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Constitution of Finland (1999, rev. 2011)

1The following text is from the Constitute Project, who through a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 Unported License, has generously made this content available for use for noncommercial purposes. Follow (right-click) the links and read the annotation to learn more. 1

2


3Chapter 1. Fundamental provisions

4Section 1. The Constitution

5Finland is a sovereign republic.

6The constitution of Finland is established in this constitutional act. The constitution shall guarantee the inviolability of human dignity and the freedom and rights of the individual and promote justice in society.

7Finland participates in international co-operation for the protection of peace and human rights and for the development of society. Finland is a Member State of the European Union (1112/2011, entry into force 1.3.2012).

8Section 2. Democracy and the rule of law

9The powers of the State in Finland are vested in the people, who are represented by the Parliament.

10Democracy entails the right of the individual to participate in and influence the development of society and his or her living conditions.

11The exercise of public powers shall be based on an Act. In all public activity, the law shall be strictly observed.

12Section 3. Parliamentarism and the separation of powers

13The legislative powers are exercised by the Parliament, which shall also decide on State finances.

14The governmental powers are exercised by the President of the Republic and the Government, the members of which shall have the confidence of the Parliament.

15The judicial powers are exercised by independent courts of law, with the Supreme Court and the Supreme Administrative Court as the highest instances.

16Section 4. The Territory of Finland

17The territory of Finland is indivisible. The national borders cannot be altered without the consent of the Parliament.

18Section 5. Finnish citizenship

19A child acquires Finnish citizenship at birth and through the citizenship of its parents, as provided in more detail by an Act. Citizenship may also be granted upon notification or application, subject to the criteria determined by an Act.

20No one can be divested of or released from his or her Finnish citizenship except on grounds determined by an Act and only if he or she is in possession of or will be granted the citizenship of another State.

21Chapter 2. Basic rights and liberties

22Section 6. Equality

23Everyone is equal before the law.

24No one shall, without an acceptable reason, be treated differently from other persons on the ground of sex, age, origin, language, religion, conviction, opinion, health, disability or other reason that concerns his or her person.

25Children shall be treated equally and as individuals and they shall be allowed to influence matters pertaining to themselves to a degree corresponding to their level of development.

26Equality of the sexes is promoted in societal activity and working life, especially in the determination of pay and the other terms of employment, as provided in more detail by an Act.

27Section 7. The right to life, personal liberty and integrity

28Everyone has the right to life, personal liberty, integrity and security.

29No one shall be sentenced to death, tortured or otherwise treated in a manner violating human dignity.

30The personal integrity of the individual shall not be violated, nor shall anyone be deprived of liberty arbitrarily or without a reason prescribed by an Act. A penalty involving deprivation of liberty may be imposed only by a court of law. The lawfulness of other cases of deprivation of liberty may be submitted for review by a court of law. The rights of individuals deprived of their liberty shall be guaranteed by an Act.

31Section 8. The principle of legality in criminal cases

32No one shall be found guilty of a criminal offence or be sentenced to a punishment on the basis of a deed, which has not been determined punishable by an Act at the time of its commission. The penalty imposed for an offence shall not be more severe than that provided by an Act at the time of commission of the offence.

33Section 9. Freedom of movement

34Finnish citizens and foreigners legally resident in Finland have the right to freely move within the country and to choose their place of residence.

35Everyone has the right to leave the country. Limitations on this right may be provided by an Act, if they are necessary for the purpose of safeguarding legal proceedings or for the enforcement of penalties or for the fulfillment of the duty of national defence.

36Finnish citizens shall not be prevented from entering Finland or deported or extradited or transferred from Finland to another country against their will. However, it may be laid down by an Act that due to a criminal act, for the purpose of legal proceedings, or in order to enforce a decision concerning the custody or care of a child, a Finnish citizen can be extradited or transferred to a country in which his or her human rights and legal protection are guaranteed. (802/2007, entry into force 1.10.2007)

37The right of foreigners to enter Finland and to remain in the country is regulated by an Act. A foreigner shall not be deported, extradited or returned to another country, if in consequence he or she is in danger of a death sentence, torture or other treatment violating human dignity.

