STATUTES OF THE LEFT ALLIANCE
Adopted at the Party Congress of 12 June 2022
The name of the Party is Vasemmistoliitto rp in Finnish and Vänsterförbundet rp in Swedish. In this translation of Statutes, the Party is referred to by an English-language translation of these names, “Left Alliance,” or as the “Party.” The domicile of the Party is the city of Helsinki, and its operational area is the whole country of Finland.
THE PURPOSE OF THE PARTY
The Left Alliance is a political party that works for social justice and sustainable development, also promoting democratic citizenship and advancing equitable, financially secure opportunities for all to participate in self-development and democratic decision-making and live full, complete lives. The Party’s membership is open to all who support a free, democratic, tolerant, and non-violent society and accept the Party’s Statutes.
The Party’s foundational principles for social development are humanism, left-wing values, and the traditions of the European labour movement. The Party works for the actualization of stable peace and global and intergenerational solidarity.
The party’s members and supporters work towards the implementation of these societal reformation goals nationally, municipally, and at other social levels of decision-making.
The Party’s ideological foundations and principles are expressed in its programme.
To actualize its purpose the party shall
– promote people’s organizing as Left Alliance members everywhere in the country and in different professional fields,
– support and promote co-operation between Left Alliance members and supporters at different parts of the country and in different professional fields,
– nominate candidates for national, regional, local, and other elections and referendums and organise the Party’s joint general election campaigns,
– participate in political and other social debates as a party and through its representatives, as well as support the active participation of its members in labour unions and other NGOs and civic activities,
– proactively communicate its objectives and activities both externally and internally to its own membership, organise general meetings and trainings and conduct publishing and publishing-related activities,
– support left-wing women’s, youth, culture, and social and leisure time activities,
– support people’s opportunities to have influence regarding their living conditions and living environment by encouraging their participation in civic movements,
– encourage cooperation and joint activities with other parties and organisations with similar objectives,
– cooperate internationally with parties and movements promoting similar objectives, and the international coalitions such parties and movements might form.
To support its activities the Party may own real estate, printing presses, meeting rooms, shares, bonds, and other securities. It may also, subject to appropriate authorisation, conduct radio and TV broadcasting and a tourism, accommodation, and catering company, operate theatre, bookshop, cinema, bingo, and kiosk activities, and organise lotteries and fundraisers. The Party may also receive donations and wills and establish and manage foundations.
The Party takes its minutes in Finnish but uses both Finnish and Swedish in its activities.
THE PARTY’S ORGANISATIONAL STRUCTURE AND MEMBERSHIP
The party’s organizational structure has three levels: the local level, the district level, and the central level. Locally there are the basic and municipal organisations. These form district organisations, whose areas of their activities is determined by the Party Board. Together all these form the national party, Left Alliance, which acts as the central organisation.
In these Statutes, the basic, municipal and district organisations are called party organisations. Only registered associations that accept the Party’s Programme and Statutes and are approved by the Party Board may operate as party organisations. The registration of a party organisation in the Finnish Register of Associations can only be done after approval by the Party Board.
The Party may also have national federated organisations with their own independent organisational structures, membership registers and Statutes. The member organisations of the federated organisations are not members of the Party, and neither are the personal members of federated organisations and the personal members of the member organisations of the federated organisations, unless they have been admitted as Party members as described in Article 6(3) or Article 7(1).
Only the following organisations may apply as federated organisations solely on their own decision: the Left Youth and the Democratic Union of Finnish Pioneers. The federated organisations are not party organisations.
Membership of the Left Alliance’s basic and municipal organisations is open to all Finnish citizens and resident foreigners aged 15 or over who accept the Party’s purpose and programme, are willing to work for the Party’s goals and fulfil their membership obligations in accordance with the Statutes.
An individual member can only be a member of one basic or municipal organisation.
The Party keeps a register of members of the basic organisations and personal members of the municipal organisations. This record includes their personal data and paid membership fees. For foreign members, the register also includes their nationality and place of residence in Finland.
The Party’s membership may include registered associations and direct personal members. The members of the Party are admitted and dismissed by the Party Board, while the federated organisations are admitted and dismissed by the Party Council.
Contingent on application, the Party Board may accept a registered association (basic organisation) formed by Finnish citizens or foreigners domiciled in Finland and operating according to the standardized Statutes approved by the Left Alliance Party Board as a member organisation of the Party, or alternatively a registered organisation (municipal or district organisation) formed by such associations. The Party Council may, contingent on application, admit the Left Youth or the Democratic Union of Finnish Pioneers as federated organisations of the Party.
