After an in depth presidential race, former Finnish Prime Minister, Alexander Stubb, gained Sunday’s election runoff in opposition to former Overseas Minister, Pekka Haavisto.
With all votes counted, centre-right candidate Alexander Stubb of the Nationwide Coalition Social gathering had 51.6% of the votes, whereas unbiased candidate Pekka Haavisto from the inexperienced left bought 48.4%.
The 55-year-old, who was prime minister from 2014 to 2015 will grow to be the thirteenth president of Finland for the reason that Nordic nation’s independence from the Russian empire in 1917.
On Sunday evening, Haavisto conceded defeat after a projection by the Finnish public broadcaster YLE confirmed a win for Stubb. He congratulated this centre-right opponent at Helsinki Metropolis Corridor, the place the candidates and the media had been watching the outcomes are available in.
A good and clear race
The months-long election marketing campaign was well mannered and non-confrontational according to consensus-driven Finnish politics with no below-the-belt assaults from any candidates – one thing that Stubb famous in his speech to Haavisto.
“This has been a good, nice race,” Stubb instructed Haavisto after the clear outcome. “I am proud that I’ve been in a position to run with you in these elections. Thanks for a superb race.”
Stubb and Haavisto had been the primary contenders within the election the place over 4 million eligible voters picked a successor to vastly well-liked President Sauli Niinistö, whose second six-year time period expires in March. He wasn’t eligible for reelection.
Sunday’s runoff comes after not one of the authentic 9 candidates bought greater than half of the votes within the first voting spherical on the twenty eighth of January. At the moment, Stubb emerged on the prime with 27.3% of the ballots, with Haavisto as runner-up with 25.8%.
A number of polls indicated Stubb, who has additionally served as Finland’s overseas, finance and European affairs minister, was the favorite to win the presidency.
Preliminary voter turnout was 70.7%, markedly decrease than through the first voting spherical when it was 75%.
Overseas and safety coverage on the prime of the agenda
In contrast to in most European international locations, the president of Finland holds govt energy in formulating overseas and safety coverage along with the federal government, particularly regarding international locations exterior the European Union resembling the US, Russia and China.
Stubb and Haavisto largely agreed on Finland’s overseas coverage and safety priorities through the election marketing campaign. These embody sustaining a tough line towards Moscow and Russia’s present management, strengthening safety ties with Washington, and the necessity to assist Ukraine each militarily and at a civilian degree. Finland shares a 1,340-kilometer border with Russia.
The pinnacle of state additionally instructions the army — a major element seeing Europe’s present safety surroundings and the modified geopolitical scenario of Finland, which joined NATO in April 2023 within the aftermath of Russia’s assault on Ukraine a 12 months earlier.
The Finnish president is predicted to stay above the fray of day-to-day politics and largely to remain out of home political disputes.
‘A brand new, robust asset’
Most European leaders have congratulated Stubb on his election victory, together with European Fee chief Ursula von der Leyen who wrote on X, previously Twitter, that along with his “management, expertise and European dedication, our Union has a brand new, robust asset.”
EU Council President Charles Michel additionally underlined Stubb’s “expertise and management” as “an asset in strengthening our frequent our frequent overseas and safety coverage in these troubled occasions.”
Ulf Kristersson, the Prime Minister of neighbouring Sweden, supplied his “heat congratulations”, including: “I sit up for our cooperation and to assembly in Sweden quickly.”