38Section 10. The right to privacy

39Everyone's private life, honour and the sanctity of the home are guaranteed. More detailed provisions on the protection of personal data are laid down by an Act.

40The secrecy of correspondence, telephony and other confidential communications is inviolable.

41Measures encroaching on the sanctity of the home, and which are necessary for the purpose of guaranteeing basic rights and liberties or for the investigation of crime, may be laid down by an Act. In addition, provisions concerning limitations of the secrecy of communications which are necessary in the investigation of crimes that jeopardise the security of the individual or society or the sanctity of the home, at trials and security checks, as well as during the deprivation of liberty may be laid down by an Act.

42Section 11. Freedom of religion and conscience

43Everyone has the freedom of religion and conscience.

44Freedom of religion and conscience entails the right to profess and practice a religion, the right to express one's convictions and the right to be a member of or decline to be a member of a religious community. No one is under the obligation, against his or her conscience, to participate in the practice of a religion.

45Section 12. Freedom of expression and right of access to information

46Everyone has the freedom of expression. Freedom of expression entails the right to express, disseminate and receive information, opinions and other communications without prior prevention by anyone. More detailed provisions on the exercise of the freedom of expression are laid down by an Act. Provisions on restrictions relating to pictorial programmes that are necessary for the protection of children may be laid down by an Act.

47Documents and recordings in the possession of the authorities are public, unless their publication has for compelling reasons been specifically restricted by an Act. Everyone has the right of access to public documents and recordings.

48Section 13. Freedom of assembly and freedom of association

49Everyone has the right to arrange meetings and demonstrations without a permit, as well as the right to participate in them.

50Everyone has the freedom of association. Freedom of association entails the right to form an association without a permit, to be a member or not to be a member of an association and to participate in the activities of an association. The freedom to form trade unions and to organise in order to look after other interests is likewise guaranteed.

51More detailed provisions on the exercise of the freedom of assembly and the freedom of association are laid down by an Act.

52Section 14. Electoral and participatory rights

53Every Finnish citizen who has reached eighteen years of age has the right to vote in national elections and referendums. Specific provisions in this Constitution shall govern the eligibility to stand for office in national elections.

54Every Finnish citizen and every other citizen of the European Union resident in Finland, having attained eighteen years of age, has the right to vote in the European Parliamentary elections, as provided by an Act. (1112/2011, entry into force 1.3.2012).

55Every Finnish citizen and every foreigner permanently resident in Finland, having attained eighteen years of age, has the right to vote in municipal elections and municipal referendums, as provided by an Act. Provisions on the right to otherwise participate in municipal government are laid down by an Act.

56The public authorities shall promote the opportunities for the individual to participate in societal activity and to influence the decisions that concern him or her.

57Section 15. Protection of property

58The property of everyone is protected.

59Provisions on the expropriation of property, for public needs and against full compensation, are laid down by an Act.

60Section 16. Educational rights

61Everyone has the right to basic education free of charge. Provisions on the duty to receive education are laid down by an Act.

62The public authorities shall, as provided in more detail by an Act, guarantee for everyone equal opportunity to receive other educational services in accordance with their ability and special needs, as well as the opportunity to develop themselves without being prevented by economic hardship.

63The freedom of science, the arts and higher education is guaranteed.

64Section 17. Right to one's language and culture

65The national languages of Finland are Finnish and Swedish.

66The right of everyone to use his or her own language, either Finnish or Swedish, before courts of law and other authorities, and to receive official documents in that language, shall be guaranteed by an Act. The public authorities shall provide for the cultural and societal needs of the Finnish-speaking and Swedish-speaking populations of the country on an equal basis.

67The Sami, as an indigenous people, as well as the Roma and other groups, have the right to maintain and develop their own language and culture. Provisions on the right of the Sami to use the Sami language before the authorities are laid down by an Act. The rights of persons using sign language and of persons in need of interpretation or translation aid owing to disability shall be guaranteed by an Act.

