Alexander Stubb has emerged as the winner of the Finnish presidential elections in the second round, with 51.6 percent of the votes. His rival, environmentalist Pekka Haavisto, finished behind him by 111,000 votes and received 48.4 percent of the support.
In a statement after learning of the provisional results, Stubb pledged to give his best every day and highlighted the work of outgoing president Sauli Niinistö. He expressed his desire to continue in the line of Niinistö while ushering in a new era for Finland. Haavisto, on the other hand, acknowledged that they started a bit behind but remained optimistic about recovering in future elections.
In the first round, Stubb won with 27.2 percent of the vote, while Haavisto collected 25.8 percent of support. The Finnish president is elected by direct universal suffrage for a six-year term, and no head of state can be elected for two consecutive terms due to an electoral reform in 1994.
Prior to his political career, Stubb served as prime minister briefly between June 2014 and May 2015. He emphasized fairness during his campaign and expressed respect for his rival Haavisto. As he prepares to take office on March 1st as Finland’s next president, there will be a focus on what he plans to accomplish during his time in power.
Overall it was a close election with only an eleven thousand vote difference between first and second place finishers.
The attention will now shift towards Stubb’s presidency as he begins his journey towards leading Finland into a new era for six years to come.