Five things to know about Finland’s new “selfie” president, Alex Stubb

Adriana Lima
By Adriana Lima 6 Min Read
origin 1Alexander Stubb speaks throughout an interview with The Associated Press in the course of the presidential election in Espoo, Finland, Sunday, Jan. 28, 2024. ©Sergei Grits/Copyright 2024 The AP. All rights reserved

After two rounds of voting and a very shut race, Finland has a new president.

Alexander Stubb of the right-wing National Coalition Party (recognized regionally as Kokoomus) beat left-wing Green politician Pekka Haavisto in Sunday’s runoff.

Here are 5 things we know about the Nordic nation’s new president:

1. Alex Stubb belongs to the liberal wing of his celebration: he’s pro-Europe, in favor of marriage equality and avowedly internationalist. He has beforehand served as celebration chief, prime minister and international minister, in addition to being an MEP in Brussels. He speaks fluent Finnish, Swedish, English, French and German. An avid sportsman – Stubb attended college in America on a golf scholarship – he expects to see no scarcity of pictures of Finland’s new president in skin-tight Lycra sportswear competing in iron man races or snowboarding, even whether or not he may need much less time for these actions as soon as he’s put in within the presidential palace in Helsinki.

2. Stubb says he needs to be a president who can unify the nation. It isn’t any small matter when his celebration Kokoomus leads the coalition authorities with the far-right Finns, and when controversial celebrities with homophobic positions and politicians with convictions for crimes associated to racism, spoke out in assist of him in the course of the marketing campaign presidential election. A latest Finnish research discovered that 40% of Stubb’s supporters wouldn’t vote for his rival Haavisto as a result of he’s homosexual; whereas one other ballot discovered that 30% of Finnish voters mentioned they thought of a candidate’s sexuality when voting. There is quite a lot of unification to be executed.

origin 1Former Finnish Prime Minister, Alexander Stubb of the National Coalition Party, throughout his press convention in Helsinki, Wednesday, August 16, 2023.Jussi Nukari/Lehtikuva

3. Alex Stubb has by no means been shy about utilizing social media and is thought for his love of taking selfies with followers, particularly superstar followers. “Social media has always been a spontaneous communication channel for me,” Stubb wrote on X, previously Twitter, in October 2021. “I run my very own account. I notice the dangers. I’ve burned myself many instances.” According to him, it’s higher to use social media to talk, regardless of the dangers, than not to talk in any respect.

4. A 2018 tweet from Stubb to his “old friend and colleague” Sergei Lavrov has not aged properly, and he apologized for saying that individuals who wished to block Russian funding in a Finnish nuclear energy plant had been “Russophobes.”

4. Stubb can have to stay humble. One of the criticisms that you’ve obtained a number of instances prior to now is that you’ve an boastful and presumptuous perspective. This was a lot toned down throughout this marketing campaign by which he labored arduous to seem measured and collegial together with his opponents, however he should proceed this manner for no less than six years in workplace (already at this stage many political observers doubt he would run for a second) time period ).

5. Stubb has a giant position to play as successor to President Sauli Niinistö, who has loved very excessive approval scores from the Finnish public over his final two phrases – 12 years – in workplace. There is little question that Stubb was attracted to the race by the renewed excessive profile of the Finnish presidency following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and Finland’s NATO membership talks. A joke amongst Helsinki journalists is that essentially the most harmful place in Finland is between Alex Stubb and a digital camera: which may be true, however there are additionally quite a lot of very mundane presidential obligations that Stubb can have to fulfill away from the highlight, and he has to show that he’s equally having afternoon espresso with pensioners, or visiting a manufacturing unit and army garrison as he flings himself onto the world stage smiling on the cameras together with his signature big-toothed grin.

During a gathering of Nordic international ministers in Denmark in 2011, he was recorded at an open microphone saying that the assembly had been “shit”, whereas the delegation’s deputy berated him, saying: “together with his physique language and In his phrases, our minister communicated that Nordic points don’t give a lot significance to his agenda.” Alex Stubb can have to face boredom and tedium with the identical enthusiasm because the worldwide media consideration he enjoys a lot.

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