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Juha Sipilä

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Juha Sipilä

Juha Sipilä
44th Prime Minister of Finland
Assumed office
29 May 2015
President Sauli Niinistö
Deputy Timo Soini
Preceded by Alexander Stubb
Leader of the Centre Party
Assumed office
9 June 2012
Preceded by Mari Kiviniemi
Personal details
Born (1961-04-25) 25 April 1961
Veteli, Finland
Political party Centre Party
Spouse(s) Minna-Maaria Sipilä
Children 5
Alma mater University of Oulu
Religion Laestadianism
Military service
Allegiance  Finland
Service/branch Finnish Army
Rank Captain[1]

Juha Petri Sipilä (; born in Veteli, 25 April 1961) is the current Prime Minister of Finland. A relative newcomer to politics, he has a successful background in business. He has been the leader of the Centre Party since 9 June 2012. After leading the Centre party to victory in the 2015 general election, Sipilä formed a centre-right coalition and was appointed Prime Minister by the Finnish parliament on 29 May 2015.[2]

Education and military service

Sipilä graduated from Puolanka lukio (Finland's university-preparatory high school), completing the matriculation examination with high marks in 1980.[3] In 1986 Sipilä earned his Master's degree in engineering from the University of Oulu.

Sipilä has the rank of Captain in the reserves of the Finnish Defence Forces.[1]

Business

Sipilä's career started at Lauri Kuokkanen Ltd., first as a thesis worker and later as a product development manager. Changing jobs, he became a partner and later CEO at Solitra Oy. In 1998, Sipilä started his own business, Fortel Invest Oy. In 2002–2005 he worked as the CEO of Elektrobit Oyj, then returned to his own business.

Sipilä was managing director of Solitra in 1992 and became the main owner in 1994. Sipilä sold Solitra to American ADC Telecommunications in 1996, becoming a millionaire from the proceeds. Business ADC Mersum Oy was resold to Remec in 2001.[4][5]

Politics

As a student, Sipilä worked for a short time in the Finnish Centre Youth, but otherwise he did not have experience in party politics before being elected to the Finnish parliament in 2011 with 5,543 personal votes.[6][7]

In April 2012, Sipilä announced his candidacy for the chairman's position in the party congress of the summer. On June 9, 2012, the party congress elected him chairman. He beat Tuomo Puumala in the second round by 1251 to 872 delegate votes.

Sipilä led his party to victory in the 2015 election, where the Centre Party gained 14 seats compared to the previous election. With 30,758 personal votes he was the most popular candidate in the election.[8] Following the election, he was tasked with forming a government coalition; and as the leader of the Centre Party, he began formal negotiations with the Finns Party and the National Coalition Party and formed a centre-right three-party majority coalition.[9]

Personal life

Family

Sipilä grew up in the small town of Puolanka, northern Finland, east of Oulu, the firstborn of four children to mother Pirkko and father Pentti Sipilä. His father was an elementary school teacher.[3]

In 1981, Sipilä married Minna-Maaria Juntunen at Oulu Cathedral. They have five children.[10][3] Their youngest son, Tuomo (born in 1993), died on 18 February 2015.[11]

Hobby

Sipilä is known for his interest in wood gas electricity generation, which began as a hobby.[7] The cost to bring power to his summer cottage seemed too high, and he became interested in wood gas. First, he produced the electricity with wind power and with a diesel generator, but then he started building wood gas plants. He converted an old Chevrolet El Camino into "El Kamina" (Kamiina means "stove" in Finnish.) powered by wood gas, with electronic control systems.[12] This hobby was spun off into a company, Volter Oy, which produces wood gas power plants. A 10-house ecovillage in Kempele is powered by one such power plant.[13][14]

Religious affiliation

The Sipiläs are members of Rauhan Sana (transl. "Word of Peace", affiliated in North America with ALCA), a small Laestadian revivalist denomination within the state Lutheran church of Finland. The Sipiläs first met at a Laestadian summer camp as teenagers.[10] Sipilä has stated he does not consider himself a legalistic Laestadian, and in interviews he has carefully distinguished his own Laestadian denomination from his home region's other, predominant, exclusive Laestadian group.[15][16][17]

References

  1. ^ a b http://www.iltasanomat.fi/kotimaa/art-1288474136351.html Ilta-Sanomat: Keskustan Juha Sipilä ylennettiin kapteeniksi (4 June 2012) (Finnish)
  2. ^ http://yle.fi/uutiset/mps_vote_sipila_in_as_prime_minister__result_not_unanimous/8025742 YLE News: MPs vote Sipilä in as prime minister- result not unanimous. 28 May 2015
  3. ^ a b c
  4. ^ Yritysuutiset8.1.2004
  5. ^ Yrityskaupan hyväksyminen; Remec, Inc. / ADC Mersum Oy 26.10.2001
  6. ^ Juha Sipilä accessed 9 June 2012
  7. ^ a b
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^ a b
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^

External links

  • Media related to Juha Sipilä at Wikimedia Commons
Party political offices
Preceded by
Mari Kiviniemi
Leader of the Centre Party
2012–present
Incumbent
Political offices
Preceded by
Eero Heinäluoma
Speaker of the Parliament
2015
Succeeded by
Maria Lohela
Preceded by
Alexander Stubb
Prime Minister of Finland
2015–present
Incumbent
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