Stubb narrowly wins Finnish presidential election

Xinhua
The presidential candidate for the National Coalition Alexander Stubb narrowly won the Finnish presidential election Sunday night.
Xinhua

The presidential candidate for the National Coalition Alexander Stubb narrowly won the Finnish presidential election Sunday night.

With all the votes counted, Stubb got 51.6 percent of support in the final round, while Independent Green candidate Pekka Haavisto obtained 48.4 percent, according to figures released by the Finnish Ministry of Justice.

"I can promise that I will do my best every single day for this task," Stubb said after being confirmed Finland's next president.

Commenting to the media, Stubb said that Finland is now entering a new era. "I would like to continue along the lines of Niinisto, but it is understandable that a new era is starting, " he said.

Stubb will be sworn in as the Nordic nation's 13th president on March 1, replacing Sauli Niinisto.

Sami Borg, an election analyst for national broadcaster Yle, said the result is the tightest in the era of a direct popular vote.

During the election evening, Haavisto's share kept increasing as the count progressed, but he was not able to catch up with the difference.

The voter turnout was 70.7 percent, down from 75 percent in the initial round.

Stubb, 55, had worked as a member of the European Parliament, member of the Finnish parliament, Finnish prime minister, foreign minister, and deputy director general of the European Investment Bank. He holds a Ph.D. in international politics and speaks Swedish, Finnish, English, French, and German.

A presidential election is held in Finland every six years. The election is conducted through a direct popular vote. Nine candidates competed in the initial round on Jan. 28 this year, with the top two advancing to the final round.

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