Alexander Stubb has been elected as the new President of Finland following a close victory in the second round of presidential elections. Projections by Yle, the public broadcaster, indicate that Stubb defeated his opponent Pekka Haavisto of the Greens with a narrow margin. As of now, nearly 90% of the votes have been counted and Stubb is leading with 52.3%, while Haavisto has 47.9%.
Stubb belongs to the National Coalition Party, a liberal-conservative party with a pro-European profile. Sauli Niinistö, who is also a member of this party, served as President of Finland for twelve years before stepping down. Prior to becoming President, Stubb was briefly Prime Minister of Finland between June 2014 and May 2015 and subsequently served as Minister of Finance.
In the first round held on January 28th, none of the nine original candidates achieved an absolute majority. However, Stubb finished first with 27.2%, followed closely by Haavisto with 25.8%. The right-wing populist parliament speaker Jussi Halla-aho and ex-European Commissioner Olli Rehn were also in contention, each receiving about 16% of the votes. Despite their efforts, they were not able to make it to the second round.