Likewise, the Party Board may also, contingent on application, accept a Finnish citizen or a foreigner domiciled in Finland that accepts the Party’s Statutes, purpose, and principles, wants to work for the Party’s objectives and fulfils their membership obligations in accordance with the Statutes, as a direct personal member of the Party.
Organisations or persons that belong to other parties cannot become members of the Party.
Regarding member organisations:
1) a basic organisation is an association with only personal members from a certain locality, profession, or educational institution, approved by the Party Board as a member of the Party;
2) a municipal organisation is an association comprising one or more municipalities, formed by basic organisations and personal members, and approved as a member of the Party by the Party Board. The municipal organisation’s area of operations is formed by the municipality or municipalities where the basic organisations making up the municipal organisation operate.
3) a district organisation is an association covering the territory of a constituency or a region, formed by the basic and municipal organisations of the Party based in the said area and by individual members and approved as a member by the Party Board. The Party Board decrees the areas of operation for district organisations.
4) a federated organisation is a nationally active organisation with their own organisational structures, membership register and Statutes. Members of the federated organisations or the member organisations of the federated organisations are not, by this virtue, direct members of the Left Alliance.
The Party’s member associations and direct personal members are entitled to participate in the Party’s decision-making process, submit initiatives and proposals to the Party, and be informed on the decisions made by the Party Council and the Party Board and on the Party’s activities and the general situation.
The boards of the basic organisations and the boards of the municipal organisations shall decide on the admission of new members to the Party. If a new member’s application has not been approved at the meeting following receipt of the application for membership, the applicant may submit their application for membership to the meeting of the said organisation for an ultimate decision. If an application for membership is rejected, the reasons for this shall be issued in writing.
If a member of a party organisation agrees to stand as a candidate on a list competing with the Party in national, regional or municipal elections, otherwise takes part in political activities that damage or go against a party organisation or the Party, or otherwise acts in a material way against the Party’s fundamental principles or significantly impedes the activities of a party organisation or the Party through fraudulent conduct within or outside a party organisation, they may be expelled from the Party. The decision on this shall be made by the party organisation’s Board after giving the member in question an opportunity to explain their position. The explanation may be given either orally or in writing, whichever option the member threatened with expulsion prefers.
A request for organisational disciplinary action may also be submitted by the Party’s Board on the grounds mentioned in paragraph 2.
The Party Board may expel a party organisation from the Party on the grounds mentioned in the second (2) paragraph of this Article and on the grounds of a refusal to implement the disciplinary requirements of the third (3) paragraph. Before expulsion, the expelled instance shall be given an opportunity to explain their conduct.
A member of a basic or municipal organisation or a direct personal member of the Party may resign from the Party by giving written notice to the Chairperson of the organisation which has accepted them, or to its board or committee. This notice shall then be entered to the minutes.
An organisation that belongs to the Party may not split from the Party or dissolve itself, if at least three of its members object at an organisation meeting. The same applies to a district organisation that wishes to split from the Party or dissolve itself.
The Party Council may expel a federated organisation of the Left Alliance on the grounds for expulsion set out in this Article. Federated organisations may also withdraw from the Party by their own decision, notifying the Party Board of this in writing.
Individual members of the Party and its member associations pay a membership fee, the amount of which for a certain year is decided at the regular autumn meeting of the Party Council held in the autumn of the previous year.
The membership fee includes membership fees for the Party, the district organisation, and the basic organisation. The share going to each of these organisations is decreed at the same time as the amount of the membership fee is decided. The membership fee for a direct personal member of the Party shall be paid in full to the Party, and the membership fee paid by the individual members of basic and municipal organisations also acts as the membership fee paid by the member associations to the Party.
The Party Council shall decide the membership fee of the federated organisations and the collection of this fee.
The Party collects the membership fee via bank transactions. The membership fee is paid annually as a lump sum and is valid until the end of March of the year following the year of payment. The membership fees are collected twice a year. The first payment is made in the first half of the year and the second in the second half of the year. In addition to new members, only those old members who have not paid their fees for the first half of the year shall participate in the second collection.
Party organisations may also levy an additional fee from their members in accordance with their Statutes and their own decisions.
Upon application, the board of the basic organisation or municipal organisation may exempt a member from paying membership fees for a limited period and for a special reason, such as long-term unemployment.
A member who has participated in the organisational activities of the labour movement for a long time with distinction is entitled to a permanent exemption from membership fees by decision of their association. The Party Board shall maintain a separate list of such exempt members.
Exempt members or members temporarily exempted from their membership fee payments have the same membership rights as the members who have paid their membership fee.
