Wednesday, August 17, 2011
4th President of Finland Kyösti Kallio 13.4.1973
Kyösti Kallio, April 10, 1873 – December 19, 1940) was the fourth President of Finland (1937–1940). He was a prominent leader of the Agrarian League, and served as Prime Minister four times and Speaker of the Parliament six times.
Kallio was elected president with the votes of centrist (Agrarian and Progressive) and social democratic coalition, which wanted to ensure that President Svinhufvud would not be re-elected. Kallio took a role of a parliamentarian president and avoided use of his personal power.
On the eve of the Winter War, when Marshal Mannerheim once again threatened to resign from his post as chairman of Finland's Defence Council due to schism with the Cabinet, Kallio convinced him to stay. During the war he resisted the idea of giving up any territory to the Soviet Union, but was forced to agree to sign the Moscow Peace Treaty in 1940. His health begun to fail – his right arm was paralysed – and he was not active in the dealings with Germany leading to the Continuation War. On August 27 he suffered a serious stroke. Prime Minister Risto Ryti took over his duties. Kallio's heart became weak while he knowingly took risks by agreeing to the formal farewell ceremonies. Kallio resigned formally on November 27, 1940. He was going to Nivala to his farm after the farewell ceremonies on the evening of December 19, 1940, when he collapsed and died at the Helsinki Central Railway Station, before a guard of honour and in the arms of Marshal Mannerheim. This FDC was amongst the entire set of FDCs of the Presidents of Finland that my dear friend Pia sent to me.