City Council of Helsinki

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The City Council of Helsinki is the main decision-making organ in local politics. Like other Finnish municipalities, it deals 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[edit]

Helsinki mayor Jussi Pajunen (center) with leading city council members. Chairman Minerva Krohn (background), Osmo Soininvaara (left), and Arto Bryggare (Right). Portrait of former chairman Alfred Norrmén on the wall.
Party 2012 2008 2004 2000 1996
National Coalition Party 23 26 25 25 24
Green League 19 21 17 21 16
SDP 15 16 21 18 21
Left Alliance 9 7 8 7 6
True Finns 8 4 1 0 0
Swedish People's Party 5 5 6 6 8
Centre Party 3 3 4 4 3
Christian Democrats 2 2 2 3 2
Communist Party 1 1 1 0 0
Independents 0 0 0 1 0

Chairmen of the City Council[edit]


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.

Current Deputy Mayors are Hannu Penttilä, Pekka Sauri, Laura Räty and Ritva Viljanen.

Mayors of Helsinki
Mayor Term Party
Arthur Castrén 1921–1930
Antti Tulenheimo 1931–1944 Kokoomus
Eero Rydman 1944–1956 Edistyspuolue
Lauri Aho 1956–1968 Kokoomus
Teuvo Aura 1968–1979 Vapaamielisten Liitto
Raimo Ilaskivi 1979–1991 Kokoomus
Kari Rahkamo 1991–1996 Kokoomus
Eva-Riitta Siitonen 1996–31 May 2005 Kokoomus
Jussi Pajunen Since June 1, 2005 Kokoomus


  1. ^ "Mari Puoskari Helsingin valtuuston puheenjohtajaksi, Emma Kari vihreän valtuustoryhmän johtoon". Helsingin Vihreät. 3 December 2012. Retrieved 21 April 2014. 

External links[edit]