68Section 18. The right to work and the freedom to engage in commercial activity

69Everyone has the right, as provided by an Act, to earn his or her livelihood by the employment, occupation or commercial activity of his or her choice. The public authorities shall take responsibility for the protection of the labour force.

70The public authorities shall promote employment and work towards guaranteeing for everyone the right to work. Provisions on the right to receive training that promotes employability are laid down by an Act.

71No one shall be dismissed from employment without a lawful reason.

72Section 19. The right to social security

73Those who cannot obtain the means necessary for a life of dignity have the right to receive indispensable subsistence and care.

74Everyone shall be guaranteed by an Act the right to basic subsistence in the event of unemployment, illness, and disability and during old age as well as at the birth of a child or the loss of a provider.

75The public authorities shall guarantee for everyone, as provided in more detail by an Act, adequate social, health and medical services and promote the health of the population. Moreover, the public authorities shall support families and others responsible for providing for children so that they have the ability to ensure the wellbeing and personal development of the children.

76The public authorities shall promote the right of everyone to housing and the opportunity to arrange their own housing.

77Section 20. Responsibility for the environment

78Nature and its biodiversity, the environment and the national heritage are the responsibility of everyone.

79The public authorities shall endeavour to guarantee for everyone the right to a healthy environment and for everyone the possibility to influence the decisions that concern their own living environment.

80Section 21. Protection under the law

81Everyone has the right to have his or her case dealt with appropriately and without undue delay by a legally competent court of law or other authority, as well as to have a decision pertaining to his or her rights or obligations reviewed by a court of law or other independent organ for the administration of justice.

82Provisions concerning the publicity of proceedings, the right to be heard, the right to receive a reasoned decision and the right of appeal, as well as the other guarantees of a fair trial and good governance shall be laid down by an Act.

83Section 22. Protection of basic rights and liberties

84The public authorities shall guarantee the observance of basic rights and liberties and human rights.

85Section 23. Basic rights and liberties in situations of emergency (1112/2011, entry into force 1.3.2012).

86Such provisional exceptions to basic rights and liberties that are compatible with Finland's international human rights obligations and that are deemed necessary in the case of an armed attack against Finland or in the event of other situations of emergency, as provided by an Act, which pose a serious threat to the nation may be provided by an Act or by a Government Decree to be issued on the basis of authorisation given in an Act for a special reason and subject to a precisely circumscribed scope of application. The grounds for provisional exceptions shall be laid down by an Act, however.

87Government Decrees concerning provisional exceptions shall without delay be submitted to the Parliament for consideration. The Parliament may decide on the validity of the Decrees.

88Chapter 3. The Parliament and the Representatives

89Section 24. Composition and term of the Parliament

90The Parliament is unicameral. It consists of two hundred Representatives, who are elected for a term of four years at a time.

91The term of the Parliament begins when the results of the parliamentary elections have been confirmed and lasts until the next parliamentary elections have been held.

92Section 25. Parliamentary elections

93The Representatives shall be elected by a direct, proportional and secret vote. Every citizen who has the right to vote has equal suffrage in the elections.

94For the parliamentary elections, the country shall be divided, on the basis of the number of Finnish citizens, into at least twelve and at most eighteen constituencies. In addition, the Åland Islands shall form their own constituency for the election of one Representative.

95The right to nominate candidates in parliamentary elections belongs to registered political parties and, as provided by an Act, to groups of persons who have the right to vote.

96More detailed provisions on the timing of parliamentary elections, the nomination of candidates, the conduct of the elections and the constituencies are laid down by an Act.

97Section 26. Extraordinary parliamentary elections

98The President of the Republic, in response to a reasoned proposal by the Prime Minister, and after having heard the parliamentary groups, and while the Parliament is in session, may order that extraordinary parliamentary elections shall be held. Thereafter, the Parliament shall decide the time when it concludes its work before the elections.

