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Government and ministries Media

Election of the President of the Republic 2012

Ministry of Justice
15.12.2011 9.45
Press release -

In Finland, the President of the Republic is elected by a direct vote, if necessary in two rounds. The election day in the first election is Sunday, 22 January 2012.

If none of the candidates receives a majority of the votes cast in the first round, a new election is held on Sunday, 5 February. The second election is held between the two candidates who received most votes in the first election. The candidate receiving most votes in the second round is elected President. The presidential term is six years.

A total of 8 candidates have been nominated, all of them by Parliamentary parties. Every Finnish citizen, who has reached the age of 18 not later than on the day of the first election, is eligible to vote. The number of eligible voters is around 4,4 million.

Those entitled to vote and whose address is registered in the Population Information System receive two identical polling cards (notices of right to vote) by post from the Population Register Centre. One of these cards is used in the first round and the other in the possible second round.

Enclosed with the polling card is also a list of the advance polling stations in the voter's own electoral district. Information on the addresses and opening hours of the advance polling stations is available on the Elections website of the Ministry of Justice at It is also possible to get information on the advance polling stations by calling the Ministry of Justice's election information service number 0800 9 4770 (for information in Finnish) or 0800 9 4771 (for information in Swedish). The information service is free of charge.

Voters must prove their identity

Voters must provide proof of their identity when voting. The identity card must have a photo on it. On election day, voters may cast their votes only at the polling station mentioned in the polling card sent to them in advance. On election day the polling stations are open between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m.

Advance voting is possible at any of the general advance polling stations in Finland or abroad. Advance voting in the first round begins in Finland on 11 January and ends on 17 January. Advance voting in the second round begins in Finland on 25 January and ends on 31 January. Some of the advance polling stations are open only on certain days during the advance voting period.

Advance voting is possible abroad in 255 Finnish embassies. Advance voting is arranged abroad in the first round from 11 to 14 January and in the second round from 25 to 28 January. However, at several advance polling stations abroad the voting period is shorter than this.

Further information:
Arto Jääskeläinen, Director/Electoral Administration, tel. +358 9 1606 7572
Jussi Aaltonen, Ministerial Adviser, tel. +358 9 1606 7620
E-mail: [email protected]

Further information and the election results are available on the Elections website at

- Information on the presidential elections in different languages
- Information on the advance polling stations and their opening hours
- Information on the candidates and their candidate numbers will be published on the website on 15 December
- Election results on the evening of the election day after 8 p.m.

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