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Role and activities of the caretaker government

Government Communications Department
Publication date 8.3.2019 16.16 | Published in English on 8.3.2019 at 18.24
Press release 148/2019

On 8 March, Prime Minister Juha Sipilä submitted his Government’s request for resignation to the President of the Republic. The President of the Republic requested that the Government continue as a caretaker government until the appointment of a new Government. The resignation of the outgoing Government will become official once the new Government is appointed.

There are no specific provisions on the role of a caretaker government. Formally speaking, it has the same powers as the Government had before its resignation. Its role is determined based on practices detailed in the constitution and on interpretations of the constitution.

The caretaker government is considered capable of handling necessary routine matters and urgent matters that cannot be left for the next Government. The caretaker government will no longer implement the Government programme. It is also required to refrain from implementing new or extensive political motions that would affect the ability of the new Government to carry out its activities.

For example, the caretaker government can issue Government decrees and make administrative decisions that do not require significant assessment of their applicability in society. It is also an established practice that the caretaker government cannot decide on appointing persons to the highest government positions.

The limits of the powers of the caretaker government must be considered on a case-by-case basis by the ministry preparing the matter in question.

Inquiries: Timo Lankinen, Permanent State Under-Secretary, tel. +358 295 160 300 and Päivi Anttikoski, Director of Government Communications, tel. +358 40 536 4821