99After extraordinary parliamentary elections, the Parliament shall convene in session on the first day of the calendar month that begins ninety days after the election order, unless the Parliament has decided on an earlier date of convocation.

100Section 27. Eligibility and qualifications for the office of Representative

101Everyone with the right to vote and who is not under guardianship can be a candidate in parliamentary elections.

102A person holding military office cannot, however, be elected as a Representative.

103The Chancellor of Justice of the Government, the Parliamentary Ombudsman, a Justice of the Supreme Court or the Supreme Administrative Court, and the Prosecutor-General cannot serve as representatives. If a Representative is elected President of the Republic or appointed or elected to one of the aforesaid offices, he or she shall cease to be a Representative from the date of appointment or election. The office of a Representative shall cease also if the Representative forfeits his or her eligibility.

104Section 28. Suspension of the office of a Representative and release or dismissal from office

105The office of a Representative is suspended for the time during which the Representative is serving as a Member of the European Parliament. During that time a deputy of the Representative shall replace the Representative. The tenure of office of a Representative is suspended also for the duration of military service.

106The Parliament may grant a release from office for a Representative upon his or her request if it deems there is an acceptable reason for granting such release.

107If a Representative essentially and repeatedly neglects his or her duties as a Representative, the Parliament may, after having obtained the opinion of the Constitutional Law Committee, dismiss him or her from office permanently or for a given period by a decision supported by at least two thirds of the votes cast.

108If a person elected as a Representative has been sentenced by an enforceable judgement to imprisonment for a deliberate crime or to a punishment for an electoral offence, the Parliament may inquire whether he or she can be allowed to continue to serve as a Representative. If the offence is such that the accused does not command the trust and respect necessary for the office of a Representative, the Parliament may, after having obtained the opinion of the Constitutional Law Committee, declare the office of the Representative terminated by a decision supported by at least two thirds of the votes cast.

109Section 29. Independence of Representatives

110A Representative is obliged to follow justice and truth in his or her office. He or she shall abide by the Constitution and no other orders are binding on him or her.

111Section 30. Parliamentary immunity

112A Representative shall not be prevented from carrying out his or her duties as a Representative.

113A Representative shall not be charged in a court of law nor be deprived of liberty owing to opinions expressed by the Representative in the Parliament or owing to conduct in the consideration of a matter, unless the Parliament has consented to the same by a decision supported by at least five sixths of the votes cast.

114If a Representative has been arrested or detained, the Speaker of the Parliament shall be immediately notified of this. A Representative shall not be arrested or detained before the commencement of a trial without the consent of the Parliament, unless he or she is for substantial reasons suspected of having committed a crime for which the minimum punishment is imprisonment for at least six months.

115Section 31. Freedom of speech and conduct of Representatives

116Each Representative has the right to speak freely in the Parliament on all matters under consideration and on how they are dealt with.

117A Representative shall conduct himself or herself with dignity and decorum, and not behave offensively to another person. If a Representative is in breach of such conduct, the Speaker may point this out or prohibit the Representative from continuing to speak. The Parliament may caution a Representative who has repeatedly breached the order or suspend him or her from sessions of the Parliament for a maximum of two weeks.

118Section 32. Conflict of interest

119A Representative is disqualified from consideration of and decision-making in any matter that concerns him or her personally. However, he or she may participate in the debate on such matters in a plenary session of the Parliament. In addition, a Representative shall be disqualified from the consideration in a Committee of a matter pertaining to the inspection of his or her official duties.

120Chapter 4. Parliamentary activity

121Section 33. Parliamentary session

122The Parliament convenes in session every year at a time decided by the Parliament, after which the President of the Republic shall declare the parliamentary session open.

123The parliamentary session continues until the time when the Parliament convenes for the following parliamentary session. However, the last parliamentary session of an electoral term shall continue until the Parliament decides to conclude its work. Thereafter, the President shall declare the work of the Parliament finished for that electoral term. However, the Speaker of the Parliament has the right to reconvene the Parliament, when necessary, before new elections have been held.

