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Vihreš Liitto

Vihreš Liitto, the Finnish Green League, is a political party in Finland. The current chairman is Osmo "Ode" Soininvaara. It was founded February 28th 1987, and registered as a political party in the next year. The political activity had begun already in the early 1980s, when environmental activists, feminists and other active groups began to campaign on Green issues in Finland. In 1995 it was the first European Green party to be part of a state-level Cabinet.

The first two parliamentary representatives were elected before the registration, in the elections of 1983. These were the first independent representatives of the Finnish parliament. In 1987 the number of seats rose to four, and in 1991 to 10. In the 1995 election the Green League received a total of 9 seats (out of 200), joined the coalition-cabinet led by the Social Democrats, and Pekka Haavisto became the minister of Environment and Development Aid. Thereby he became the first green minister in Europe. The Green League received 7.3% of the vote, and gained two additional seats in 1999, rising the total to 11. The Greens continued in the next coalition-cabinet, but resigned on May 26th, 2002, after the cabinet's decision to allow the construction of a new nuclear plant was accepted in the parliament. In 2003 the Green League received 8.0% of the vote, giving a total of 14 seats.

Two of the sixteen Finnish representatives in the European Parliament are Green: Heidi Hautala and Matti Wuori.

At the local level, Greens are an important factor in the largest cities of Finland. In the local election of 2000 the Greens had a 7.7% of the vote. In Helsinki (the capital) the Greens became the 2nd largest party with 23.5% of the vote. In several other cities the Greens achieved the position of the 3rd largest party.

Vihreš Liitto is no longer a protest party or an alternative movement, but the some argue it as a respectable option for young, well educated, urban voters in the south who cannot support SDP or the [[National Coalition Party (Finland)| Conservatives (Kokoomus)]]. Its blind spot are the rural countryside, particularly municipalities experiencing strong outward migration.

External links

Official homepage: