I vote/run as a candidate for an election
You can both vote and run as a candidate in elections. There are four types of general elections in Finland:
- Parliamentary elections, at which Members of Parliament are elected on a four-year basis
- Presidential elections, at which a President of the Republic is elected on a six-year basis
- Municipal elections, at which municipal councillors are elected on a four-year basis
- European Parliamentary elections, at which the Members of the European Parliament are elected on a five-year basis
Voting is a simple way to have an influence on life around you. Through elections, citizens are able to voice their opinions to policy decision-makers and elect new decision-makers if necessary. Voting in an election is confidential, which means that no one can know who you voted for unless you tell them. All Finnish citizens aged 18 years or over are able to vote at the European Parliamentary and Presidential elections. Citizens of any other EU member state living in Finland are also able to vote in the European Parliamentary elections.
Those able to vote at municipal elections include:
- citizens of Finland, any other EU member state, Iceland or Norway who are 18 years of age or over and who have lived in their municipality for over 50 days
- citizens of any country who are aged 18 years or over and who have lived in their municipality for at least 50 days and lived in Finland for a minimum of two consecutive years
You can also put yourself up as a candidate in an election. The most common way to become a candidate in an election is to be involved in the activity of a certain party. Another way is to be nominated by a voters’ association, which is a group with a specified number of people which nominates a particular person as a candidate for an election.
More detailed information about elections, voting and candidacy can be found at www.vaalit.fi.