Eligibility and Nomination of Candidates in Parliamentary Elections

Who is eligible?

According to the Constitution of Finland everyone with the right to vote and who is not under guardianship can be a candidate in parliamentary elections. A person holding military office cannot, however, be elected as a Representative. The Chancellor of Justice of the Government, the Parliamentary Ombudsman, a Justice of the Supreme Court or the Supreme Administrative Court, and the Prosecutor-General cannot serve as representatives without resigning from their office.

Eligibility in parliamentary elections is not bound to the candidate's home municipality so a person may be nominated as a candidate in any electoral district, however, only in one electoral district.

How are the candidates nominated?

In parliamentary elections candidates may be nominated by

1) political parties which have been entered into the party register kept by the Ministry of Justice and
2) constituency associations established by at least 100 persons entitled to vote.

Each political party may nominate at most 14 candidates in every electoral district or, if more than 14 representatives are elected from the district, at most the number of candidates elected. Parties may form electoral alliances, but the number of candidates nominated by an alliance may not exceed the maximum number of candidates for a single party.

A constituency association for the nomination of a candidate may be established by at least 100 persons entitled to vote in the electoral district. Such associations may form joint lists containing at most 14 candidates or, if more than 14 representatives are elected from the district, at most the number of candidates elected.

When and how should the candidate application be submitted?

A party or constituency association must submit its list of candidates (candidate application) to the constituency electoral committee of the district where the candidates are to be nominated not later than 40 days before election day before 4 p.m. The same deadline applies to notices of electoral alliances or joint lists.

Confirmation of the nomination of candidates

The constituency electoral committees examine the candidate lists, especially whether the candidates are eligible, and confirm the nomination of candidates 31 days before election day. The committees also compile master lists of candidates in which the candidates of all parties, constituency associations and joint lists are enumerated in an order drawn by lot. The master list contains the following information on the candidates: number (beginning with number 2), name, municipality of residence and title, profession or position. The master lists of candidates are displayed i.a. in the polling booths.