Parliament of Finland

The Parliament of Finland is the unicameral supreme legislature of Finland, founded on 9 May 1906. In accordance with the Constitution of Finland, sovereignty belongs to the people, that power is vested in the Parliament; the Parliament consists of 200 members, 199 of whom are elected every four years from 13 multi-member districts electing 7-36 using the proportional D'Hondt method. In addition, there is one member from Åland. Legislation may be initiated by either the one of the members of Parliament; the Parliament passes legislation, decides on the state budget, approves international treaties, supervises the activities of the government. It may bring about the resignation of the Finnish Government, override presidential vetoes, alter the constitution. To make changes to the constitution, amendments must be approved by two successive parliaments, with an election cycle in between, or passed as an emergency law with a 166/200 majority. Most MPs work in parliamentary groups; the Parliament comprises nine parliamentary groups.

Since the establishment of the Parliament in 1905, the parliamentary majority has been held once by a single party: the Social Democrats in the 1916 election. Thus, for the Government to gain a majority in the Parliament, coalition governments are favored; these are formed by at least two of the three major parties: the Social Democrats and National Coalition. Ministers are but not MPs; the Parliament meets in the Parliament House, located in central Helsinki. The most recent parliamentary election took place on 14 April 2019; the Social Democratic Party, the Centre Party, the Green League, the Left Alliance, the Swedish People's Party cooperated to form the Rinne Cabinet, a centre-left coalition government. This was succeeded in December 2019 by the Marin Cabinet, made up of the same parties; the Parliament's Finnish name is eduskunta, uncapitalized. The word was created in 1906 when the unicameral Parliament was established, with the approximate meaning of an'Assembly of Representatives'; this word is used to refer to Finland's legislature but can be used as a general term for legislatures in any country.

In Swedish, the Parliament's name is riksdag, uncapitalized. This is the general term for the Swedish legislature. Riksdag derives from the genitive of rike referring to the independent state of Finland, dag, meaning diet or conference. Before independence, until the Constitution Act of 1919, the Parliament was known, in Swedish, as lantdagen, the old term for the Diet of Finland; the Parliament of Finland was preceded by the Diet of Finland, which had succeeded the Riksdag of the Estates in 1809. When the unicameral Parliament of Finland was established by the Parliament Act in 1906, Finland was an autonomous grand duchy and principality under the Imperial Russian Tsar, who ruled as the Grand Duke, rather than as an absolute monarch. Universal suffrage and eligibility was implemented, making Finland the second country in the world to adopt universal suffrage. Women could both vote and run for office as equals, this applied to landless people, with no excluded minorities; the first election to the Parliament was arranged in 1907.

The first Parliament had 19 female representatives, an unprecedented number at the time, which grew to 21 by 1913. The first years of the new Parliament were difficult. Between 1908 and 1916 the power of the Finnish Parliament was completely neutralized by the Russian Tsar Nicholas II and the so-called "sabre senate" of Finland, a bureaucratic government formed by Imperial Russian Army officers during the second period of "Russification"; the Parliament was dissolved and new elections were held every year. The Finnish Parliament received the true political power for the first time after the February Revolution of 1917 in Russia. Finland declared its independence on 6 December 1917, in the winter and spring of 1918 endured a civil war in which the forces of the Senate, known as the White Guard, defeated the socialist Red Guard. After the war and republicans struggled over the country's form of government; the monarchists seemed to gain a victory when the Parliament elected a German prince as King of Finland in the fall of 1918.

This decision was made on the basis of other Scandinavian countries having monarchs. However, the king-elect abdicated the throne after Imperial Germany was defeated in World War I, on 11 November 1918. In the parliamentary election of 1919, the republican parties won three-quarters of the seats, extinguishing the monarchists' ambitions. Finland became a republic with a parliamentary system, but in order to appease the monarchist parties, which favoured a strong head of state, extensive powers were granted to the President of Finland; when the Soviet Union attacked Finland in the Winter War, in early December 1939 Parliament was evacuated and the legislature temporarily relocated to Kauhajoki, a town in western Finland far away from the frontline. The parliament held 34 plenary sessions in Kauhajoki, with the last on 12 February 1940. Another temporary relocation was seen during the renovation of the Parliament House in 2015–2017 when the Parliament convened in the neighbouring Sibelius Academy.

The Constitution of 1919, which instituted a parliamentary system, did not undergo any major changes for 70 years. Although the government was responsible to the Parliament, the President wielded considerable authority, used to its full extent by long-standing President Urho Kekkonen; as t

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