Finland is worried about immigration and Russia in its presidential election

Polls predict a highly disputed result between former Prime Minister Alexander Stubb and former Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto

finland The process of electing its president is starting from Sunday. Early voting began earlier this month and the country’s election commission reports more than 1.8 million people44% people of the census have already exercised their franchise. For decades the Nordic country maintained a policy of good relations with Russia, but a large-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022 forced the country to urgently join NATO and now candidates compete over whether to cooperate with Moscow. Who takes a more strict stance?

About 4.5 million Finns have the right to vote. Two main contenders, alex stubb, of the right-wing National Coalition Party; and environmentalist Pekka Haavisto, has extensive experience in foreign policy. These are good credentials for a presidency with very limited powers but that retains significant leadership in foreign relations. The office holder is also the Commander-in-Chief of the Finnish Army, which is now closely monitored. Russia,

Finland still has universal conscription for men and women are allowed to be conscription.

Finns are concerned not only about the Russian invasion of Ukraine, but also about the increase in migrants coming to Finland via Russia, forcing the Nordic country to close its entire 1,340 kilometer border with Russia to passenger traffic. Had to close down.

Former Prime Minister Alexander Stubb of the centre-right National Coalition is the favourite: recent polls give him between 22% and 27% support in the first round of elections. Former Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto, who is a member of the Green Party and is running as an independent, also received strong support in the poll, between 20% and 23%.

The results are highly disputed. Recent polls put Stubbs and Haavisto apart by a few percentage points, closer to 0.6%, and with neither candidate likely to get more than 50% in the first round, the top two will go to the second round. Round, February 11.

Juicy Halla-AhoThe far-right Finnish party is in third place in the polls and has made gains in recent polls.

The new president will replace the outgoing president Sauli Niinistonicknamed putin charmer For his close past ties with the Russian leader. But this time all the candidates have promised to take a tough stance towards Russia if elected.

Both former pro-European Prime Ministers Stubbs and Halla-aho and two other right-wing candidates Agreed on the idea of ​​canceling dual citizenship for Russians, But hard-line activists have also called for Helsinki to take stronger measures to respond to Moscow’s actions in sending migrants to the Finnish border. The Kremlin has rejected the allegations, but many Finns see a pattern in what they did belarus In 2021, along with the Baltic countries and Poland, immigrants from the Middle East will be brought to their borders, threatening the government coalitions that rule these countries.


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