If a member of a basic or municipal organisation or a direct personal member of the Party has failed to pay the membership fee for two (2) consecutive calendar years and neither pays the membership fee in the next arrears period, the Party Board may expel the membership association member/the direct personal member. An association that is a member in the Party must have at least three paid members. If it doesn’t, the association may be expelled from the Party.
Registered and unregistered associations, committees and groups of persons that are not members of the Party may also participate in the Party’s operations if approved by the Party Board. In these Statutes, these are referred to as task groups.
A task group, if they have expressed their willingness to cooperate with the Party and have been approved by the Party Board as a Party’s task group, may submit initiatives to the Party Council and the Party Board.
The highest bodies within the Party’s organisational structure are the general meetings of the basic organisations, the general meetings of the municipal organisations, the meetings of the district organisations, the meetings of the Party Council, and the Party Congress.
As provided in their Statutes, the annual meeting of a basic organisation elects the board of the basic organisation, the annual meeting of a municipal organisation elects the board of the municipal organisation, the annual meeting of a district organisation elects the board of the district organisation, and the regular Party Congress elects the Party Board. These function as the boards of their respective organisations within the meaning of the Finnish Associations Act. The members of these boards, as well as the members of the Party Council, must also be members of the Party.
If only one basic association exists within a municipality, the board of this association shall also perform the duties of the board of the municipal association within the municipal area, and the basic association itself must likewise accordingly perform the duties of the municipal association. In Helsinki, the district organisation also acts as the municipal organisation.
The highest decision-making power of the Party shall be exercised by the Party Congress, except regarding matters which, according to these Statutes, are the responsibility of the Party Council or the Party Board and regarding matters which, according to these Statutes, are resolved by a membership ballot.
The regular Party Congress is held every three years. The Party Board shall decide the place and time of the meeting. At least six months’ notice of a regular Party Congress shall be given in a special journal or by sending a letter to the party organisations and the direct personal members of the Party. The notice of the meeting in the sense meant in the Associations Act, specifying the matters to be discussed, must be published at least two months before the meeting.
An extraordinary Party Congress must be held when the regular Party Congress so decides or when at least 1/2 of the members of the Party Council or at least 1/3 of the district organisations request it in writing from the Party Board for a specific, separately announced matter, or when the Party Board deems it necessary. In district organisations, the decision is done by the district organisation’s general meeting. The above provisions shall apply mutatis mutandis to the regular Party Congress regarding the announcement and invitation process to an extraordinary Party Congress, with the difference that the time limits shall be half as short.
In urgent cases, the Party Council may decide to hold an extraordinary Party Congress with the delegates elected at the previous convention. The notice of the meeting shall be published in a magazine at least two weeks before the meeting, stating the matters to be processed.
Initiatives can be submitted to the Party Congress by a member of a basic or municipal organisation, a direct personal member, a basic organisation, a municipal organisation, a district organisation, the Party Board, the Party Council, the Left Alliance Parliamentary Group, independent task groups approved by the Party Board, the Left Women and the Landsstyrelsen group for Swedish-speaking members (both unregistered special organisations), the Left Youth, the Left Students, and the Democratic Union of Finnish Pioneers.
Initiatives for the Party Congress must be submitted to the Party Board at least four (4) months prior to the beginning of the Party Congress. The Party Board must opine on the initiatives to be placed on the agenda of the Party Congress if they are received before the deadline. This opinion shall include proposals for decisions to be taken by the Party Congress in response to the initiatives.
The Party Congress initiatives and the opinions of the Party Board on the initiatives shall be delivered to the Party Congress delegates and party organisations at least one (1) month before the beginning of the Party Congress.
Every Party Congress delegate elected according to these Statutes shall have the right to address, make initiatives at and vote at the Party Congress.
The members of the Party Board and the Chairperson of the Left Alliance parliamentary group have the right to address the Party Congress and make initiatives.
The Chairperson and Deputy Chairpersons of the Party Council, the Party’s auditor, the Left Women, Landsstyrelsen, Left Youth, and the Democratic Union of Finnish Pioneers, members of the Parliamentary Group, the Party’s ministers in the Council of State, MEPs elected from the Party’s lists, Party Secretary and other employees of the Party, as well as domestic and foreign guests, have the right to attend the Party Congress and address it. Federated organisations approved by Party Council each have the right to send one delegate to the Party Congress each. Such delegates have the right to address the Party Congress, make initiatives and vote.
