Finnish presidential election, 1919

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Finnish presidential election, 1919
25 July 1919 → 1925

  K. J. Ståhlberg.png Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim.png
Nominee Kaarlo Juho Ståhlberg Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim
Party National Progressive Independent
Electoral vote 143 50

Elected President

Kaarlo Juho Ståhlberg
National Progressive

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Indirect presidential elections were held for the first time in Finland in 1919.[1] Although the country had declared Prince Frederick Charles of Hesse King on 9 October 1918, he renounced the throne on 14 December. The President was elected by Parliament, with Kaarlo Juho Ståhlberg of the National Progressive Party receiving 71.5% of the 200 votes.[1] Ståhlberg, a moderate, liberal and reformist politician, who favoured improving the material well-being of workers and other economically poor Finns, received the votes of Social Democrats, Agrarians and Progressives. He also firmly supported the new Finnish Republic, and a parliamentary form of government with a strong President as a mediator and a political reserve for politically troubled times. Mannerheim, an independent right-winger and monarchist, suspected the democratic, republican and parliamentary form of government of producing too partisan political leaders, and of working ineffectively during crises. Ståhlberg favoured the signing of peace treaty between Finland and the Soviet Russia, while Mannerheim in the summer of 1919 strongly considered ordering the Finnish army to invade St. Petersburg to help the Russian Whites in that country's civil war. Only the National Coalitioners and Swedish People's Party voted for Mannerheim in this presidential election (see, for example, Raimo Salokangas, "An Independent Republic" (Itsenäinen tasavalta) in Seppo Zetterberg et al., eds., A Small Giant of the Finnish History / Suomen historian pikkujättiläinen. Helsinki: WSOY, 2003, pgs. 611-613; Pentti Virrankoski, A History of Finland / Suomen historia. Volumes 1&2. Helsinki: Finnish Literature Society (Suomalaisen kirjallisuuden seura), 2009, pgs. 766-773; Sakari Virkkunen, Finland's Presidents I / Suomen presidentit I. Helsinki: Otava Ltd., 1994, pgs. 11-22; Sakari Virkkunen, Finland's Presidents II / Suomen presidentit II. Helsinki: Otava Ltd., 1994; Stig Jägerskiöld, Mannerheim 1867-1951. Helsinki: Otava Ltd., pgs. 115-121, 123-124, 128).


Candidate Party Votes %
Kaarlo Juho Ståhlberg National Progressive Party 143 71.5
Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim Independent 50 25.0
Lauri Kristian Relander Agrarian League 1 0.5
Väinö Tanner Social Democratic Party 1 0.5
Invalid/blank votes 2 1.0
Absent 3 1.5
Total 200 100
Source: Nohlen


  1. ^ a b Nohlen, D & Stöver, P (2010) Elections in Europe: A data handbook, p627 ISBN 978-3-8329-5609-7