124Section 34. The Speaker and the Speaker's Council

125The Parliament elects from among its members a Speaker and two Deputy Speakers for each parliamentary session.

126The election of the Speaker and the Deputy Speakers is conducted by secret ballot. The Representative receiving more than one half of the votes cast is deemed elected. If no one has received the required majority of the votes cast in the first two ballots, the Representative receiving the most votes in the third ballot is deemed elected.

127The Speaker, the Deputy Speakers and the chairpersons of parliamentary Committees form the Speaker's Council. The Speaker's Council issues instructions on the organisation of parliamentary work and decides, as specifically provided in this Constitution or in the Parliament's Rules of Procedure, on the procedures to be followed in the consideration of matters in the Parliament. The Speaker's Council may put forward initiatives for the enactment or amendment of Acts governing parliamentary officials or the Parliament's Rules of Procedure, as well as proposals for other provisions governing the work of the Parliament.

128Section 35. Committees of the Parliament

129For each electoral term, the Parliament appoints the Grand Committee, the Constitutional Law Committee, the Foreign Affairs Committee, the Finance Committee, the Audit Committee and the other standing Committees provided in the Parliament’s Rules of Procedure. In addition, the Parliament appoints Committees ad hoc for the preparation of, or inquiry into, a given matter. (596/2007, entry into force 1.6.2007)

130The Grand Committee shall have twenty-five members. The Constitutional Law Committee, the Foreign Affairs Committee and the Finance Committee shall have at least seventeen members each. The other standing Committees shall have at least eleven members each. In addition, each Committee shall have the necessary number of alternate members.

131A Committee has a quorum when at least two thirds of its members are present, unless a higher quorum has been specifically required for a given matter.

132Section 36. Other bodies and delegates to be elected by the Parliament

133The Parliament elects the trustees for monitoring the administration and operations of the Social Insurance Institution, as provided in more detail by an Act.

134The Parliament elects the other necessary bodies, as provided in this Constitution, in another Act or in the Parliament's Rules of Procedure.

135The election of the parliamentary delegates in a body established under an international agreement or in another international body shall be governed by an Act or by the Parliament's Rules of Procedure.

136Section 37. Election of the parliamentary organs

137The Committees and the other parliamentary organs are appointed during the first parliamentary session of an electoral term for the duration of that term, unless otherwise provided in this Constitution, or in the Parliament's Rules of Procedure or in the specific rules of procedure laid down by the Parliament for a given parliamentary organ. However, on the proposal of the Speaker's Council, the Parliament may agree to the reappointment of a committee or organ during the electoral term.

138The Parliament elects the members of the Committees and the other organs. Unless the election is by consensus, it is held by proportional vote.

139Section 38. Parliamentary Ombudsman

140The Parliament appoints for a term of four years a Parliamentary Ombudsman and two Deputy Ombudsmen, who shall have outstanding knowledge of law. A Deputy Ombudsman may have a substitute as provided in more detail by an Act. The provisions on the Ombudsman apply, in so far as appropriate, to a Deputy Ombudsman and Deputy Ombudsman’s substitute. (802/2007, entry into force 1.10.2007)

141The Parliament, after having obtained the opinion of the Constitutional Law Committee, may, for extremely weighty reasons, dismiss the Ombudsman before the end of his or her term by a decision supported by at least two thirds of the votes cast.

142Section 39. How matters are initiated for consideration in the Parliament

143Matters are initiated for consideration in the Parliament on the basis of a Government proposal or a motion submitted by the Government or a motion submitted by a Representative, or in another manner provided in this Constitution or in the Parliament's Rules of Procedure.

144Representatives may put forward:

145 1.Legislative motions, containing a proposal for the enactment of an Act;

146 2.Budgetary motions, containing a proposal for an appropriation to be included in the budget or a supplementary budget, or for another budgetary decision; and

147 3.Petitionary motions, containing a proposal for the drafting of a law or for taking other measures.