The task of a regular Party Congress, after selecting the officers of the meeting and approving the meeting status and after hearing a report from the Party Board on the general political situation and the state of the Party, is
1) to process and approve amendments to the Party Programme and the Party Statutes, if necessary, and consider and approve other Party documents of far-reaching and fundamental principle-related importance,
2) to process the assessment of the activities and financial situation of the Party,
3) to decide based on its assessment of the situation, on any political, organisational, or financial Party-related operations that may be necessary,
4) to elect the members and the alternates of the Party Council, as well as the Chairperson and the First and Second Deputy Chairpersons of the Party Council, in the manner provided for in Article 19 of these Statutes,
5) to elect the Chairperson, the First, Second and Third Deputy Chairpersons and other members of the Party Board in the manner provided for in Article 24 of these Statutes,
6) to select an auditor and a deputy auditor,
7) to establish the basis for determining the membership fee of the Party and the categories of fees,
8) to process the initiatives submitted to the Party Congress,
9) to decide on any other matters that may be decided by the Party Congress.
The Party Congress may also take other matters to its agenda, should a majority of the representatives at the meeting so request and considering the provisions of the Finnish Associations Act.
Each Party Congress delegate has equal suffrage.
When requested, the elections shall take place by a closed ballot.
In the event of a tied vote, the Chairperson of the meeting shall cast the deciding vote, except in the case of elections and closed ballots, where the decision shall be by lot.
The voting list is the list of delegates to the Party Congress drawn up by the inspectors of credentials by the Party Board.
ELECTION OF THE PARTY CONGRESS DELEGATES
The election of the Party Congress delegates shall take place at a time to be determined by the Party Board and in accordance with the instructions the Party Board has issued for elections, to be performed within each district organisation. In these Statutes, this is called a membership ballot. The membership ballot is conducted on an individual proportional basis.
A total of 300 delegates are elected to the Party Congress. In addition, each federated organisation can send one delegate to the Party Congress. This delegate must also be a personal member of the Party’s basic, municipal or district organisation, or a direct member of the Party. The number of delegates to be chosen from each district organisation is obtained by multiplying the figure 300 by the total amount of members in party organisations belonging to the district organisation and the personal members of the district organisation and personal members of the Party whose domicile is in the district in question, and dividing the figure thus obtained by the total number of members entitled to vote in the country as a whole.
The Party Board will specify the date by which a member must have paid their membership fee for the member to be considered in the calculation of the number of delegates to the congresses in the invitation to the meeting. Such members are entitled to vote and to stand for election in the membership ballot’ delegates at the Party Congress.
The Party Board shall inform the district organisations of their numbers of delegates at least one month before the elections to the Party Congress.
Candidates may be nominated by party organisations or by an electoral association of ten (10) direct personal members of the Party or its district organisations.
Once the nomination of candidates has been completed, the district board must verify the eligibility of the candidates, ensuring:
– that the candidates are Party members,
– that they meet the membership criteria set out in the Statutes,
– that they are domiciled in the territory of the district organisation or are members of a basic organisation within the district organisation, and
– that they have offered their written consent to stand as a candidate.
If the number of candidates to have been nominated by the deadline is greater the number of delegates elected from the district organisation to the Party Congress, the nominated candidates shall be subject to a secret, equal ballot of the members in accordance with the individual proportional voting method, as provided for in Article 17 of the Statutes.
The district organisation’s area may be divided into electoral areas for the election of Party Congress delegates to ensure regionally balanced representation. The Party Congress delegates are elected within these electoral areas in proportion to the combined number of paid-up members of the Party’s member organisations in their area and the number of personal members of the district organisations and the number of personal members of the Party residing in the area.
The Party Board, based on a proposal from the district organisation concerned, shall determine the allocation of the district to electoral areas and, at the same time, issue detailed provisions for the conduct of the election and the counting of votes.
The District Board shall confirm the result of the election of the Party Congress delegates and forward them to the basic and municipal organisations and the Party Board for information. The District Board must submit the credentials of the delegates to the Party Board at least 10 days before the Party Congress.
PERSONAL PROPORTIONAL REPRESENTATION
The election of Party Congress delegates and the nomination of candidates for national elections is conducted using the individual proportional representation model. The membership vote is conducted either at separate polling stations and/or through postal or electronic voting, as decided by the Party Board.
The nomination of candidates shall take place as provided for in Articles 16 (Election of the Party Congress Delegates) and 30 (National, Regional and Municipal Elections) of these Statutes.
The nominated candidates shall be placed on the list of candidates, which also serves as the electoral ballot, in alphabetical order. The voter shall select their supported candidates by entering a number in front of the name of the candidate on the ballot paper or, in the case of an electronic election, the electronic list of candidates, marking number one (1) for the first candidate they place on the ballot paper, two (2) for the second, etc., for as many candidates as are intended to be voted for in the membership ballot. The number of votes for the candidate placed first on the ballot is equal to the number of candidates voted on the ballot paper, the number of votes for the second on the ballot is equal to the number of votes of the candidate placed first on the ballot minus one, the number of votes for the candidate placed third on the ballot is equal to the number of votes of the candidate placed first on the ballot minus two, etc.
