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Finland Government

    Country name:
    conventional long form: Republic of Finland
    conventional short form: Finland
    local long form: Suomen Tasavalta
    local short form: Suomi

    Data code: FI

    Government type: republic

    Capital: Helsinki

    Administrative divisions: 6 provinces (laanit, singular—laani); Aland, Etela-Suomen Laani, Ita-Suomen Lanni, Lansi-Suomen Laani, Lappi, Oulun Laani

    Independence: 6 December 1917 (from Russia)

    National holiday: Independence Day, 6 December (1917)

    Constitution: 17 July 1919

    Legal system: civil law system based on Swedish law; Supreme Court may request legislation interpreting or modifying laws; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations

    Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

    Executive branch:
    chief of state: President Martti AHTISAARI (since 1 March 1994)
    head of government: Prime Minister Paavo LIPPONEN (since 13 April 1995) and Deputy Prime Minister Sauli NIINISTO (since 13 April 1995)
    cabinet: Council of State or Valtioneuvosto appointed by the president, responsible to Parliament
    elections: president elected by popular vote for a six-year term; election last held 31 January-6 February 1994 (next to be held NA January 2000); prime minister and deputy prime minister appointed from the majority party by the president after parliamentary elections
    election results: Martti AHTISAARI elected president; percent of vote—Martti AHTISAARI 54%, Elisabeth REHN 46%

    Legislative branch: unicameral Parliament or Eduskunta (200 seats; members are elected by popular vote on a proportional basis to serve four-year terms)
    elections: last held 21 March 1999 (next to be held NA March 2003)
    election results: percent of vote by party—Social Democratic Party 22.9%, Center Party 22.5%, National Coalition (Conservative) Party 21.0%, Leftist Alliance (Communist) 10.9%, Swedish People's Party 5.1%, Green Union 7.2%, Finnish Christian League 4.2%; seats by party—Social Democratic Party 51, Center Party 48, National Coalition (Conservative) Party 46, Leftist Alliance (Communist) 20, Swedish People's Party 11, Green Union 11, Finnish Christian League 10, other 3

    Judicial branch: Supreme Court or Korkein Oikeus, judges appointed by the president

    Political parties and leaders:
    government coalition: Social Democratic Party [Paavo LIPPONEN]; National Coalition (conservative) Party [Sauli NIINISTO]; Leftist Alliance (Communist) composed of People's Democratic League and Democratic Alternative [Claes ANDERSSON]; Swedish People's Party [(Johan) Ole NORRBACK]; Green League [Pekka HAAVISTO]
    other: Center Party [Esko AHO]; Finnish Christian League [C. P. Bjarne KALLIS]; Rural Party [Raimo VISTBACKA]; Liberal People's Party [Pekka RYTILA]; Greens Ecological Party or EPV [Eugen PARKATTI]; Young Finns [Risto PENTTILA]

    Political pressure groups and leaders: Finnish Communist Party-Unity [Yrjo HAKANEN]; Constitutional Rightist Party; Finnish Pensioners Party; Communist Workers Party [Timo LAHDENMAKI]

    International organization participation: AfDB, AsDB, Australia Group, BIS, CBSS, CCC, CE, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, ECE, EIB, EMU, ESA, EU, FAO, G- 9, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, MTCR, NAM (guest), NC, NEA, NIB, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW, OSCE, PCA, PFP, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNFICYP, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNIKOM, UNMIBH, UNMOGIP, UNMOP, UNPREDEP, UNTSO, UPU, WEU (observer), WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO, ZC

    Diplomatic representation in the US:
    chief of mission: Ambassador Jaakko Tapani LAAJAVA
    chancery: 3301 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
    telephone: [1] (202) 298-5800
    FAX: [1] (202) 298-6030
    consulate(s) general: Los Angeles and New York

    Diplomatic representation from the US:
    chief of mission: Ambassador Eric EDELMAN
    embassy: Itainen Puistotie 14A, FIN-00140, Helsinki
    mailing address: APO AE 09723
    telephone: [358] (9) 171931
    FAX: [358] (9) 174681

    Flag description: white with a blue cross that extends to the edges of the flag; the vertical part of the cross is shifted to the hoist side in the style of the Dannebrog (Danish flag)

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Revised 1-Mar-99
Copyright © 1999 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)