The Prime Minister of Finland (Finnish: Suomen pääministeri, Swedish: Finlands statsminister) is the leader of the Finnish Government. The prime minister is Finland's head of government and is formally appointed by the President. Finland's first prime minister was Pehr Evind Svinhufvud, who was appointed to the post on 27 November 1917.
In 1918, the Senate of Finland was transformed into the Government of Finland, and the position of Vice-Chairman of the Economic Division was transformed into that of the prime minister. Kesäranta, located in the westerly Meilahti subdivision of Helsinki, has been the official residence of the prime minister of Finland since 1919.
During its independence, declared in 1917, Finland has had 72 cabinets. The longest lasting have been the two cabinets of prime minister Paavo Lipponen (Lipponen I and Lipponen II), both lasting the entire parliamentary term, or 1,464 days.
The prime minister's appointment follows the parliamentary election, which are scheduled to be held once every four years.
Under the provisions of the Constitution of Finland, the president nominates a prime minister after the parties in the parliament have negotiated the distribution of seats in the new cabinet and the government's programme. The parliament must ratify the nominated prime minister with an absolute majority in a confidence vote without other candidates. If the nominee doesn't receive sufficient support, a new round of negotiations and a second nomination by the President follows. If the second nominee also fails to gain an absolute majority, a third vote is held, in which any member of parliament can nominate a candidate; in this round a plurality is sufficient for election.
The above procedure was first used to elect Anneli Jäätteenmäki to the premiership in 2003. Previously it was assumed that the president would nominate the candidate who, in a third round of voting, would have gained a relative majority, this usually being the leader of the party with the largest seat share in parliament. Before the 2000 constitution was enacted, full formal powers to appoint the prime minister and the rest of the government had been the privilege of the president, who was free to diverge from parliamentary principles, although the ministers appointed had to have the confidence of the parliament.
Formally, the Prime Minister nominates the remaining members of the government, who are then, with the consent of Parliament, appointed by the President. In practice, the seats are divided between parties during the negotiations to form the government, so that the Prime Minister candidate must take into account the opinions of the participating parties and cannot nominate or remove whoever they wish.
Salary and benefits
The prime minister's salary is €11,675 per month, which is the same as that of the Speaker of the Parliament. In addition, the prime minister receives half of the parliamentary salary. The full parliamentary salary is, as of 1 May 2011, at least €6,335 a month, so the Finnish prime minister receives at least €14,842 per month in total. The salary is subject to income tax.
The prime minister is entitled to a 30-day leave (holiday) during each calendar year. The maintenance, staff and services of Kesäranta, the official residence, is paid for by the government.
The prime minister has transportation and security services at their disposal at all times.
Living former prime ministers
20 May 1954 , served 1991–1995
23 April 1941 , served 1995–2003
11 February 1955 , served 2003
4 November 1955 , served 2003–2010
27 September 1968 , served 2010–2011
14 October 1971 , served 2011–2014
1 April 1968 , served 2014–2015
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