Sauli Niinistö


May 28, 2022

Sauli Väinämö Niinistö (born 24 August 1948 in Salo) is a Finnish politician with a Coalition background and the 12th President of the Republic of Finland. He took office on March 1, 2012, and was re-elected president in 2018. Niinistö, who worked as a lawyer, served in the Salo City Council from 1977 to 1992, as a Member of Parliament from 1987 to 2003 and 2007 to 2011, and as the Chairman of the National Coalition Party from 1994 to 2001. He was on Paavo Lipponen's first and second governments, first as Minister of Justice in 1995-1996 and then as Minister of Finance in 1996–2003. In the latter position, Niinistö was known for his strict financial discipline and work on the savings and cuts that followed the recession of the 1990s. During Niinistö's ministerial terms, Finland became a member of the European Economic and Monetary Union and the euro was introduced. Following his ministerial career, he became Deputy Governor of the European Investment Bank for the period 2003-2007. In 2007–2011, Niinistö was the Speaker of Parliament. During his political career, Niinistö has enjoyed widespread popularity across party lines. Niinistö was the Coalition Party's presidential candidate in the 2006 presidential election and again in the 2012 election, when he was elected president of the republic in the second round. He became the first Coalition President since Juho Kusti Paasikivi. In the 2018 election, Niinistö was nominated through an electoral association and won the election in the first round with more than 60 percent of the vote. In this way, he also became the first President of the Republic of Finland to be elected by direct universal suffrage in his first round. Russia's invasion of Ukraine led to a change in Finland's security environment in 2022. In May 2022, President Niinistö and Prime Minister Sanna Marin announced that the Finnish leadership had decided that Finland should apply for NATO membership.



Niinistö enrolled in the Salo Joint School as a student in 1967, graduated with a bachelor's degree in law from the University of Turku in 1974 and received the rank of deputy judge in 1977. From 1974 to 1975, he served as a nominee for the Kisko district. He was the Court of Appeal of the Turku Court of Appeal from 1976 to 1987 and was appointed Adviser to the Court of Appeal in 1994. In addition, he held his own law firm in Salo from 1978 to 1988.

Municipal policy

Niinistö began his political career by running in the 1976 municipal elections in Salo. He was elected to the Salo City Council and City Council. He served on the city council continuously until 1988, after which he continued as chairman of the city council from 1989 to 1992. In 1992, he left the city council.

Parliamentary work

Niinistö rose to parliament in the third attempt in the 1987 parliamentary elections. The Coalition's MP Ilkka Kanerva has said that he strongly doubted the newcomer and considered him a “typical one-year MP”. However, Niinistö strengthened his position in the Coalition Group in connection with the tax reform of Holker's government and co-operated with Kari Häkämies. As recent members of parliament, Niinistö and Häkämies and Heikki A. Ollila formed a trio called Tupu, Hupu and Lupu; sometimes Anssi Rauramo was included in the trio instead of Ollila. The men's offices were in the same corridor in Parliament and they sat on the same committees. In the 1991 elections, Niinistö was elected for a second term. From 1993 to 1995, he chaired the Committee on Constitutional Affairs. In 1993, Niinistö was elected chairman of the Association of Southwest Finland. The following year, he became chairman of the Coalition Party, which he continued until 2001. In the 1995 parliamentary elections, Niinistö received 18,946 votes in the southern constituency of Turku County, which was the highest number of personal votes in the election. He rose