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Koivisto´s funeral at Helsinki Cathedral on May 25

Published : 18 May 2017, 01:45

  DF Report

Photo Finnish government by Laura Kotila.

The funeral for late former President Mauno Koivisto will be held at 13.00 on May 25 at Helsinki Cathedral, said a government press release.

The funeral will be conducted by Bishop Eero Huovinen. The Government on Wednesday made a decision to hold a state funeral for the late President.

The body of Koivisto will be laid to rest at Hietaniemi Cemetery with full military honours in the same location where the gravestones of former presidents Urho Kekkonen and Risto Ryti are located.

People will be able to watch the cortege, which will proceed as a motorcade via the Government Palace, the Bank of Finland and the Presidential Palace to Hietaniemi Cemetery. After the funeral, a memorial ceremony for invited guests will take place at the House of the Estates.

National broadcaster YLE channel 1 will broadcast the funeral live on TV as will YLE Areena, its online service, and there will be a radio transmission on Radio Suomi.

Mauno Henrik Koivisto died on May 12 in Helsinki at the age of 93. He was President of the Republic of Finland from 1982 to 1994. He was the ninth President of Finland.

Koivisto was born on 25 November 1923 in Turku. As a young man he worked at a dockyard and was a primary school teacher, among other things. He studied while working and eventually completed a doctoral degree.

Over his long career in government, Koivisto served as prime minister between 1968 and 1970 as well as between 1979 and 1982, and as minister of finance between 1966 and 1967 and in 1972. He was Governor of the Bank of Finland (Chairman of the Board) between 1968 and 1982, and worked in executive duties at the National Workers' Savings Bank of Finland between 1958 and 1967. He also held a long list of positions of trust and honorary memberships.

Koivisto was also the last living former president in Finland who had experienced war first-hand. He served on the battlefield during the Continuation War.

Meanwhile, the government formed a committee for the funeral preparations on Wednesday headed by Minister for Foreign Affairs Timo Soini.

The Prime Minister’s Office recommended that the national flag will be hoisted at half mast throughout the country on May 25 , the day of the funeral. Flags are to be raised at 8.00 and lowered at 21.00. The memorial ceremony at the House of the Estates is estimated to end at the latest at 18.00, after which flags will be hoisted to full mast until 21.00.