Former PM Alexander Stubb wins Finnish presidency, directly beating ex-top diplomat Pekka Haavisto

National Coalition Party (NCP) Presidential prospect Alexander Stubb attends his election reception in Helsinki, Finland, on Feb. 11, 2024.

Lehtikuva | Via Reuters

Former Prime Minister Alexander Stubb won Finland’s election overflow Sunday versus ex-Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto in a close race for the presidency and the job of guiding the Nordic nation’s foreign and security policy now that it belongs to NATO, following Russia’s intrusion of Ukraine.

With all votes counted, center-right prospect Stubb of the National Coalition Party had 51.6% of the votes, while independent prospect Haavisto from the green left got 48.4% of the votes.

The 55-year-old Stubb, who was prime minister from 2014 to 2015 and began his political profession as a legislator at the European Parliament in 2004, will end up being the 13th president of Finland given that the Nordic nation’s self-reliance from the Russian empire in 1917.

Haavisto yielded defeat after a forecast by the Finnish public broadcaster YLE revealing a win for Stubb was launched Sunday night. He shook Stubb’s hand and praised him at Helsinki City Hall, where the prospects and the media were seeing the outcomes can be found in.

The months-long election project was respectful and non-confrontational in line with consensus-driven Finnish politics without any below-the-belt attacks from any of the prospects — something that Stubb kept in mind in his speech to Haavisto.

“This has been a fair, great race,” Stubb informed Haavisto after the outcome was clear. “I’m proud that I have been able to run with you in these elections. Thanks for a good race.”

Stubb and Haavisto, 65, were the primary competitors in the election where over 4 million qualified citizens selected a follower to extremely popular President Sauli Niinistö, whose 2nd six-year term ends in March. He wasn’t qualified for reelection.

Sunday’s overflow was needed since none of the initial 9 prospects got over half of the votes in the Jan. 28 preliminary. Stubb emerged on top with 27.3%, with Haavisto the runner-up with 25.8%.

Several surveys showed Stubb, who has actually likewise functioned as Finland’s foreign, financing and European affairs minister, was the preferred to win the presidency.

Initial citizen turnout was 70.7%, considerably lower than throughout the very first ballot round when it was 75%.

Unlike in the majority of European nations, the president of Finland holds executive power in developing foreign and security policy together with the federal government, particularly worrying nations outside the European Union such as the United States, Russia and China.

During the election project, Stubb and Haavisto mainly settled on Finland’s diplomacy and security top priorities. These consist of keeping a tough line towards Moscow and Russia’s present management, enhancing security ties with Washington, and the requirement to assist Ukraine both militarily and at a civilian level. Finland shares a 1,340-kilometer (832-mile) border with Russia.

The president likewise commands the military — especially essential in Europe’s present security environment and the altered geopolitical circumstance of Finland, which signed up with NATO in April 2023 in the after-effects of Russia’s attack on Ukraine a year previously.

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy was amongst the very first foreign dignitaries to send out “sincere congratulations” to Stubb, a strong fan of Kyiv, on his win.

Zelenskyy stated in a message on X, previously called Twitter, that “Ukraine and Finland, in solidarity with other partners, are strengthening the security of the entire Europe and each nation on our continent. I look forward to advancing our relations and our shared vision of a free, united, and well-defended Europe.”

The Finnish president is anticipated to stay above the fray of everyday politics and mainly to avoid of domestic political disagreements.

Haavisto was Finland’s leading diplomat in 2019-2023 and the primary mediator of its entry into NATO. A previous dispute conciliator with the United Nations and an enthusiastic ecologist, this was his 3rd quote for the presidency.


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