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Finland: Government#

Country nameconventional long form: Republic of Finland
conventional short form: Finland
local long form: Suomen tasavalta/Republiken Finland
local short form: Suomi/Finland
CapitalHelsinki Helsinki
geographic coordinates: 60 10 N, 24 56 E
time difference: UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
Administrative divisions19 regions (maakunnat, singular - maakunta (Finnish); landskapen, singular - landskapet (Swedish)); Aland (Swedish), Ahvenanmaa (Finnish); Etela-Karjala (Finnish), Sodra Karelen (Swedish) (South Karelia); Etela-Pohjanmaa (Finnish), Sodra Osterbotten (Swedish) (South Ostrobothnia); Etela-Savo (Finnish), Sodra Savolax (Swedish) (South Savo); Kanta-Hame (Finnish), Egentliga Tavastland (Swedish); Kainuu (Finnish), Kajanaland (Swedish); Keski-Pohjanmaa (Finnish), Mellersta Osterbotten (Swedish) (Central Ostrobothnia); Keski-Suomi (Finnish), Mellersta Finland (Swedish) (Central Finland); Kymenlaakso (Finnish), Kymmenedalen (Swedish); Lappi (Finnish), Lappland (Swedish); Paijat-Hame (Finnish), Paijanne-Tavastland (Swedish); Pirkanmaa (Finnish), Birkaland (Swedish) (Tampere); Pohjanmaa (Finnish), Osterbotten (Swedish) (Ostrobothnia); Pohjois-Karjala (Finnish), Norra Karelen (Swedish) (North Karelia); Pohjois-Pohjanmaa (Finnish), Norra Osterbotten (Swedish) (North Ostrobothnia); Pohjois-Savo (Finnish), Norra Savolax (Swedish) (North Savo); Satakunta (Finnish and Swedish); Uusimaa (Finnish), Nyland (Swedish) (Newland); Varsinais-Suomi (Finnish), Egentliga Finland (Swedish) (Southwest Finland)
Constitutionprevious 1906, 1919; latest drafted 17 June 1997, approved by Parliament 11 June 1999, entered into force 1 March 2000; amended several times, last in 2011 (2011)
Executive branchchief of state: President Sauli NIINISTO (since 1 March 2012)
head of government: Prime Minister Jyrki KATAINEN (since 22 June 2011)
cabinet: Council of State or Valtioneuvosto appointed by the president, responsible to parliament
elections: president elected by popular vote for a six-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 5 February 2012 (next to be held in February 2018); the parliament elects a prime minister who is then appointed to office by the president
election results: percent of vote - Sauli NIINISTO (Kok) 36.96%, Pekka HAAVISTO (Vihr) 18.76%, Paavo VAYRYNEN (Kesk) 17.53%, Timo SOINI (TF) 9.4%, Paavo LIPPONEN (SDP) 6.7%, Paavo ARHINMÄKI (Vas) 5.48%, Eva BIAUDET (SFP) 2.7%, Sari ESSAYAH (KD) 2.47%; a runoff election between NIINISTO and HAAVISTO was held 5 February 2012 - NIINISTO 62.59%, HAAVISTO 37.41%; Jyrki KATAINEN elected prime minister; election results 118-72
note: government coalition - Kok, SDP, Vihr, SFP, Vas, and KD (2013)
Flag descriptionwhite with a blue cross extending 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); the blue represents the thousands of lakes scattered across the country, while the white is for the snow that covers the land in winter
Independence6 December 1917 (from Russia)
Judicial branchhighest court(s): Supreme Court or Korkein Oikeus (consists of the court president and 18 judges); Supreme Administrative Court (consists of 21 judges including the court president and organized into 3 chambers)
note - Finland has a dual judicial system - courts with civil and criminal jurisdiction, and administrative courts with jurisdiction for litigation between individuals and administrative organs of the state and communities
judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court and Supreme Administrative Court judges appointed by the president of the republic; judges serve until mandatory retirement at age 65
subordinate courts: 6 Courts of Appeal; 8 regional administrative courts; 27 district courts; special courts for issues relating to markets, labor, insurance, impeachment, land, tenancy, and water rights
Legal systemcivil law system based on the Swedish model
Legislative branchunicameral Parliament or Eduskunta (200 seats; members elected by popular vote on a proportional basis to serve four-year terms)
elections: last held on 17 April 2011 (next to be held in April 2015)
election results: percent of vote by party - Kok 20.4%, SDP 19.1%, PS 19.1%, Kesk 15.8%, Vas 8.1%, Vihr 7.3%, SFP 4.3%, KD 4%, other 1.9%; seats by party - Kok 44, SDP 42, TF 39, Kesk 35, Vas 14, Vihr 10, SFP 9, KD 6, other 1 (the constituency of Aland)
International organization participationADB (nonregional member), AfDB (nonregional member), Arctic Council, Australia Group, BIS, CBSS, CD, CE, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, ECB, EIB, EITI (implementing country), EMU, ESA, EU, FAO, FATF, G-9, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, MINUSMA, NC, NEA, NIB, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW, OSCE, Pacific Alliance (observer), Paris Club, PCA, PFP, Schengen Convention, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNMIL, UNMOGIP, UNRWA, UNTSO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC
National holidayIndependence Day, 6 December (1917)
Political parties and leadersCenter Party or Kesk (Juha SIPILA)
Christian Democrats or KD (Paivi RASANEN)
Green League or Vihr (Ville NIINISTO)
Left Alliance or Vas (Paavo ARHINMAKI)
National Coalition Party or Kok (Jyrki KATAINEN)
Social Democratic Party or SDP (Jutta URPILAINEN)
Swedish People's Party or SFP (Carl HAGLUND)
The Finns Party or PS (Timo SOINI)
Suffrage18 years of age; universal
Government typerepublic
Diplomatic representation in the USchief of mission: Ambassador Ritva KOUKKU-RONDE (since 1 September 2011)
chancery: 3301 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: (1) (202) 298-5800
FAX: (1) (202) 298-6030
consulate(s) general: Los Angeles (Juha Pekka MARKKANEN), New York (Jukka PIETIKAINEN)
National anthemname: "Maamme" (Our Land)
lyrics/music: Johan Ludvig RUNEBERG/Fredrik PACIUS
note: in use since 1848; although never officially adopted by law, the anthem has been popular since it was first sung by a student group in 1848; Estonia's anthem uses the same melody as that of Finland
International law organization participationaccepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
National symbol(s)lion
Diplomatic representation from the USchief of mission: Ambassador Bruce J. ORECK (since 12 August 2009)
embassy: Itainen Puistotie 14B, 00140 Helsinki
mailing address: APO AE 09723
telephone: (358) (9) 616250
FAX: (358) (9) 6162 5800