In a membership ballot for the nomination of candidates for Finnish national elections, it is possible to vote for no more than one-half (1/2) of the total number of persons elected, in any case at most ten (10) candidates. In the election of delegates to the Party Congress, the voter may cast a number for the total number of candidates, but even then, the total number of candidates to be voted for may be at most ten (10).
The individual votes for each candidate are added together and, based on this calculation the candidates with the highest number of votes are elected in order of the number of votes they receive. The next closest candidates will be elected to any reserve seats in order of number of votes.
In other respects, the membership votes and the lists of candidates shall be governed by the provisions of these Statutes and the regulations for votes and elections adopted by the Party Council.
The spring meeting of the Party Council is held annually in the first half of the year and the autumn meeting of the Party Council annually in the second half of the year. The times and places of the meetings are decided by the Party Board. An extraordinary meeting of the Party Council shall be held if at least 1/3 of the general members of the Party Council request it in writing for a specifically announced matter or if the Party Board deems it necessary.
The meeting of the Party Council is convened by the Party Board, with the meeting invitation being delivered in written form to the members of the Party Council, district organisations and the parliamentary group at least thirty (30) days before the meeting. An extraordinary meeting may be convened the same way no later than four (4) days before the meeting.
The Party Council shall consist of fifty-five (55) members and alternates elected by the Party Congress, fifty of whom shall be elected by the district organisations. In addition, each federated organisation shall have one representative on the Party Council, who must also be a personal member of the Party’s basic, municipal or district organisation or a direct member of the Party.
The members of the Party Council are elected according to the provisions of Article 24(f) of these Statutes. The number of persons elected from each district organisation is obtained by multiplying the number 50 by the total number of paid-up members of the Party in the area of the district organisation and dividing the number so obtained by the total number of paid-up members of the Party as a whole, nevertheless so that at least one Party delegate and alternate shall be elected from each district organisation. The other five (5) general members shall be elected by simple majority vote based on nominations made at the Party Congress.
On the same basis, the regular Party Congress shall elect the alternates of the Party Council, who shall be invited to the Party Council in the same order in which they are elected. At least two (2) of the members of the Party Council shall be native speakers of Swedish, and one shall be a native speaker of a Sámi language. The meetings of the district organisations and the Landsstyrelsen have the right to nominate candidates for members and alternates of the Party Council.
After electing the members and the alternates of the Party Council, the Party Congress shall elect the Chairperson and the First and Second Deputy Chairpersons of the Party Council from the members of the Party Council.
Should a member of the Party Council be unable to attend a meeting, they should inform the Party Board and the district organisation of their absence well in advance, so that the Party Board can invite an alternate representing the same district organisation to take their place.
If a member of the Party Council moves permanently away from the territory of the district organisation they represent, or if they are otherwise permanently unable to attend the meetings of the Party Council, the District Board shall decide whether the person concerned shall continue to represent the district in the Party Council or whether an alternate representing the same district organisation shall be called to replace them.
The date used in determining the number of delegates to the Party Congress is also used for calculating the number of members who have paid their membership fee in the way mentioned in the previous Article.
At meetings of the Party Council, each present voting member of the Party Council has one vote. Voting shall take place using a closed ballot, if 1/3 of the present members request this. In the event of a tied vote, the opinion of the Chairperson of the meeting shall prevail, except in case of elections and closed ballots, where the decision happens by lot.
Each member elected in accordance with these Statutes has the right to speak, make initiatives and vote at the meetings of the Party Council.
The members of the Party Board, the Party Secretary, the Chairperson of the Parliamentary Group, and the members of the Party’s European Parliamentary Group all have the right to speak and make initiatives at the meetings.
Members of the Parliamentary Group, the Party’s minister in the Council of State, the Party’s auditor, Party employees, and the representatives of the Left Women, Landsstyrelsen, Left Youth, Left Students and the Democratic Union of Finnish Pioneers have the right to attend and speak at the meetings of the Party Council.
The right to be attend at the meetings of the Party Council shall also be granted to persons specifically authorized to be present.
