Here are some readings of inaugural addresses and other speeches of the Presidents of the Finnish Republic, in English translation. Below is the inaugural address of the first man to hold the office, liberal nationalist Kaarlo Juho Ståhlberg. The speech was delivered in the Finnish Parliament on July 26, 1919. Keep in mind that Finland had recently suffered a series of tumultuous events: separation from Russia, then in the throes of the Communist revolution, a short but bloody civil war, sparked by a socialist insurrection, a brief flirtation with monarchy, and, finally, public debates over the drafting of a republican constitution. Already a seasoned academic, jurist and statesman, who had played a leading role in the development of Finland's new constitution, Ståhlberg won the first presidential election, trouncing rival candidate General Carl Gustaf Mannerheim, the civil war victor and former regent. In contrast to later Finnish presidents, who would be indirectly chosen by the people through an electoral college, Ståhlberg was appointed by Parliament.
Representatives of the Finnish People:-
I must obey the decision which the Finnish Parliament has made according to the Constitution. I must assume the responsible office of the President of the Republic of Finland. I do it, knowing deeply that the trust which the Parliament, on behalf of the Finnish People, has shown towards me obliges me, and I will try to fulfill my task according to my strength, having as my guidelines, the Finnish law and the well-being of the country and people of Finland. Our country's position is dangerous. Both the external security and the internal conditions need defense and stabilization. By the recently ratified Constitution, the solid base has been created, for the existence of Finland, which became independent, through historical world events and the renowned acts of Finnish citizens, and for its totally unique political and social life. Their condition of life is, however, that all attacks against the country's external security and internal legal order and legal government are repelled, and that the necessary means for doing so are cared for. But, at the same time, it must be demanded that the people in public offices do their duties so that every citizen feels that he enjoys the lawful, legal security, and with the State's measures, through the cooperation of Parliament and government, and through free, civic activity, must be built the political and social cohesion which will also bring outward solidity. If this succeeds, and if, in addition to it, the strong, serious work of peace is fully undertaken, which is now needed in all areas of public and private life, then our country, that I surely trust, can, by living at peace, and by fruitful interaction with other States, feel its place as a State of laws, and our nation, as a civilized nation, raising our living conditions so as to satisfy the present generation, and for the good of the future generations.