Former Finnish Prime Minister Alexander Stubb wins presidential bid

Adriana Lima
By Adriana Lima 4 Min Read
origin 1National Coalition Party candidate Alexander Stubb celebrates with spouse Suzanne Innes-Stubb ©Sergei Grits/Copyright 2024 The AP. All rights reserved

Counting all of the votes, centre-right candidate Alexander Stubb of the National Coalition Party obtained 51.6% of the vote, whereas unbiased candidate Pekka Haavisto of the inexperienced left obtained 48.4%.

The 55-year-old, who was prime minister from 2014 to 2015, will develop into Finland’s thirteenth president for the reason that Nordic nation’s independence from the Russian Empire in 1917.

Haavisto conceded defeat on Sunday night after a projection by Finnish public broadcaster YLE confirmed a Stubb victory. He congratulated his centre-right opponent at Helsinki metropolis corridor, the place candidates and the media have been following the outcomes.

A good and clear race

The months-long election marketing campaign was well mannered and non-confrontational, in step with consensus-driven Finnish politics, with no low-key assaults from any candidate – one thing Stubb famous in his speech to Haavisto.

“It was a fair, fantastic race,” Stubb informed Haavisto after the clear consequence. “I’m proud to have been capable of run with you in these elections. Thanks for the good race.”

Stubb and Haavisto have been the primary contenders within the election through which greater than 4 million eligible voters selected the successor to the massively widespread President Sauli Niinistö, whose second six-year time period expires in March. He was not eligible for re-election.

Sunday’s runoff comes after not one of the unique 9 candidates obtained greater than half the votes within the first spherical of voting on Jan. 28. At the time, Stubb led the ballot with 27.3 % of the vote, adopted by Haavisto with 25.8 %.

Several polls indicated that Stubb, who additionally served as Finland’s minister for overseas affairs, finance and European affairs, was the favourite to win the presidency.

The preliminary turnout was 70.7%, considerably decrease than within the first spherical of voting when it was 75%.

Foreign and safety coverage tops the agenda

Unlike most European nations, the president of Finland holds govt energy in formulating overseas and safety coverage along with the federal government, particularly on the subject of nations exterior the European Union such because the United States, Russia and China.

Stubb and Haavisto largely agreed on Finland’s overseas coverage and safety priorities throughout the election marketing campaign. These embody sustaining a tough line in direction of Moscow and the present Russian management, strengthening safety ties with Washington, and the necessity to assist Ukraine each militarily and civilianly. Finland shares a 1,340 kilometer border with Russia.

The head of state additionally instructions the military: a big element contemplating the present safety context in Europe and the modified geopolitical scenario of Finland, which joined NATO in April 2023 following Russia’s assault on ‘Ukraine a yr earlier.

The Finnish president is anticipated to stay above the fray of day-to-day politics and largely maintain out of home political disputes.

“A brand new and robust asset”

Most European leaders congratulated Stubb on his election victory, together with European Commission head Ursula von der Leyen who wrote on X, previously Twitter, that together with his “management, expertise and European dedication, our Union has a brand new, robust useful resource.”

European Council President Charles Michel additionally highlighted Stubb’s “expertise and management” as “an asset to strengthen our frequent overseas and safety coverage in these troublesome occasions”.

Ulf Kristersson, the prime minister of neighboring Sweden, expressed his “heat congratulations”, including: “I sit up for our cooperation and the following assembly in Sweden.”

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