Communist Party of Finland (1994)

Last updated
Communist Party of Finland
Finnish nameSuomen Kommunistinen Puolue
Swedish nameFinlands kommunistiska parti
Chairman Juha-Pekka Väisänen  [ fi ]
Founded1984 (SKP organizations)
1986 (SKP Unity)
1994 (new SKP)
1997 (registered)
Split from Communist Party of Finland
Headquarters Helsinki, Finland
Newspaper Tiedonantaja
Membership (2013)2,000–3,000 [1]
Ideology Communism
European affiliation Party of the European Left
International affiliation IMCWP [2]
Colors Red, Gold
0 / 200
European Parliament
0 / 13
0 / 8,999
Website OOjs UI icon edit-ltr-progressive.svg

The Communist Party of Finland (Finnish : Suomen Kommunistinen Puolue, SKP Swedish : Finlands kommunistiska parti, FKP) or New Communist Party of Finland (Finnish : Uusi Suomen Kommunistinen Puolue, USKP Swedish : Finlands nya kommunistiska parti, FNKP) is a political party in Finland. It was founded in the mid-1980s as Communist Party of Finland (Unity) (Finnish : Suomen Kommunistinen Puolue (yhtenäisyys), SKPy, Swedish : Finlands kommunistiska parti (enhet) FKP(e)) by the former opposition of the old Communist Party of Finland (1918–1992). SKP has never been represented in the Finnish parliament, but the party has had local councillors in some municipalities, including the city councils of major cities such as Helsinki and Tampere. SKP claims 2,500 members.


The party has been officially registered since 1997. In the 1980s, when the opposition and the organizations it controlled were expelled from the SKP led by Arvo Aalto, the SKPy, however, chose not to register since they considered themselves the real SKP and claimed Aalto had illegally stolen the party. The courts later ruled all the expulsions illegal.[ citation needed ]


The opposition inside SKP

The internal conflict of Finnish communists began in the mid-1960s, when the party led by the new chairman Aarne Saarinen, began to modernize the party line / outlook. A minority of the party cadre didn't accept this and they accused the SKP leadership of being revisionist. SKP didn't break up in the 1960s and the party was formally united until the mid-1980s. After the 20th party congress in 1984 things, however, changed as Arvo Aalto was elected chairman, after which the opposition didn't participate in (or was left out of) the SKP central committee. The opposition, which was also known as “taistoists”, called supporters of Aalto “axe liners”.

The founding of SKPy

The central committee of the SKP expelled eight opposition district organizations from the party 13 October 1985. Also, 494 other basic organizations and 17 city or regional organizations were expelled 13 June 1986, which the expelled then dubbed “Black Friday”. The opposition considered the actions to be against the law. They took the conflict to courts and because of minor technicalities Helsingin Hovioikeus court overruled SKP's decision 11 June 1987. SKP then re-expelled these same organizations in its 21st party congress (12–14 June 1987). However, a week before this happened, the newly founded SKP (Unity) held its own “21st” party congress. The ambiguities in the expelling process and the opposition's firm belief in its own cause gave it the justification it needed and they considered SKPy to be the real SKP. They claimed Aalto had illegally seized the party with “paper members”. SKPy was never taken to the official party register of Finland as the party considered that to have been voluntary resignation and admission of SKPy not being the real SKP.

April 26, 1986 a meeting of "the representatives of SKP organizations" was held in Tampere and those present elected a new central committee. The leader of the new central committee was Taisto Sinisalo, former vice chairman of the SKP and the most well-known figure of the opposition, who already had led Committee of SKP Organizations founded in November 1985. In the SKPy's 21st party congress Sinisalo was re-elected. Yrjö Hakanen and Marja-Liisa Löyttyjärvi became the vice chairmen while the former SKP chairman Jouko Kajanoja was elected party secretary. In his congress speech, Sinisalo told that the suffix “unity” meant “strong intention to gather all the forces of the SKP”. The congress, however, also was heading to future and building of a new party, or “rebuilding” as they thought it. Before the name SKPy was adopted the party was known in media as the unity or Tiedonantaja group.

