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Electoral Laws - Finland


Elections to the European Parliament : 13 june 1999
Electoral Procedure


       TOTAL      WOMEN      MEN
No. of inhabitants 5 162 900 2 644 700 2 518 200
of which, resident EU citizens 15 800 6 100 9 700
No. of potential voters (18+) 4 006 500 2 078 800 1 927 700
No. of seats      16    
No. of inhabitants per seat 322 681    

Source: Eurostat population scenarios (baseline variant); Eurostat estimates of no. of EU citizens.


1. Legal basis

A new electoral law was passed on 2 October 1998 (Law No. 714/1998), replacing all previous electoral laws.


2. Electoral system

-    Proportional representation: the whole country forms a single constituency. Candidates stand at national level and votes are counted on a national basis. Preference voting.

-    Allocation of seats: d'Hondt method. After each party, electoral alliance and joint list has been allocated the number of seats to which it is entitled, the candidates on the lists are ranked according to the number of preference votes they have received.

3. Registration of candidates

-    Deadline for registration: 4 May 1999.

-    Deposit: None.

-    Conditions: The following organisations may put forward candidates:

 Political parties. Two or more political parties may also form electoral alliances.

 Electoral associations. Each electoral association may put forward one candidate. At least 2000 founder members eligible to vote are required to establish an electoral association (written agreement of each founder member required). Electoral associations may form joint lists.
    Each political party, electoral alliance or joint list may put forward a maximum of 20 candidates.

-    Incompatibilities: Those laid down in the 1976 Act on Elections to the European Parliament and, based on the new Finnish electoral law (of 2 October 1998), the following persons:

 Members of the Finnish Government

 Civil servants who, under the Finnish constitution, may not stand as candidates for the Finnish Parliament (military personnel, Chancellor of Justice, Vice-Chancellor of Justice, Members of the Supreme Court and Supreme Administrative Court, Ombudsman and Vice-Ombudsman of the Finnish Parliament).

4. Polling day : Sunday 13 June 1999 (9am to 8pm).

-    The count starts at 10pm on polling day. End of count and provisional results: between 11pm and     midnight on polling day. Final results: 16 June 1999.

5. Voting / standing for election

-    Right to vote

 All Finnish citizens aged 18 or over are eligible to vote.

 Citizens of other EU Member States aged 18 or over are eligible to vote if they are domiciled in Finland and if they apply for the right to vote by 25 March 1999.

 Citizens of other EU Member States who registered to vote in the 1996 EP elections in Finland and who are still domiciled in Finland will automatically have the right to vote in the 1999 EP elections.

 EU citizens who have lost their right to vote in their Member State of origin may not vote in the Finnish EP elections.

 Advance voting: Voters may also vote in advance in post offices, hospitals and certain other institutions as well as in Finnish diplomatic missions or their offices. Advance voting begins on 2 June 1999 and ends on 8 June 1999. Votes cast in advance will be counted on election day.

 Voting is not compulsory.

-    Right to stand for election

 Any Finnish citizen or citizen of another EU country aged 18 or over who has the right to vote may also stand for election, except persons subject to a care order.

6. Election campaign

-    Funding: No specific rules. The draft state budget for 1999 includes a provision of 6 million FIM (ca 1 million . ) for EP election-related information activities of political parties.

-    Official campaign starting date: No rules or restrictions.

-    Media access: No rules or restrictions. Under the Party Law, the Finnish Broadcasting Company (a national public service company) is required to give equal treatment to political parties in its election broadcasts, subject to journalistic criteria.

-    Opinion polls: No rules or restrictions.


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