Left Alliance (Finland)
|Merger of||SKDL & SKP|
|Headquarters||Viherniemenkatu 5 A
|Youth wing||Left Youth|
|Women's wing||Left Women|
|Children's wing||Democratic Union of Finnish Pioneers|
|European affiliation||Party of the European Left
Nordic Green Left Alliance
|European Parliament group||European United Left–Nordic Green Left|
|Politics of Finland
The Left Alliance (Finnish: Vasemmistoliitto, Swedish: Vänsterförbundet, VAS) is a left-wing political party in Finland. It was founded on the basis of the Finnish People's Democratic League and the Communist Party of Finland in 1990.
In parliamentary elections, Left Alliance share of the vote has been close to ten percent. The Left Alliance had three portfolios in the two cabinets of Paavo Lipponen (1995-2003), and has two in the current cabinet of Jyrki Katainen (2011-). It is a member of the Party of the European Left and Nordic Green Left Alliance. The party currently has 12 MPs in the Finnish Eduskunta: it won 14 seats in the latest election, but two MPs were expelled from the parliamentary group after repeatedly breaking from the official party line. The party lost its only remaining MEP in the 2009 European elections.
The party organ is the weekly Kansan Uutiset.
The party was founded as a result of a merger between the Finnish People's Democratic League (SKDL), Democratic Alternative (an orthodox pro-Soviet communist party), the Finnish Women's Democratic League (SNDL) and the Communist Party of Finland (SKP). The founding meeting was held in April 1990 in Helsinki, following the publishing of the April Declaration, which emphasised various ideals.
The party's short history has been characterised by internal disputes and bickering, as it was formed by people with very different views on society. There have been several defections from the Left Alliance to the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and the newly formed Communist Party of Finland. In 2005, the party's former secretary and Central Organisation of Finnish Trade Unions's assistant head Matti Viialainen formed a society to promote merger between the two largest Finnish left-wing political parties, the Left Alliance and the SDP. This caused an outrage within the Left Alliance, and Viialainen was condemned for wanting to break up the party. Viialainen would subsequently leave the party and run for parliament on the SDP ticket in 2007.
In 2006, the party's leader Suvi-Anne Siimes announced her resignation from the post, and the party, as a result of long-standing feuds with the leftist section of the party. On May 13, 2006, Martti Korhonen was elected as the new party leader. He was followed by Paavo Arhinmäki in June 2009, following the party's bad performance in the 2009 EU parliamentary election.
Left Alliance party program adopted by the 5th Party Congress 16 June 2007: The fundamental values of Left Alliance are equality, freedom and sustainable development, democracy must be strengthened, democracy must be stronger than the power of capital, challenging the global capitalism, getting world into solidarity and stop Finnish polarization, freedom and the right to work and income for all people, environmentally conscious Finland.
Some in the party accept the EU and others reject it. The younger generation is more pro-EU than the older.
- Claes Andersson (1990–1998)
- Suvi-Anne Siimes (1998–2006)
- Martti Korhonen (2006–2009)
- Paavo Arhinmäki (2009–)
|Election year||Candidate||1st round||2nd round|
|# of overall votes||% of overall vote||# of overall votes||% of overall vote|
|1994||Claes Andersson||122,820||3.8 (#6)|
|2006||Supported Tarja Halonen|
|2012||Paavo Arhinmäki||167, 359||5.5 (#6)|
|Election year||# of overall votes||% of overall vote||# of overall seats won||+/-|
- Parties and Elections in Europe: The database about parliamentary elections and political parties in Europe, by Wolfram Nordsieck
- Claire Annesley (11 January 2013). Political and Economic Dictionary of Western Europe. Routledge. pp. 22–. ISBN 978-1-135-35547-0.
- Left Alliance website (English)