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National Coalition Party (Finland)

The National Coalition Party or Kansallinen Kokoomus is a political party in Finland. The party was founded on December 9, 1918, chiefly on the basis of the fennoman "Old-finnish party". Today, the party is strongly Europhile.

Although the party is clearly rightist it harbours several different political currents, including social reformism, conservatism, and liberalism. It is the one party most suspicious of the governmental bureaucracies and the political process interfering with business, championing the transfer of power above the parties, letting the entrepenourial spirit flow freely. As regards traditional morality and established family institutions, it has had trouble reconciling staunch support for traditional family values and the liberal views of some of it's members.

Up to the Bolshevist revolution in Russia, November 7th 1917, and the German Empire's dissolution, November 9th 1918, there existed two fennoman factions: one leaning at Imperial Russia, and one leaning at Imperial Germany. After 1917 most of them could unite in the National Coalition Party, and further tensions hovered around the degree of scepticism towards the Entente, the League of Nations, Democracy, multi party systems and Parliamentarism. Kokoomus was the party having the closest ties with the emerging Lapua Movement.

The party suffered division in the 1930s, in connection with the domestic Lapua Movement and the international fascism, when the Patriotic People's Movement (IKL) was formed of members disapproving Paasikivi's outspoken pro-democratic line. IKL was later banned. Paasikivi's democracy-line was taken up again by the party leader Edwin Linkomies, Prime Minister 1943-1944 during the Continuation War, who however lost the party-group's confidence and wasn't re-elected as chairman.

A minor division in the 1950s led to the formation of the Christian Democrats.

The current party chairman is Ville Itšlš, who in the general elections in 2003 obtained the second highest count of individual votes (21.422) of all candidates.

Prominent party leaders