Electoral rights of foreign nationals in municipal elections of Finland
Right to vote
In municipal elections of Finland, entitled to vote are Finnish citizens who reach the age of 18 years on election day at the latest and reside in Finland. In addition, entitled to vote are:
1) citizens of other EU Member States, Iceland and Norway residing in Finland, under the same conditions as Finnish citizens; and
2) citizens of other states if they have resided continuously in Finland for at least two (2) years on the 51st day before election day, when the voting register for municipal elections is established.
No one needs to separately register to be entered in the voting register for municipal elections. Instead, the Digital and Population Data Services Agency compiles the register by virtue of office, based on the information entered in the Finnish Population Information System for each individual.
Right to stand as a candidate
As a rule, every person entitled to vote in municipal elections is also eligible to stand as a candidate in municipal elections. However, persons who have been declared legally incompetent by a court decision and persons who perform certain tasks related to municipalities referred to in section 72 of the Local Government Act are not eligible to stand as candidates in municipal elections.
Candidates may be nominated by (a) political parties and (b) constituency associations. To become a candidate of a political party, the person must agree on this with the party in question. To become a candidate of a constituency association, the person must collect the signatures of at least ten (10) persons entitled to vote in the municipality in question in support of his or her candidacy. Further information on the nomination of candidates is provided by:
- registered political parties, and
- central municipal election boards, if the question concerns the establishment of a constituency association.
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