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Centre Party opens local election campaign: “Primary task of municipal gov’t is daily services”

The Centre Party of Finland, winner of the most votes in the 2015 parliamentary election, launched its municipal election campaign this weekend with a party cruise.

Juha Sipilä’s Centre Party prepares for local elections at sea. Image: Berislav Jurisic / Yle

Finnish Prime Minister and Centre Party Chair Juha Sipilä joined with his party representatives and supporters this weekend on Viking Line’s upgraded cruise ship M/S Gabriella. The cruise marked the start of the Centre Party’s municipal election campaign.

Their motto for the April 9 vote this year is Huolenpitoa huomennakin, loosely translated as “Taking care of things tomorrow, too”.

Sipilä says the local elections will bring support for the policy of renewal he has enacted thus far.

“We can no longer afford to dither when it comes to Finland’s problems. We have to move forward. Already before our last municipal elections, the Centre Party proposed a municipal and regional model to safeguard services for all Finns throughout the country in the future as well. We are now making that plan a reality,” he said. 

Local councillors may have less on their plate

Due to the possibility of a government coalition-proposed social and health care reform transferring associated municipal services to a system of larger regional administration starting in 2019, the Centre Party says the focus of local government moving forward should be on providing everyday services. The party lists equal day care rights and world-class primary education as two such services that municipal decision-makers should work to foster. 

The Centre Party of Finland has a strongly agrarian background, and rural areas and small towns continue to form the party's strongest base. 

In the 2012 local elections, the Centre Party took in the third-largest amount of votes, at 18.7 percent, behind the Social Democratic Party (19.6) and the centre-right National Coalition Party (21.9 percent).