Centre Party (Finland)

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Template:Infobox Finnish Political Party

The Centre Party (Finnish: Suomen Keskusta) is a centrist political party in Finland. It is one of the three largest political parties in the country, along with the Social Democrats (SDP) and the Coalition Party. Currently the Centre Party has the most seats, 55 out of 200, in the Finnish Parliament.

The party is a member of Liberal International and the European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party and subscribed to the liberal manifestos of these organisations. Its members in the European Parliament are member of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe.

However, it can be disputed whether it takes the position of a liberal party in the Finnish spectrum, as it is among the most conservative in many issues especially by the veteran politicians, as well as the most pro-CAP party being the old agrarian party. A Finnish aphorism states that "there is such a thing as extreme centre." According to its proponents, the party might still evolve into a undisputable liberal party, but the party most outspoken explicitly about liberalism is still the Swedish People's Party, whereas the conservative Coalition Party hosts also proponents of the free market. Additionally, the Green League is among the most liberal groups, as far as social liberalism is considered.

The party was founded in 1908 by Santeri Alkio and was then known as the Agrarian Party or Maalaisliitto. Nowadays the farmers have only a small portion of 5% of the votes given to the party and the Centre Party has the widest range in support when it comes to the professions. However, even today rural Finland and small towns are the strongest support area for the Centre Party, although it has been aiming toward a breakthrough in the big southern cities as well. The current Prime Minister of Finland is Matti Vanhanen, who succeeded Anneli Jäätteenmäki.

Although the party has an ideological background in the 19th century fennoman movement, the party is rather the direct continuation of the Estate of the Peasantry in the pre-1906 diets (see: the Riksdag of the Estates).

Contents

Prominent party leaders

Party Chairmen since 1945

See also

External links

fr:Parti du Centre (Finlande) fi:Suomen Keskusta sv:Centern i Finland

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