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Friday April 19, 2024

Centre-right’s Stubb wins close-fought Finnish presidential election

Stubb is pro-European and a strong supporter of Ukraine who has taken a tough stance towards Russia

By REUTERS
February 12, 2024
Alexander Stubb of The National Coalition Party gives a smile during a press conference in Helsinki on August 16, 2023. — AFP
Alexander Stubb of The National Coalition Party gives a smile during a press conference in Helsinki on August 16, 2023. — AFP

HELSINKI: Alexander Stubb of the centre-right National Coalition Party narrowly won Finland’s presidential election on Sunday, defeating liberal Green Party member Pekka Haavisto, who conceded defeat.

Stubb is pro-European and a strong supporter of Ukraine who has taken a tough stance towards Russia.

He declared himself winner in the run-off vote after securing 51.6 percent of the votes as 99.7 percent of ballots had been counted, against Haavisto’s 48.4 percent, justice ministry data showed.

Finland new head of state will be responsible for its security and foreign policy, including the recently approved Nato member’s stance towards Russia, with which it shares a long border.In televised remarks Stubb called his victory “the greatest honour” of his life.

“The feeling is calm, humble but of course at the same time I am extremely happy and grateful that the Finns in such large numbers have voted and that I get to serve as president of the Republic of Finland,” he said.

Stubb, a former prime minister, hadwon the first round on Jan. 28 with 27.2 percent of the vote ahead of Haavisto on 25.8 percent. He has also led Haavisto in opinion surveys, most recently by 6-8 percentage points.Haavisto congratulated Stubb as “the 13th president of Finland”.