148Section 40. Preparation of matters

149Government proposals, motions by Representatives, reports submitted to the Parliament and other matters, as provided for in this Constitution or in the Parliament's Rules of Procedure, shall be prepared in Committees before their final consideration in a plenary session of the Parliament.

150Section 41. Consideration of matters in plenary session

151A legislative proposal and a proposal on the Parliament's Rules of Procedure are considered in plenary session in two readings. However, a legislative proposal left in abeyance and an Act left unconfirmed are considered in one reading only. Other matters are considered in the plenary session in a single reading.

152Decisions in plenary session are made by a simple majority of the votes cast, unless specifically otherwise provided in this Constitution. In the event of a tie, the decision is made by drawing lots, except where a qualified majority is required for the adoption of a motion. More detailed provisions on voting procedure are laid down in the Parliament's Rules of Procedure.

153Section 42. Duties of the Speaker in a plenary session

154The Speaker convenes the plenary sessions, presents the matters on the agenda, oversees the debate and ensures that the Constitution is complied with in the consideration of matters in plenary session.

155The Speaker shall not refuse to include a matter on the agenda or a motion in a vote, unless he or she considers it to be contrary to the Constitution, another Act or a prior decision of the Parliament. In this event, the Speaker shall explain the reasons for the refusal. If the Parliament does not accept the decision of the Speaker, the matter is referred to the Constitutional Law Committee, which shall without delay rule whether the action of the Speaker has been correct.

156The Speaker does not participate in debates or votes in plenary sessions.

157Section 43. Interpellations

158A group of at least twenty Representatives may address an interpellation to the Government or to an individual Minister on a matter within the competence of the Government or the Minister. The interpellation shall be replied to in a plenary session of the Parliament within fifteen days of the date when the interpellation was brought to the attention of the Government.

159At the conclusion of the consideration of the interpellation, a vote of confidence shall be taken by the Parliament, provided that a motion of no confidence in the Government or the Minister has been put forward during the debate.

160Section 44. Statements and reports of the Government

161The Government may present a statement or report to the Parliament on a matter relating to the governance of the country or its international relations.

162At the conclusion of the consideration of a statement, a vote of confidence in the Government or a Minister shall be taken, provided that a motion of no confidence in the Government or the Minister has been put forward during the debate. No decision on confidence in the Government or its Member shall be made in the consideration of a report.

163Section 45. Questions, announcements and debates

164Each Representative has the right to address questions to a Minister on matters within the Minister's competence. Provisions on the questions and the answers are laid down in the Parliament's Rules of Procedure.

165The Prime Minister or a Minister designated by the Prime Minister may present an announcement to the Parliament on any topical issue.

166A debate on any topical issue may be held in a plenary session, as provided in more detail in the Parliament's Rules of Procedure.

167The Parliament makes no decisions on matters referred to in this section. In the consideration of these matters, exceptions may be made to the provision in section 31(1) on the right to speak.

168Section 46. Reports to be submitted to the Parliament

169The Government shall submit to the Parliament annual reports on governmental activities and on the measures undertaken in response to parliamentary decisions, as well as annual reports on State finances and adherence to the budget. (1112/2011, entry into force 1.3.2012)

170Other reports shall be submitted to the Parliament, as provided in this Constitution, or in another Act or in the Parliament's Rules of Procedure.

171Section 47. Parliamentary right to receive information

172The Parliament has the right to receive from the Government the information it needs in the consideration of matters. The appropriate Minister shall ensure that Committees and other parliamentary organs receive without delay the necessary documents and other information in the possession of the authorities.

173A Committee has the right to receive information from the Government or the appropriate Ministry on a matter within its competence. The Committee may issue a statement to the Government or the Ministry on the basis of the information.

174A Representative has the right to information which is in the possession of authorities and which is necessary for the performance of the duties of the Representative, in so far as the information is not secret or it does not pertain to a State budget proposal under preparation.

175In addition, the right of the Parliament to information on international affairs is governed by the provisions included elsewhere in this Constitution.