The role of the Party Council is to
1) decide, based on its assessment of the ongoing situation, on any necessary financial, political, and organisational measures, give instructions on how to apply the decisions of the Party Congress, and resolve the procedural questions the Party Board has delegated to Party Council,
2) nominate the Party’s candidate for the election of the President of the Republic of Finland, unless the Party Council delegates this task to the Party Congress,
3) decide on the participation of the Party in the Finnish government in the manner provided for in Article 35 of these Statutes,
4) nominate the Party’s candidates for elections where the country is a single constituency, unless the Party Council delegates this task to the Party Board,
5) decide on the membership fee and the share of the fee to be paid to the different levels of the organisation according to the membership fee criteria approved by the Party Congress,
6) approve the budget and the action plan for the next calendar year,
7) audit and approve the Party’s annual report and, based on the auditor’s report, confirm the financial statement for the past calendar year,
8) decide on releasing the Party leadership and other accountable persons from liability,
9) process the Parliamentary Group’s report on the past session of the Parliament,
10) approve the voting and election procedures to be followed for the elections and voting of members,
11) decide on financial matters of major economic importance, such as decisions on the sale or donation of real estate,
12) if the Party Chairperson, the 1st, 2nd or 3rd Deputy Chairperson, or any other member of the Party Board resigns or is permanently prevented from serving in the Party Board, the Party Council may, if necessary, elect a replacement until the next Party Congress. If the Party Secretary resigns or is permanently prevented from performing their duties, the Party Council shall choose a new Party Secretary to serve until the first regular meeting of the Party Council elected by the next Party Congress.
13) if the Chairperson or the 1st or 2nd Deputy Chairperson of the Party Council resigns or is permanently prevented from serving in the Party Council, the Party Council may, if necessary, elect a new person from among its members to replace them until the next Party Congress.
14) oversee any other matters referred to it by its members or by the Party Board.
15) adopt the Party’s financial and procedural rules, which are used to define the Party’s operations within the framework of the Statutes in more detail
16) elect the Party Secretary for the period between Party Congresses at the first Party Council meeting after the Party Congress
The Party Board, as set in the Associations Act, and the body governing its political activities shall be the Party Board, which shall consist of the Chairperson and the First, Second and Third Deputy Chairpersons, separately elected by the regular Party Congress, and twelve (12) other members and four (4) general alternates, who shall exercise voting rights at the meetings of the Party Board in the order in which they are elected as alternates at the Party Congress.
At least one (1) of the members of the Party Board must be Swedish speaking.
The Party Board also has an Executive Committee consisting of the Chairperson, the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Deputy Chairpersons, the Party Secretary, the Chairperson of the Party Council, and the Chairperson of the Parliamentary Group.
The Executive Committee prepares the Party’s policies and other positions, the meetings of the Party Board and the Party Council, and other tasks assigned by the Party Board. The quorum of the Executive Committee shall consist of the Chairperson, the Party Secretary and at least half of the other members of the Executive Committee.
Women and men must be elected to the Party Board in an equal ratio, with at least 40% of the members being men and at least 40% women. The same rule of equal representation should also be applied to other Party elections, if possible.
If there are more than two candidates for the election of the Chairperson or any of the Deputy Chairpersons, two different methods of election may optionally be chosen from by the Party Congress.
The first option is: The election shall be conducted by a closed ballot. If, in the first ballot, no candidate receives more than half of the votes cast, a second ballot shall be held in which the two persons who received the highest number of votes in the first ballot may stand as candidates. The candidate with the highest number of votes in the second election shall be elected.
The second option: If there are more than two candidates for the election of the Chairperson or Deputy Chairperson, the election may be conducted by closed ballot using the transfer vote method. In the transfer vote method, the voter marks the candidates on the ballot paper in the order of their preference. Each vote cast is worth one vote.
The election happens by simple majority, with all rounds of the election being voted on the same ticket at the same time. The 1st, 2nd and 3rd Deputy Chairpersons shall be elected by a single ballot, should the same persons be nominated for all the roles.
The members and the alternates of the Party Board are elected by simple majority vote based on nominations made at the Party Congress.
The Election Committee appointed by the Party Congress shall draw up an alphabetized list of candidates for the election of members of the Party Board. The list shall include the candidate’s surname and first names, age, profession, or title using no more than two terms, and the candidate’s domicile and district organisation. Candidates shall be numbered consecutively, starting with number 2. In an election, a Party Congress delegate may vote for up to twelve candidates by marking the number of the person they support on the ballot paper. The candidates with the highest number of votes are elected to the Party Board.
The Party Council shall elect the Party Secretary. The Party Secretary is the primary official of the Party, the head of the Party office and the supervisor of other employees. The Party Secretary is responsible for making decision-making preparatory work for the Party Board and the Party Council and for directing and leading the activities of the party organisation in accordance with the Party Board’s orders, the procedural rules, and the Party Statutes.
Decisions at meetings of the Party Board happen by a simple majority of votes. In the event of a tie, the vote of the Chairperson shall be the deciding vote. In case of elections, the selection shall happen by lot.