SKP and the Soviet Union

SKPy was very committed to the Soviet Union and the political line of its Communist Party (CPSU), which was going through great changes during Gorbachev's time. SKPy supported perestroika but criticized those who claimed to have been "Gorbachevist" even before Gorbachev's time. SKPy claimed SKP to be anti-SU and tried to give the Finnish people as positive a picture as possible of that country. When SKP split the monetary support from Soviet Union was halted and, for example, the very profitable publishing deals of the SKP had gone to SKPy. Gorbachev's CPSU, however, had relations with both parties.

KTP splits from SKPy

In the late 1970s the opposition of SKP began to split as those supporting a more traditional version of Marxism-Leninism began to criticize opposition leaders. When it was decided that SKPy would not be registered as an official party, some communists protested and demanded registration. They thought SKPy was clinging to the unity slogan in a situation in which it no longer seemed realistic. In the 1987 party congress, these people were warned by the SKPy leadership but they chose to ignore the advice and oriented themselves toward founding a new party. For Peace and Socialism - Communist Workers Party (Kommunistinen Työväenpuolue – Rauhan ja Sosialismin puolesta, KTP) was founded early in the year 1988. Founders of KTP felt to be securing the existence of a Marxist-Leninist party in Finland while criticizing SKPy for being revisionist and supporting Mikhail Gorbachev. The most famous figure in the new party was probably Markus Kainulainen, a longtime SKP district secretary of Uusimaa and a former MP.

The founding of Left Alliance

Esko-Juhani Tennilä, a member of the Parliament of Finland, was elected new chairman of SKPy 22 October 1989 when Kajanoja decided to resign while strongly criticizing his comrades. Tennilä has later told he took the job to secure that the founding of a new united left party would not be sabotaged by his own party comrades many of which were quite critical of it. The Left Alliance (Vasemmistoliitto) was founded in spring 1990 and members of SKPy and its electoral front Deva also joined even though prejudices were very high on both sides at this point.

Dispute over double membership

Members of the Left Alliance (LA) disliked that many of their members were also members of the SKPy. It was thus decided that SKPy members couldn't participate in the LA's electoral lists, even though they could be members. Because of this, Tennilä also had to quit his job as party chairman when joining LA group in parliament. Yrjö Hakanen was chosen Tennilä's successor. The dispute over double membership, as it was called, led to many SKPy members leaving LA and relations between the two parties got even colder. On the other hand, many former SKPy members were actively participating in LA.

A Communist Party of Finland tent during the 2015 World Village Festival. SKP World Village Festival.JPG
A Communist Party of Finland tent during the 2015 World Village Festival.

The “new” SKP

In its 1993 party congress (August 28–29) SKPy oriented towards founding a new officially registered communist party and drafting of a new party program. A new party logo was also introduced to mark renewal. It was suggested that a congress to continue SKP's work should be held and that happened next year (November 26–27). In the congress the suffix “unity” was dropped from the name as SKPy now considered to consist of all those comrades who wanted to have an independent communist party. An athletic club was made the basis of new organization and renamed SKP. The decision split the party as some supporters would have preferred SKP to have a lesser role as “Marxist forum” of some kind. Leadership of Left Alliance was also not pleased with those plans. SKP would have wanted to stay inside LA but that wasn't possible and the parties split in the spring of 1994. SKP wasn't however “re-registered” until 1997. There was some confusion, as the new SKP didn't accept responsibility for debts of the old one, which had gone bankrupt.


1986–1988 Taisto Sinisalo [3]
1988–1989 Jouko Kajanoja [3]
1989–1990 Esko-Juhani Tennilä [3]
1990–2013 Yrjö Hakanen [3] [4]
2013→ Juha-Pekka Väisänen [5]
General secretaries
1986–1988 Jouko Kajanoja [3]
1988–1990 Yrjö Hakanen [3]
1990–2010 Arto Viitaniemi [3]
2010–2013 Juha-Pekka Väisänen [6]
2013→ Heikki Ketoharju [7]
Vice chairmen
1986–1988 Yrjö Hakanen 1. vpj. [4]
1986–1987 Marita Virtanen 2. vpj. [3]
1987–1989 Marja-Liisa Löyttyjärvi
2. vpj.
1988–1989 Esko-Juhani Tennilä [3]
1990–1991 Kristiina Nieminen [3]
1991–? Kirsti Kasnio [3]
1994–2004 Riitta Tynjä
2004–2007 Kaija Kiessling
2007–2013 Lena Huldén
2013→ Emmi Tuomi [8]
2013→ Pauli Schradrin [8]

