Alexander Stubb, the former Prime Minister of Finland, has emerged victorious in the country’s election runoff for the presidency. Stubb, a center-right candidate from the National Coalition Party, secured 51.6% of the votes, defeating independent candidate Pekka Haavisto, who received 48.4% of the votes.
Following his victory, Stubb is set to become Finland’s 13th president since the country gained independence from Russia in 1917. The election campaign was marked by politeness and non-confrontation, with no personal attacks from any of the candidates. Both Stubb and Haavisto largely agreed on Finland’s foreign policy and security priorities, including maintaining a tough stance towards Russia and supporting Ukraine both militarily and at a civilian level.
The role of the Finnish president holds executive power in formulating foreign and security policy, particularly regarding countries outside the European Union such as the United States, Russia, and China. Stubb’s victory is viewed as a reinforcement of Finland’s security ties with NATO, as the country joined the alliance in April 2023 following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky congratulated Stubb on his win and expressed a desire to advance relations and shared visions of a free and well-defended Europe. As the Finnish president, Stubb is expected to remain above the fray of day-to-day politics and refrain from involvement in domestic political disputes.
For Haavisto, who previously served as Finland’s top diplomat and was the main negotiator for the country’s entry into NATO, this marks his third unsuccessful bid for the presidency. Despite his defeat, Haavisto gracefully conceded and wished Stubb well in his new role.
Overall, Stubb’s election victory not only signifies the trust and confidence placed in him by the Finnish people but also highlights Finland’s commitment to a strong and secure future both domestically and on the international stage.
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