In the second round of Finland’s presidential elections, Alexander Stubb has emerged as the new president of the Nordic country. Projections by Yle, the public broadcaster, indicate that Stubb won with a narrow margin over his opponent, former Foreign Minister and Green politician Pekka Haavisto. With almost 90 percent of the votes counted, Stubb received 52.3 percent of the vote while Haavisto received 47.9 percent.
Stubb is a member of the National Coalition Party, a liberal-conservative party with a strong pro-European profile. He was briefly Prime Minister of Finland between June 2014 and May 2015 and later served as Minister of Finance. A second round was necessary after none of the nine original candidates achieved an absolute majority on January 28th. Stubb finished first in this round with 27.2 percent compared to Haavisto’s 25.8 percent.
Right-wing populist parliament speaker Jussi Halla-aho and ex-European Commissioner Olli Rehn were also candidates in the election but did not perform as well as they had hoped, receiving about 16 percent each. Sauli Niinistö was president of Finland for twelve years before stepping down earlier this year.