SKP has a nationwide organization consisting of 14 district organizations. The central committee has 41 members and the politbyro 10. The organ of SKP is Tiedonantaja , which was founded in the 1960s. Tiedonantaja was also the organ of Deva during 1986–1990. The editor-in-chief is Marko Korvela since 2012. SKP also has some local papers.

As the SKPy considered itself to be the real SKP it also had the same organizational structure. It was based on Leninist principle of democratic centralism and the party rules of 1958 (modified in 1978).

Deva – SKPy's electoral front

While SKPy was never officially registered, its supporters founded an electoral front Democratic Alternative (Demokraattinen vaihtoehto, Deva). Those MPs of Finnish People's Democratic League (Suomen kansan demokraattinen liitto, SKDL, a front organization dominated by SKP) who were against expulsions were expelled from SKDL and they found the parliament group of Deva. Deva was SKPy's SKDL and it was supposed to attract some democratic allies. The small Socialist Workers Party (Sosialistinen työväenpuolue, STP) didn't join Deva but it had members on the DEVA list. Young supporters of SKPy and Deva founded Revolutionary Youth League (Vallankumouksellinen nuorisoliitto, VKN) which was Deva's youth organization. SKDL's Socialist Student League (Sosialistinen opiskelijaliitto, SOL) also joined. Deva was led by actress Kristiina Halkola.

In 1987 parliamentary elections Deva got 4.3% of votes and four MPs. In 1988 presidential elections Deva candidate Jouko Kajanoja got under 2 per cent of the votes. Not even all members of SKPy supported Kajanoja who was the party chairman. Deva was closed down in 1990 after Left Alliance was founded and most of its members joined the new party.

Party congresses

21st party congress of the SKP(y)5–7.6.1987Espoo
Party congress of the SKP(y) (party conference)27.8–28.8.1988Turku
Party congress of the SKP(y)18–19.5.1991Lahti
Party congress of the SKP(y) (party conference)28–29.8.1993Helsinki
Party congress for the continuation of SKP26–27.11.1994Helsinki
Extraordinary party congress of the SKP31.8.1996Helsinki
Party congress of the SKP6–7.6.1998Helsinki
Party congress of the SKP19–20.5.2001Turku
Party congress of the SKP15–16.5.2004Vantaa
Party congress of the SKP9–10.6.2007Helsinki
Party congress of the SKP15–16.5.2010Vantaa
Party congress of the SKP8–9.6.2013Vantaa
Party congress of the SKPTBD 2016TBD


Electoral results


Election year# of overall votes % of overall vote# of overall seats won+/-
as part of Democratic Alternative (Deva)
1987 122 1814.2
4 / 200
as part of Left Alliance (Vasemmisto)
1991 274 63910.1
19 / 200
1995 310 34011.2
22 / 200
Increase2.svg 3
as Communist Party of Finland (SKP)
1999 20,4420.8
0 / 200
2003 21,0790.8
0 / 200
Steady2.svg 0
2007 18,2770.7
0 / 200
Steady2.svg 0
2011 9,2320.3
0 / 200
Steady2.svg 0
2015 7,5290.3
0 / 200
Steady2.svg 0
2019 4,3050.13
0 / 200
Steady2.svg 0

European Parliament

Election year# of overall votes % of overall vote# of overall seats won+/-
as part of the Left Alliance (Vasemmisto)
1999 236,49010.5
2 / 16
as Communist Party of Finland (SKP)
2004 10,1340.6
0 / 14
2009 8,0890.5
0 / 13
Steady2.svg 0
2014 5,9320.3
0 / 13
Steady2.svg 0
Municipal council
2000 1410,4600.47%
2004 1612,8440.53%
2008 913,9860.55%
2012 911,1740.45%
2017 27,6000.3%
2021 02,0730.1%

The SKP participates in parliamentary, European Parliament and municipal elections. The party has not put up candidates in recent presidential elections. No national representatives has been elected from the SKP lists but the party has a few local councillors. The SKP also participates in trade union and cooperative elections.

