Christian Democrats (Finland)
|Headquarters||Karjalankatu 2 C 7 krs.
FIN - 00520 HELSINKI
|Political position||Centre to centre-right|
|European affiliation||European People's Party (observer)|
|International affiliation||Centrist Democrat International|
|Colours||Blue and orange|
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The Christian Democrats (Finnish: Kristillisdemokraatit, KD; Swedish: Kristdemokraterna) is a Christian democratic political party in Finland. The Christian Democrats have five seats in the Finnish Parliament. The party was represented in the Finnish government by Minister of Interior Päivi Räsänen from June 22, 2011 until May 29, 2015.
The party was founded in 1958, chiefly by the Christian faction of the National Coalition Party, as the Finnish Christian League (Suomen Kristillinen Liitto, SKL; Finlands Kristliga Förbund.) The party adopted its current name in 2001.
The party describes itself as following the tenets of Christian Democracy. It emphasizes "respect of human dignity, the importance of family and close communities, defending the weak, encouraging resourcefulness and individual and collective responsibility, not just for themselves but also for their neighbours and the rest of creation". Membership is open to everyone who agrees with these values and aims. The party also claims to be committed to environmental protection.
The party has lost many of its members to bigger parties, mainly to the National Coalition and Center Party. KD MP Lyly Rajala and MEP Eija-Riitta Korhola defected to the National Coalition in 2003, and the former party secretary Annika Kokko moved to the National Coalition in 2007.
English-speaking members of the party founded their own chapter in Helsinki in 2004. Its monthly meetings attract immigrants to participate in societal matters and the issues that are particularly important to them. In 2005, a Russian-speaking chapter was also founded in Helsinki.
The party is an observer member of the European People's Party (EPP.)
KD-lehti (English: CD News) is the party's weekly newspaper.
List of party chairs
- Olavi Päivänsalo (1958-1964)
- Ahti Tele (1964-1967)
- Eino Sares (1967-1970)
- Olavi Majlander (1970-1973)
- Raino Westerholm (1973-1982)
- Esko Almgren (1982-1989)
- Toimi Kankaanniemi (1989-1995)
- Bjarne Kallis (1995-2004)
- Päivi Räsänen (2004-2015)
- Sari Essayah (2015–)
Current members of parliament
- Sari Essayah (Savo-Karjala constituency)
- Antero Laukkanen (Uusimaa constituency)
- Päivi Räsänen (Häme constituency)
- Sari Tanus (Pirkanmaa constituency)
- Peter Östman (Vaasa constituency)
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- Madeley, John T.S. (2004). Steven Van Hecke; Emmanuel Gerard, eds. Life at the Northern Margin: Christian Democracy in Scandinavia. Christian Democratic Parties in Europe Since the End of the Cold War (Leuven University Press). pp. 217–241. ISBN 90-5867-377-4.
- Niemelä, Mikko (13 March 2011). "Perussuomalaisilla hurja tahti: "Jäseniä tulee ovista ja ikkunoista"". Kauppalehti. Retrieved 20 April 2011.
- Christian Democracy. Christian Democrats official website
- Environment and Energy. Christian Democrats
- Immigrants. Christian Democrats
- "Candidates elected". Ministry of Justice. 22 April 2015. Retrieved 24 December 2015.
- Official website (Finnish)