Conservatives and environmentalists will fight the runoff in Finland – DW – 01/28/2024

Conservative Alexander Stubb won the presidential election in Finland this Sunday (01/28/2024), but he was far from more than 50 percent of the votes, so he will have to go to a second round in two weeks against environmentalist Pekka Haavisto came in second place. . Far-right candidate Jussi Halla-Aho finished further behind.

After 99.3 percent of the votes were counted, Stubb received 27.1 percent of the vote compared to Haavisto’s 25.8 percent, confirming previous predictions and giving him a good lead over the remaining candidates, led by Halla-Aho (19 percent) and centrist Olli Rehn. . (15.4 percent). The small margin between Stubb and Haavisto leaves the result open to 11 February, when Finns will have to go to the polls again.

“These were the semi-finals. Tomorrow we start again,” Stubb said cautiously after learning the result, which his opponent nevertheless described as “fantastic” and which opens the way for a second round that looks “very promising”. Both Stubb and Haavisto brought their extensive international and security experience to the table in a context of persistent tensions with Russia.

Pekka Haavisto.Image: Anti Aimo-Koivisto/dpa/Picture Coalition

NATO and Moscow

The presidency has taken on increased importance in Finland, amid tensions with its neighbor Russia after Vladimir Putin’s regime ordered an invasion of Ukraine. Although the president’s powers are limited, the head of state – who serves as supreme commander of the armed forces – helps direct foreign policy along with the government.

Finland’s historic entry into NATO and its decision to provide military aid to a country at war for the first time in eight decades has further complicated relations with Moscow, an issue that has been of great importance in the campaign. “Security is an existential issue for Finland, although we are all quite united in the overall approach,” Stubb highlighted in statements after election day before the international press.


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