February 12, 2024 09:36 GMT
Alexander Stubb Wins Race To Become Finnish President
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Centre-right former Prime Minister Alexander Stubb defeated ex-Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto in a historically tight race to become Finland's President, garnering 51.6% of the vote in the run-off, and hence will take office on March 1.
- Stubb advanced to the run-off as a front-runner, having secured 27.2% of all votes. In the second round, he won in 261 out of 309 municipalities but his rival was more popular in more densely populated areas.
- The Finnish President has limited powers, despite formally ranking first in the protocol. However, they play some role in foreign and defence policy. Domestically, they can act as a mediator and have some appointing powers.
- Worth noting that Bank of Finland Governor Olli Rehn also threw his hat into the ring, but he failed to advance to the run-off, securing 15.3% of the vote in the first round, which put him in fourth place.
- Stubb has been a proponent of deeper European integration and has long been pushing for NATO entry. He has taken a hawkish stance towards Russia, pledging that "there will be no relations with the President of Russia" until the war is stopped.