The SKP first took part in parliamentary elections in 1999. The party had electoral alliances with small parties of Muutos 99 coalition. It was the first time the Finnish electorate had an opportunity to vote for a list named Communist Party of Finland. In 2003 the vote-puller for the party was rock musician Kari Peitsamo (1 803 votes) and in 2007 rap artist Seppo "Steen1" Lampela (1 842).

In the local elections the SKP has had elected councillors in about ten different municipalities. The party has got its strongest support in Nokia, where there are three SKP councillors. Communists also briefly had three councillors in the Jyväskylä city council until early 2008.

The SKP has made electoral coalitions with other small parties, especially the Communist Workers Party (KTP). Communist League members were on SKP lists before they in 2006 founded the Workers Party of Finland (STP). The SKP condemned the STP for scattering communist forces. [9] The parties have made some limited electoral cooperation since. The Left Alliance has never been interested in coalitions with the communists, [10] although the parties have had coalitions in few municipalities.

The former SKP chairman Yrjö Hakanen is an elected member of HOK-Elanto cooperative council since 1999. The SKP represented joint list with the KTP.

See also

Related Research Articles

Left Alliance (Finland) Finnish political party

The Left Alliance is a left-wing political party in Finland.

The Communist Party of Finland was a communist political party in Finland. The SKP was a section of Comintern and illegal in Finland until 1944.

Kommunistiska Förbundet Marxist-Leninisterna was formed at the 1967 party congress of VPK, when a pro-Chinese group left the party.

Communist Workers' Party of Sweden, initially called SKP (ml), was a communist party in Sweden, formed in 1980 after a split from the pro-People's Republic of China Communist Party of Sweden (SKP). The party was dissolved in 1993.

Communist Party of Sweden (1995) Political party in Sweden

The Communist Party of Sweden is the continuation of Workers' Party – The Communists.

SKP may refer to:

Democratic Alternative (Finland) Finnish political party

Democratic Alternative was a political party in Finland. Deva was formed in 1986 by expelled members of the Communist Party of Finland and its mass front Finnish People's Democratic League. In 1990 Deva disintegrated and its members joined the Left Alliance, a merger of SKP and SKDL, founded earlier that year.

Socialist Workers' Party was a political party in Finland. The STP was founded in 1973 as split from Social Democratic Union of Workers and Smallholders (TPSL). STP emerged from a group that did not approve of the return of TPSL to the Social Democratic Party.

Finnish Peoples Democratic League Political party in Finland

Finnish People's Democratic League was a Finnish political organisation with the aim of uniting those left of the Finnish Social Democratic Party. It was founded in 1944 as the anti-communist laws in Finland were repealed due to the demands of the Soviet Union, and lasted until 1990, when it merged into the newly formed Left Alliance. At its time, SKDL was one of the largest leftist parties in capitalist Europe, with its main member party, the Communist Party of Finland, being one of the largest communist parties west of the Iron Curtain. The SKDL enjoyed its greatest electoral success in the 1958 parliamentary election, when it gained a support of approximately 23 per cent and a representation of 50 MPs of 200 total, making it the largest party in the Eduskunta.

Communist Workers Party – For Peace and Socialism Political party in Finland

Communist Workers' Party – For Peace and Socialism is a political party in Finland. It was founded in 1988 to secure the existence of an independent Marxist–Leninist party. Since it was founded, it has not gained seats in the Parliament of Finland, and as a result it has been removed from the Finnish party register and re-registered multiple times.

Nils Holmberg

Nils Gösta Holmberg was a communist leader in Sweden. He was born on 23 December 1902 in Stockholm. Holmberg was a member of the Young Communist League of Sweden (SKU) from 1926 to 1929. He was a member of the executive committee of SKU. Later on, he became a leading member of the mother party, the Communist Party of Sweden (SKP). In 1933 he was inducted into the Central Committee of the party, a position he held until 1956.

