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Juha Sipilä government now Finland’s longest-serving

The administration led by outgoing prime minister Juha Sipilä became Finland’s longest in office on Saturday.

Jussi Niinistö, Hanna Mäntylä, Juha Sipilä, Anne Berner ja Olli Rehn
Juha Sipilä (centre) and other ministers being sworn in to office in May 2015. Image: Petteri Paalasmaa / AOP

On Saturday outgoing Centre Party chair and prime minister Juha Sipilä’s administration became Finland’s longest-serving as Social Democratic Chair Antti Rinne continues painstaking negotiations to form a new government following parliamentary elections in April.

As of Sunday, Sipilä’s government had served for 1,466 days – albeit partly in a caretaker role -- eclipsing the previous record held by Paavo Lipponen’s first and second administrations, 1,464 days.

Juha Sipilä became prime minister on 29 May, 2015 after leading the Centre Party to election victory in that year’s general election. At the time the former business leader was seen as a breath of fresh air who would bring the efficiency of private enterprise to the public sector.

Shortest term affected by illness

A series of eye-watering spending cuts and unpopular labour market reforms soon drew widespread condemnation and voters repudiated the Centre in both parliamentary and Europarliament elections this year, making Sipilä a one-term premier.

Just weeks prior to the general election, Sipilä tendered his government’s resignation on 8 May, after failing to push through the administration’s flagship reform to social and health care services.

Finland’s shortest-lived administration lasted from 8 August 1944 to 21 September 1944 and was led by National Coalition Party politician Anders Verner Hackzell. He was chosen to form a government of public servants and other officials with the aim of signing a peace treaty with the then-Soviet Union, however he never completed the negotiations due to illness.

The first government in Finland to exceed 1,000 days was that of Toivo Mikael Kivimäki of the National Progressive Party, which held office from 14 December 1932 to 7 October 1936, a total of 1,394 days.

See the full listing of Finnish governments and their terms in office here.

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