Alexander Stubb has emerged as the winner of the Finnish presidential elections with 51.6 percent of the votes, according to preliminary results from 99 percent of the count. His rival, environmentalist Pekka Haavisto, received 48.4 percent of the votes and finished behind Stubb by 111,000 votes.
In a statement after learning of the provisional results, Stubb pledged to give his best every day and pay tribute to the work of outgoing President Sauli Niinistö. He also expressed his desire to continue in Niinistö’s footsteps while ushering in a new era. Meanwhile, Haavisto acknowledged that they started a bit behind but remained optimistic about their chances for recovery.
During 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 through 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.
Stubb has served as prime minister briefly between June 2014 and May 2015 before entering into politics again. In his statement, he emphasized the fairness of the campaign and expressed respect for his rival Haavisto. As he prepares to be inaugurated as Finland’s next president on March 1st, Stubb will focus on leading a new era in Finnish politics with renewed energy and determination.
Despite not winning this time around, Haavisto remains committed to working towards positive change in Finland and hopes to have another opportunity to serve as president in the future.
Overall, this election marks a significant moment in Finnish political history with Stubb’s victory signaling a shift towards conservative policies while maintaining some elements from previous administrations such as Niinistö’s leadership style.