The League of Communists or Communist League is a Finnish Marxist-Leninist political organization. The League of Communists was founded in 14.9.2002 by the Communists who were expelled from the For Peace and Socialism - Communist Workers Party (KTP). The organization was at first known as, plainly, Communists (Kommunistit) but the name was changed to its current form during the registration process.

Socialist Unity Party was a left-wing political party in Finland. The SYP was founded in March 1946 by socialists working inside the communist-dominated Finnish People's Democratic League (SKDL). Most of the founders were former members of the Social Democratic Party of Finland (SDP). The SYP had many known politicians in its ranks but it never became a mass party. In 1955, the party split from the SKDL and was disestablished soon afterwards.

Taistoism was an orthodox pro-Soviet tendency in the mostly Eurocommunist Finnish communist movement in the 1970s and 1980s. The Taistoists were an interior opposition group in the Communist Party of Finland. They were named after their leader Taisto Sinisalo whose first name means "a battle", "a fight" or "a struggle". Sinisalo's supporters constituted a party within a party, but pressure from the Communist Party of the Soviet Union prevented the party from formally splitting. The term taistolaisuus was a derogatory nickname invented by Helsingin Sanomat and was never used by the group themselves. Although they were sometimes identified as "Stalinists", this was not a central part of their orthodoxy.

Taisto Jalo Sinisalo was a Finnish communist politician, MP of the SKDL (1962–1978), leader of the Communist Party of Finland’s hardline pro-Soviet faction and vice chairman of the party (1970–1982). After the SKP split in the 1980s, Sinisalo became the first chairman of the Communist Party of Finland (Unity) (SKPy).

Esko-Juhani Tennilä Finnish politician

Esko-Juhani Tennilä is Finnish leftist politician from Lapland and member of Parliament since 1975 until 2011.

Social Democratic Party of Finland Registered political party in Finland

The Social Democratic Party of Finland, shortened to the Social Democrats and commonly known in Finnish as Demarit, is a social-democratic political party in Finland. It is currently the largest party in the Parliament of Finland with 40 seats.

Left Party (Sweden) Socialist political party in Sweden

The Left Party is a socialist political party in Sweden.

Markus Kainulainen Finnish communist politician (1922-2017)

Markus Kainulainen was a Finnish communist politician. He was a member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Finland (SKP) and served as a Member of the Parliament of Finland from 1975 to 1979 and again from 1982 to 1983, representing the Finnish People's Democratic League (SKDL). After the SKP split in the 1980s, Kainulainen at first joined the Communist Party of Finland (Unity) (SKPy). The SKPy split in 1988 as well and Kainulainen was one of the leading organisers of a new party, Communist Workers' Party – For Peace and Socialism (KTP).


  1. Facts about CPF Archived 2007-09-27 at the Wayback Machine (SKP 2010)
  2. IMCWP. "Participants List". IMCWP. Retrieved 16 February 2019.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Poliittinen kalenteri: SKP:n hajotuksesta puolueen uudelleenrekisteröintiin. in Kolme kirjainta. SKP:n yhdeksän vuosikymmentä Marxilainen foorumi 43 (TA-Tieto 2008), p. 154–164.
  4. 1 2 CV Archived 2011-07-20 at the Wayback Machine ( 2008)
  5. "Communists elect gay artist as new leader". Yle Uutiset.
  6. Eroon korruptiohallituksesta ja rahalla ostetuista kansanedustajista Archived 2010-08-05 at the Wayback Machine (SKP 2010)
  7. "Juha-Pekka Väisänen SKP:n johtoon". Tiedonantaja. SKP. Archived from the original on 8 July 2015. Retrieved 13 May 2015.
  8. 1 2 Ilpo, Pajunen. "Käsitetaiteilija SKP:n johtoon". Yleisradio. Retrieved 13 May 2015.
  9. KTP:stä erotetut hajottivat Vaihtoehtoväen (Tiedonantaja 22.9.2006)
  10. Vasemmistoliitto torjui vaaliliitot SKP:n kanssa Archived 2007-09-27 at the Wayback Machine (Tiedonantaja 11.8.2006)