List of presidents of Finland

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 1994 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 PresidentsEdit

  National Progressive Party   Agrarian League (Centre Party (1965-1988), Centre of Finland (from 1988))   National Coalition (National Coalition Party (1918-1951))   Social Democratic Party of Finland (Labour People's Party of Finland (1899-1903),
       Social Democratic Party in Finland (1903-1906))

Rank Portrait President
(Birth–Death)
Elected Took Office Left Office Political Party (until election) Birth and death
1   Kaarlo Juho Ståhlberg
(1865–1952)
1919 26 July 1919 2 March 1925 National Progressive Party (Ed.) b. 28 January 1865, Suomussalmi
d. 22 September 1952, Helsinki
Member of parliament (1908–1910, 1914–1918 and 1930–1933). Speaker of parliament (1914–1917). President of the Supreme Administrative Court (1918–1919). Elected as president by the parliament in 1919.
2   Lauri Kristian Relander
(1883–1942)
1925 2 March 1925 2 March 1931 Agrarian League (ML) b. 31 May 1883, Kurkijoki
d. 9 February 1942, Helsinki
Member of parliament (1910–1914 and 1917–1920). Speaker of parliament (1919–1920). Governor of Viipuri Province (1920–1925). Elected as president by an electoral college in 1925.
3   Pehr Evind Svinhufvud
(1861–1944)
1931 2 March 1931 1 March 1937 National Coalition Party (Kok.) b. 15 December 1861, Sääksmäki
d. 29 February 1944, Luumäki
Member of the Estate of Nobles in the Diet of Finland (1894 and 1899–1906). Member of parliament (1907–1917 and 1930–1931). Speaker of parliament (1907–1913). Regent (interim head of state) of Finland (1918). Prime Minister (1917–1918 and 1930–1931). Elected as president by an electoral college in 1931.
4   Kyösti Kallio
(1873–1940)
1937 1 March 1937 19 December 1940
(died)
Agrarian League (ML) b. 10 April 1873, Ylivieska
d. 19 December 1940, Helsinki
Member of parliament (1907–1937). Chairman of the Agrarian League (1909–1917). Minister of Agriculture (1919–1920 and 1921–1922). Speaker of parliament (1920–1921, 1922, 1924–1925, 1927–1928, 1929 and 1930–1936). Prime Minister (1922–1924, 1925–1926, 1929–1930 and 1936–1937). Elected as president by an electoral college in 1937. Announced resignation in 1940 because of poor health, but died in office.
5   Risto Ryti
(1889–1956)
1940
1943
19 December 1940 4 August 1944
(resigned)
National Progressive Party (Ed.) b. 3 February 1889, Huittinen
d. 25 October 1956, Helsinki
Member of parliament (1919–1924 and 1927–1929). Minister of Finance (1921–1922 and 1922–1924). Governor of the Bank of Finland (1923–1940 and 1944–1945). Prime Minister (1939–1940). Elected as president by the electoral college from 1937 in 1940 and re-elected in 1943 also by the electoral college from 1937. Resigned in 1944 due to the Ryti–Ribbentrop Agreement.
6   Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim
(1867–1951)
1944 4 August 1944 11 March 1946
(resigned)
Non-partisan b. 4 June 1867, Askainen
d. 27 January 1951, Lausanne, Switzerland
Regent (interim head of state) of Finland (1918–1919). Commander-in-Chief of the Finnish Defence Forces (1939–1945). The only War Marshal and Marshal of Finland. Decreed as president in 1944 by an exception law. Resigned in 1946 because of poor health.
7   Juho Kusti Paasikivi
(1870–1956)
1946
1950
11 March 1946 1 March 1956 National Coalition Party (Kok.) b. 27 November 1870, Hämeenkoski
d. 14 December 1956, Helsinki
Member of parliament (1907–1909 and 1910–1914). Prime Minister (1918 and 1944–1946). Elected as president by the parliament in 1946 and re-elected by an electoral college in 1950.
8   Urho Kekkonen
(1900–1986)
1956
1962
1968
1978
1 March 1956 27 January 1982
(resigned)
Agrarian League (ML) b. 3 September 1900, Pielavesi
d. 31 August 1986, Helsinki
Member of parliament (1936–1956). Minister of Justice (1936–1937 and 1944–1946). Minister of the Interior (1937–1939 and 1950–1951). Speaker of parliament (1948–1950). Prime Minister (1950–1953 and 1954–1956). Elected as president by an 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 an exception law. Resigned in 1982 because of poor health. Served in the Finnish Civil War.
9   Mauno Koivisto
(1923–2017)
1982
1988
27 January 1982 1 March 1994 Social Democratic Party of Finland (SDP) b. 25 November 1923, Turku
d. 12 May 2017, Helsinki
Minister of Finance (1966–1967 and 1972). Governor of the Bank of Finland (1968–1982). Prime Minister (1968–1970 and 1979–1982). Elected as president by an electoral college in 1982 and re-elected in 1988. The first president born in independent Finland. Served in the Continuation War of the World War II.
10   Martti Ahtisaari
(b. 1937)
1994 1 March 1994 1 March 2000 Social Democratic Party of Finland (SDP) b. 23 June 1937, Viipuri
Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations (1987–1991). Elected as president in 1994. The first president elected by direct popular vote. Nobel Peace Prize laureate 2008. Member of The Elders.
11   Tarja Halonen
(b. 1943)
2000
2006
1 March 2000 1 March 2012 Social Democratic Party of Finland (SDP) b. 24 December 1943, Helsinki
Member of parliament (1979–2000). Minister of Justice (1990–1991). Minister for Foreign Affairs (1995–2000). Elected as president in 2000 and re-elected in 2006. The first president subject to term limits. Finland's first female president.
12   Sauli Niinistö
(b. 1948)
2012
2018
1 March 2012 Incumbent
(Term ends on 1 February or 1 March 2024)
National Coalition (Kok.) b. 24 August 1948, Salo
Member of parliament (1987–2003 and 2007–2011). Chairman of the National Coalition Party (1994–2001). Minister of Justice (1995–1996). Minister of Finance (1996–2003). Speaker of parliament in 2007–2011. Elected as president in 2012 and re-elected in 2018.

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