The functions of the Party Board shall be, in addition to those expressly provided for in these Statutes,
1) implementing the decisions of the Party Congresses and the Party Council and steering the political and organisational activities of the Party,
2) determining the Party’s position on political, organisational, economic, and procedural issues that arise at any given time, expect when decision-making is specifically assigned to another Party body,
3) leading the Party office and being responsible for the management and preparation of affairs in the sections or working groups set up for this purpose, as well as supervising the Party’s financial management and accounting,
4) acting as the plaintiff and answering for the Party in all legal and administrative matters concerning the party’s work, and deciding on the sale or purchase and mortgaging or pledging of Party property, unless the financial importance of the decision is such that it is delegated to the Party Council,
5) appointing the statutory signatories of the Party,
6) appointing and dismissing the Party’s employees, as well as approving their salaries and other conditions of employment,
7) making decisions on the subsidies to the Party’s supported magazines,
8) preparing the Party’s activity report and financial statement for the spring meeting of the Party Council and a proposal for the Party’s budget and action plan for the autumn meeting of the Party Council,
9) demonstrating the Party’s accounts, minutes and other financial or administrative documents to an auditor elected by the Party Congress within two months from the end of each calendar year and, after the audit has been conducted, to the Party Council,
10) deciding on the basis for the reimbursement of expenses incurred by delegates attending the Party Congress and the Party Council’s meetings,
11) supervising the activities of the party organisations and Party employees and advancing a good communal spirit and activities within the Party.
12) making, when requested, a proposal to the Party Council on the nomination of candidates for elections in which the country serves as a single constituency,
13) preparing the Party’s financial and procedural rules, which are used for defining the Party’s activities within the framework of the Statutes in a more precise manner.
The Party’s Swedish-language activities are directed and organised by a triennial conference open to Swedish-speaking members and supporters (Landsmötet), and a commission (Landsstyrelsen) elected by the conference. The Party Council shall confirm the statutes regarding Swedish-language activities.
The Party’s women’s activities are directed and organised by the open triennial conference of the Left Women and a commission (Valtikka) elected by the conference. The Party Council shall confirm the Left Women’s operating agreement.
NATIONAL, PROVINCIAL AND MUNICIPAL ELECTIONS
Candidates for national and regional elections are chosen from among those nominated by the party organisations within each constituency. Candidates may also be nominated by at least ten (10) direct personal members of a Party or district organisation, or Party basic association members, residing in a constituency and by means of a written declaration signed by these members (voters’ association). Before a candidate may be nominated, their written consent must be obtained.
In state and provincial elections, the district boards must each set a deadline by which electoral associations and party organisations must nominate their candidates. If more candidates have been nominated by the deadline than can be nominated for the election, the nominated candidates shall undergo a secret membership ballot with equal voting rights in accordance with the individual proportional representation method set in Article 29(4) of the Associations Act, as provided for in Article 17 of these Statutes, with members of the Party or its member associations residing in the constituency being entitled to vote in this election.
If a statutory membership ballot is not being required, the election of candidates in national, regional, or similar elections shall be conducted by the district meeting or, if authorized by the meeting, by the board of the district organization. If no membership ballot is required in municipal elections, the selection of candidates shall be conducted by the meeting of the municipal organisation or of the basic organisation acting as a municipal organisation or, when authorised, by the board of the municipal organisation.
In municipal elections, the Party Board may authorize the district organisation to represent the Party in cases where there is no functioning municipal or basic organisation of the Party in the municipality.
A person who is entitled to participate in a membership ballot may only vote as a member of one association.
The district organisations of the Party decide on nominating the candidates and their number, as well as the balloting process within each district. If there are several district organisations within the same constituency, they must jointly agree on the nomination of candidates. If no agreement is reached, the Party Board shall resolve the matter.
The persons who receive the highest number of votes in the membership ballot must be nominated as candidates.
With the permission of the Party Board, the district may amend the result of the members’ vote by replacing up to one quarter (1/4) of the number of persons whom the Party nominates as candidates in the constituency. In these cases, at least half of the Party’s candidates must be nominated from among the persons who received the highest number of votes in the membership ballot, as well.
When exercising this right of amending a list, persons who, for reasons of ineligibility, refusal or any other such reason, cannot be nominated as candidates, shall not be counted in the result of the membership ballot.
In municipal elections, candidates shall be nominated in accordance with the provisions of paragraphs 1 to 7, as applicable. In addition to the basic organisations, at least five (5) direct personal members of the Party residing in the municipality or members of the Party’s member association may submit a written declaration (electoral association) to propose candidates for the membership ballot.
The decision-making body in municipal elections is the municipal organisation or, in absence of such, the local basic organisations by common agreement. If no agreement is reached, the matter is decided by the Party Board.
