in 1981 owing to poor health, whereupon Prime Minister Mauno Koivisto became acting president. Served in Finnish civil war.
9 Mauno Koivisto 1982
(acting for Kekkonen from 11 Sep. 1981)
27 January 1982
1 March 1994 Social Democratic Party of Finland (SDP) b. 25 November 1923, Turku
Prime minister in 1968–1970 and 1979–1982. Elected as president by electoral college in 1982 and re-elected in 1988. The first president born in independent Finland. Served in the armed forces during World War II.
10 Martti Ahtisaari 1994 1 March 1994 1 March 2000 Social Democratic Party of Finland (SDP) b. 23 June 1937, Viipuri
Elected as president in 1994. The first president elected by direct popular vote. The first president subject to term limits. Nobel Peace Prize laureate 2008.
11 Tarja Halonen 2000
1 March 2000 1 March 2012 Social Democratic Party of Finland (SDP) b. 24 December 1943, Helsinki
Foreign Minister in 1995–2000. Elected as president in 2000, and re-elected in 2006. Finland's first female president.
12 Sauli Niinistö 2012 1 March 2012 Incumbent National Coalition (KOK) b. 24 August 1948, Salo
Speaker of parliament in 2007–2011. Elected as president in 2012.

See also

List of spouses of the president of Finland

External links

  • Official site
  • The Constitution of Finland
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