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In 1906, universal suffrage was adopted in the Grand Duchy of Finland. However, the relationship between the Grand Duchy and the Russian Empire soured when the Russian government made moves to restrict Finnish autonomy. For example, the universal suffrage was, in practice, virtually meaningless, since the tsar did not have to approve any of the laws adopted by the Finnish parliament. Desire for independence gained ground, first among radical liberals and socialists.
The concept of universal suffrage, also known as general suffrage or common suffrage, consists of the right to vote of all except a small number of adult citizens (or subjects). As minors are generally excluded, the concept is frequently described as universal adult suffrage. Many countries make an exception for small numbers of adults that are considered mentally incapable of voting. Other countries also exclude people convicted of serious crimes or people in jail, but this is considered a violation of a basic human right in an increasing number of countries. In some countries, including the United States, it is very difficult and expensive for convicted criminals to regain this right even after having served their jail sentence. In any case, where universal suffrage exists, the right to vote is not restricted by race, sex, belief, wealth, or social status.
The coin shows two stylised faces in the centre part, one male and the other female; they are separated by a thin curved line. Two capital "M"s appear to the left of each face, one of them the mint mark and the other one the artist's initial. On the left side, the date of the introduction of universal and equal suffrage in Finland (1.10.1906) is inscribed, while the right side of the coin contains the year mark and the country abbreviation (20 FI 06). The twelve stars of the European Union surround the design on the outer ring of the coin.
A geographical map of Western Europe spans the outer ring and inner core on the right side of the coin. The inscription 2 EURO is superimposed over the map of Europe, with the numeral “2” located in an open field representing the eastern Atlantic Ocean.
FINLAND in Finnish and Swedish, the two official languages in Finland, followed by three lion's heads.