Politics of Helsinki
||This article has no lead section. (November 2011)|
Like in all Finnish municipalities, the City Council of Helsinki is the main decision-making organ in local politics, dealing with issues such as city planning, schools, health care, and public transport. The 85-member council is elected every fourth year by municipal elections.
Historically, the liberal conservative National Coalition Party (kokoomus) has been the largest party in Helsinki's local politics, with the Social Democrats being the second biggest. In the 2000 election the Green League, for which Helsinki is the strongest area of support nationally, gained the position of the second most popular party. In 2004 however, the Social Democrats regained that position. In 2008 election, the Green League again became the second biggest party, and they remained so in the 2012 election.
The Left Alliance is the fourth largest party, while the True Finns have increased their support steadily to become the fifth largest party. The Swedish People's Party's support has been steadily declining over the years, most likely because of the diminishing proportion of Swedish speakers in Helsinki. The Centre Party of Finland, despite being one of the major parties in nationwide politics, has only limited support in Helsinki like it does in most other large urban areas.
Seat distribution in the city council
|National Coalition Party||23||26||25||25||24|
|Swedish People's Party||5||5||6||6||8|
Chairmen of the City Council
- Leo Mechelin (1875–1878, except 1877)
- Leo Mechelin (1892–1899)
- Alfred Norrmén (1904–1918)
- Antti Tulenheimo
- Pentti Poukka
- Harri Holkeri (1981–1987)
- Rakel Hiltunen (1989–1992)
- Arja Alho (1993–1994)
- Suvi Rihtniemi (1995–2000)
- Pekka Sauri (2001–2003)
- Minerva Krohn (2003–2004)
- Rakel Hiltunen (2005–2008)
- Otto Lehtipuu (2009–2010)
- Minerva Krohn (2011–)
The Mayor of Helsinki is appointed by the city council. The post is currently held by Jussi Pajunen. He was appointed for a term of 7 years, starting June 1, 2005. Pajunen was a member of the city council for 8 years, and was the chairman of the city board in 2003-2005. According to local media, the three biggest parties in the council had agreed in the wake of the October 2004 municipal election that the mayor's seat will go to the Coalition party.
|Teuvo Aura||1968–1979||Vapaamielisten Liitto|
|Eva-Riitta Siitonen||1996–31 May 2005||Kokoomus|
|Jussi Pajunen||Since June 1, 2005||Kokoomus|
- How Helsinki is governed - Presentation of the city government on the official website