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Nearly 9,000 local councillors take office, two months later than planned

More than 40 percent of local councillors are now women, a slight rise from the previous term.

Mies katselee kuntavaalien mainoksia Torniossa.
Looking at campaign posters in Tornio, northern Finland, in early June. Image: Juuso Stoor / Yle

Following local elections in June, the term of office of the new city and municipal councils officially began on Sunday. The councillors are to remain in office until May 2025.

This year's council term is off to a delayed start due to the coronavirus pandemic. Because of rising infections last spring, the government decided to postpone municipal elections from mid-April to mid-June.

A total of 8,859 delegates were elected, with nearly 40 percent of them new.

Women make up 40.2 percent of councillors, 1.2 percentage points more than in the previous election in 2017.

Turnout in the June municipal elections was just over 55 percent, down from nearly 59 percent in the preceding local elections.

Top 3 parties unchanged since 2017

The opposition National Coalition Party collected the most votes, 21.4 percent, besting its 20.7 percent win four years earlier.

This time Prime Minister Sanna Marin's Social Democratic Party earned the second largest bloc of local seats, 17.7 percent, followed by cabinet partners the Centre with 14.9 percent.

In fourth with 14.5 percent was the nationalist Finns Party, which saw its biggest increase in vote share and council seats ever. It is now the largest party in half a dozen municipal councils.

The ranking of the top five parties was the same as in 2017 except that the Greens and Finns Party switched places, with junior government partners the Greens slipping to fifth.

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