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Left Alliance
Finnish name Vasemmistoliitto
Swedish name Vänsterförbundet
Chairperson Paavo Arhinmäki
Secretary Sirpa Puhakka
Founded 1990
Merger of SKDL & SKP
Headquarters Viherniemenkatu 5 A
FI-00530 HELSINKI
Newspaper Kansan Uutiset
Youth wing Left Youth
Women's wing Left Women
Children's wing Democratic Union of Finnish Pioneers
Ideology Democratic socialism,
Eco-socialism
Political position Left-wing
International affiliation None
European affiliation Nordic Green Left Alliance / Party of the European Left
European Parliament Group European United Left–Nordic Green Left
Official colours Red, Green
Parliament:
European Parliament:
Website
www.vasemmistoliitto.fi
Politics of Finland
Political parties
Elections

The Left Alliance (Finnish: Vasemmistoliitto, Swedish: Vänsterförbundet) is a socialist political party in Finland. It was founded on the basis of the Finnish People's Democratic League and the Communist Party of Finland in 1990.

In parliamentary elections, Left Alliance share of the vote has been close to ten percent. The Left Alliance had three portfolios in the two cabinets of Paavo Lipponen (1995-2003). It is a member of the Nordic Green Left Alliance. The party currently has 17 MPs in the Finnish Eduskunta. The party lost its only remaining MEP in 2009 elections.

The party organ is weekly Kansan Uutiset.

Contents

History

The party was founded as a result of a merger between the Finnish People's Democratic League (SKDL - a socialist/communist party), Democratic Alternative (an orthodox pro-Soviet communist party), the Finnish Women's Democratic League (SNDL - a communist organization) and the Communist Party of Finland (SKP). The founding meeting was held in April 1990 in Helsinki, following the publishing of the April Declaration, which emphasised various ideals.

The party's short history has been characterised by internal disputes and bickering, as it was formed by people with very different views on society. There have been several defections from the Left Alliance to the Social Democratic Party and the newly formed Communist Party of Finland. In 2005, the party's former secretary and SAK's assistant head Matti Viialainen formed a society to promote merger between the two largest Finnish left-wing political parties, the Left Alliance and the Social Democrats. This caused an outrage within the Left Alliance, and Viialainen was condemned for wanting to break up the party.

In 2006, the party's leader Suvi-Anne Siimes announced her resignation from the post, and the party, as a result of long-standing feuds with the taistoist (orthodox pro-Soviet communist) section of the party. On May 13, 2006, Martti Korhonen was elected as the new party leader.

Ideology

The party is generally strongly anti-EU. More than three quarters opposed EU membership in the 1994 referendum.[1] Some in the party accept EU and others reject.

Facing declining popularity of communism, the party has attempted to associate itself more closely with what it officially calls "punavihreä" (English: red green) ideology, red referring to communism and socialism.

Chairs

Elections results

Parliament elections
Year MPs Votes
1991 19 274 639 10.08 %
1995 22 310 340 11.16 %
1999 20 291 675 10.88 %
2003 19 277 152 9.93 %
2007 17 244 296 8.82 %
    Local council elections
Year Councillors Votes
1992 1 319 310 757 11.67 %
1996 1 128 246 597 10.37 %
2000 1 027 219 671 9.88 %
2004 987 228 358 9.56 %
2008 833 224 170 8.78 %
European parliament elections
Year MEPs Votes
1996 2 236 490 10.51 %
1999 1 112 757 9.08 %
2004 1 151 291 9.13 %
2009 0 98 690 5.93 %
    Presidential elections
Year Candidate Votes
1994 Claes Andersson 122 820 3.8 %
2000 none n/a n/a
2006 supported Tarja Halonen n/a n/a

References

External links

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