Former prime minister Stubb wins first round presidential vote – DW – 01/28/2024

Former Prime Minister Alexander Stubb won the first round of Finland According to official data, 99.0% of votes were counted in Sunday's presidential election.

Stubb faces runner-up Becca Havisto next month.

According to election officials, Stubb received 27.1 percent of the vote, while Havisto received 25.8 percent.

For the first time since Finland joined NATO, none of the nine candidates in the election managed to get more than 50% of the vote in Sunday's first round, leading to a second election.

Voting across the country ended at 8pm (1800 GMT). Early voter turnout was 74.9%.

The war in Ukraine overshadowed Finland's vote

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Why is the role of the President of Finland important?

While the president's powers are limited, the head of state works with the government to direct foreign and defense policies. The President also acts as Supreme Commander of Finland's Armed Forces and represents the country at NATO meetings.

Sunday's election comes at a significant time for Finland. Nordic country Relations with neighboring Russia have deteriorated Moscow launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022.

In response, Finland joined NATO in April 2023Ending decades of military non-alignment and prompting threats of “countermeasures”. With Russia, it shares a 1,340-kilometer (830-mi) border.

All nine candidates have pledged to take a tougher stance toward Russia if elected.

nm,jcg/sms (AFP, Reuters, dpa)

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