The selection of candidates for the parliamentary elections shall be conducted in accordance with the personal proportional election method in accordance with 29 Paragraph 4 Section of the Finnish Associations Act, as provided for in Article 17 of these Statutes. The selection shall be conducted by postal vote and/or a ballot box vote at separate balloting events, or via electronic voting. The Party Board is responsible for the conduct of the election, together with the district organisations.
The Party Council shall issue more detailed instructions on the conduct of the membership ballot and any presidential primaries, as well as the selection of candidates. If there is a dispute over the interpretation of the Statutes, the Party Board may issue instructions on how the Statutes shall be interpreted in each case.
In presidential elections, a candidate nomination may be made by the Party Board, the Party Council, at least two (2) district organisations together or twenty-five (25) party organisations together.
A referendum among party members, which is called a membership ballot in these Statutes, shall be held on all matters on which at least 10% of the membership or one-third (1/3) of the Party’s district organisations demand it, or where at least one-half (1/2) of party congress delegates consider it necessary to decide something by a membership ballot, however so that such a method cannot be used to decide on matters mentioned in Article 23 of the Finnish Associations Act.
A membership ballot is conducted either at separate voting stations and/or via postal or electronic voting. The Party Board is responsible for conducting the membership ballot and shall issue more detailed voting instructions in accordance with the voting and election regulations approved by the Party Council.
The opinion that has received a majority of the votes cast shall be the decision of the membership ballot.
Each direct personal member of the Party and every member of its member associations is entitled to vote. Each member may vote only once.
SIGNING THE NAME OF THE PARTY
The name of the Party is signed by the Party Chairperson, the Party Secretary, the Deputy Chairpersons and up to two officials appointed by the Party Board, always by two of them together.
One regular auditor and one deputy auditor, selected by a regular Party Congress, operate as the auditors. An auditor or an auditing firm approved by the Central Chamber of Commerce in Finland, or a local Chamber of Commerce may serve as such an auditor or deputy auditor.
The accounting period is one calendar year. The auditor’s responsibility is annually auditing the accounts and financial management of the Party for the past calendar year and submitting a statement on these matters to the spring meeting of the Party Council. The auditor’s report shall be submitted to the Party Board immediately after the audit has been completed.
In addition to the regular audits, the auditor may conduct a control audit of the Party’s administration, accounts, and treasury, whenever they deem it appropriate or if the Party Board or the Party Council separately requests them to do so.
PARTICIPATION IN THE GOVERNMENT
A Party can participate in and support the government of Finland, should the government’s programme and activities be aligned with the Party’s principles.
The Party’s participation in the government shall be negotiated by government negotiators appointed by the Party Board and the Party’s parliamentary group, consisting of the Party Chairperson and Party Secretary, the Chairperson of the Parliamentary group, and four other members, of whom two (2) shall be appointed by the Party Board and two (2) by the Party’s parliamentary group. The governmental negotiators have the right to be present and to speak at meetings of the Party Council, the Party Board and the Party’s parliamentary group whilst these institutions process the participation in the governmental. The governmental negotiators then present the outcome of the negotiations to the Party Board and the parliamentary group.
The governmental negotiators appointed by the Party Board and the parliamentary group may additionally invite any number of persons they deem appropriate to participate in the government negotiations as assistants and experts.
The participation of the Party in the government is decided by a joint meeting of the members of the Party Council and the Parliamentary Group, each having one (1) vote, based on a proposal of the Party Board.
A joint meeting of the Party Council and the Parliamentary Group defines the Party’s position on the government programme and nominates the Party’s candidates for ministers of the Council of State. The joint meeting may also refer the question of the Party’s participation in the government and the members of the Council of State to the Party Board.
LEFT ALLIANCE PARLIAMENTARY GROUP
The Party’s parliamentary group consists of the members of parliament elected in the parliamentary elections from the Left Alliance’s lists of candidates, as well as other members of parliament whom the parliamentary group accepts as its members.
The report of the Parliamentary Group’s activities from the last Parliament to the Party Council shall be processed as a regular item at the spring meeting of the Party Council.
If necessary, the Party Board shall resolve what parliamentary group will represent the Left Alliance in Parliament.
AMENDMENT OF THE STATUTES
A decision to amend the Party’s Statutes or to dissolve the Party may be taken at a regular Party Congress if a proposal to that effect has been made in the manner required by these Statutes and at least 3/4 of the votes cast are in favour of the decision.
If the Party is dissolved or disbanded, the remaining funds must be used for purposes that further the Party’s aims, as decided by the Party Congress.
The Finnish Associations Act and Act on Political Parties applies to matters not covered by these regulations.