176Section 48. Right of attendance of Ministers, the Ombudsman and the Chancellor of Justice

177Minister has the right to attend and to participate in debates in plenary sessions of the Parliament even if the Minister is not a Representative. A Minister may not be a member of a Committee of the Parliament. When performing the duties of the President of the Republic under section 59, a Minister may not participate in parliamentary work.

178The Parliamentary Ombudsman and the Chancellor of Justice of the Government may attend and participate in debates in plenary sessions of the Parliament when their reports or other matters taken up on their initiative are being considered.

179Section 49. Continuity of consideration

180Consideration of matters unfinished in one parliamentary session continues in the following parliamentary session, unless parliamentary elections have been held in the meantime. When necessary, the consideration of an international matter pending in the Parliament may continue in the parliamentary session following parliamentary elections. (1112/2011, entry into force 1.3.2012)

181Section 50. Public nature of parliamentary activity

182The plenary sessions of the Parliament are open to the public, unless the Parliament for a very weighty reason decides otherwise for a given matter. The Parliament publishes its papers, as provided in more detail in the Parliament's Rules of Procedure.

183The meetings of Committees are not open to the public. However, a Committee may open its meeting to the public during the time when it is gathering information for the preparation of a matter. The minutes and other related documents of the Committees shall be made available to the public, unless a Committee for a compelling reason decides otherwise for a given matter.

184The members of a Committee shall observe the level of confidentiality considered necessary by the Committee. However, when considering matters relating to Finland's international relations or European Union affairs, the members of a Committee shall observe the level of confidentiality considered necessary by the Foreign Affairs Committee or the Grand Committee after having heard the opinion of the Government.

185Section 51. Languages used in parliamentary work

186The Finnish or Swedish languages are used in parliamentary work.

187The Government and the other authorities shall submit the documents necessary for a matter to be taken up for consideration in the Parliament both in Finnish and Swedish. Likewise, the parliamentary replies and communications, the reports and statements of the Committees, as well as the written proposals of the Speaker's Council, shall be written in Finnish and Swedish.

188Section 52. Parliament's Rules of Procedure and other instructions and rules of procedure

189More detailed provisions on the procedures to be followed in the Parliament, as well as on parliamentary organs and parliamentary work are issued in the Parliament's Rules of Procedure. The Parliament's Rules of Procedure shall be adopted in plenary session following the procedure for the consideration of legislative proposals and published in the Statutes of Finland.

190The Parliament may issue instructions for the detailed arrangement of internal administration, for elections to be carried out by the Parliament and for other parliamentary work. In addition, the Parliament may issue rules of procedure for the organs appointed by it.

191Section 53. Referendum and citizens’ initiative (new title, 1112/2011, entry into force 1.3.2012)

192The decision to organise a consultative referendum is made by an Act, which shall contain provisions on the time of the referendum and on the choices to be presented to the voters.

193Provisions concerning the conduct of a referendum are laid down by an Act.

194At least fifty thousand Finnish citizens entitled to vote have the right to submit an initiative for the enactment of an Act to the Parliament, as provided by an Act. (1112/2011, entry into force 1.3.2012)

195Chapter 5. The President of the Republic and the Government

196Section 54. Election of the President of the Republic

197The President of the Republic is elected by a direct vote for a term of six years. The President shall be a native-born Finnish citizen. The same person may be elected President for no more than two consecutive terms of office.

198The candidate who receives more than half of the votes cast in the election shall be elected President. If none of the candidates has received a majority of the votes cast, a new election shall be held between the two candidates who have received most votes. In the new election, the candidate receiving the most votes is elected President. If only one presidential candidate has been nominated, he or she is appointed President without an election.

199The right to nominate a candidate in the election for President is held by any registered political party from whose candidate list at least one Representative was elected to the Parliament in the most recent parliamentary elections, as well as by any group of twenty thousand persons who have the right to vote. The time of the election and the procedure in the election of a President are laid down by an Act.

200Section 55. The presidential term

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