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National Coalition Party (Finland)
The National Coalition Party (Kansallinen Kokoomus or Samlingspartiet) is a political party in Finland. The party was founded on December 9, 1918, chiefly on the basis of the fennoman "Old-Finnish party". Today, the party is strongly Europhile.
The Coalition Party is one of the three biggest parties in Finland, along with the Social Democrats and the Centre Party. Its vote share has been around 20% in the Parliamentary elections in the 1990s and in 2003, and it currently holds 40 out of the 200 seats.
Although the party is clearly rightist it harbours several different political currents, including social reformism (mainly in the Turku area), conservatism (mainly in northern Finland and Lapland), and liberalism (mainly in Helsinki). It is the one party most suspicious of the governmental bureaucracies and the political process interfering with business, championing the transfer of power above the parties, letting the entrepreneurial spirit flow freely. As regards traditional morality and established family institutions, it has had trouble reconciling staunch support for traditional family values and the liberal views of some of its members.
Up to the Bolshevist revolution in Russia, November 7th 1917, and the German Empire's dissolution, November 9th 1918, there existed two fennoman factions: one leaning at Imperial Russia, and one leaning at Imperial Germany. After 1917 most of them could unite in the National Coalition Party, and further tensions hovered around the degree of scepticism towards the Entente, the League of Nations, Democracy, multi party systems and Parliamentarism. Kokoomus was the party having the closest ties with the emerging Lapua Movement.
The party suffered division in the 1930s, in connection with the domestic Lapua Movement and the international fascism, when the Patriotic People's Movement (IKL) was formed of members disapproving Paasikivi's outspoken pro-democratic line. IKL was later banned. Paasikivi's democracy-line was taken up again by the party leader Edwin Linkomies, Prime Minister 1943-1944 during the Continuation War, who however lost the party-group's confidence and wasn't re-elected as chairman.
The current party chairman is Jyrki Katainen, who was elected as for the post in 2004.
Former party chairman is Ville Itšlš, who in the general elections in 2003 obtained the second highest count of individual votes (21.422) of all candidates. After his term in office as party chairman he was a candidate in the European Parliament election . He was also elected as an Member of the European Parliament.
Prominent party leaders
- Lauri Ingman - Prime Minister of Finland 1918-1919 and 1924-1925, Archbishop of Turku 1930-1934
- Antti Tulenheimo - Prime Minister of Finland 1925
- Pehr Evind Svinhufvud - President of Finland 1931-1937
- Edwin Linkomies - Prime Minister of Finland 1943-1944
- Juho Kusti Paasikivi - President of Finland 1946-1956, Prime Minister of Finland 1944-1946
- Harri Holkeri - Prime Minister of Finland 1987-1991
- National Coalition Party - Official site
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