Main | Monday, January 23, 2012

FINLAND: Openly Gay Candidate Pekka Haavisto In Runoff For Presidency

Pekka Haavisto, Finland's first openly gay presidential candidate, finished in second place yesterday. Since no candidate earned more than 50% of the vote, a runoff election will take place.
Sauli Niinisto, a former finance minister, won 37 percent of the vote, well ahead of the other candidates but short of the majority needed to avoid a second round, official preliminary results showed. With all votes counted, Pekka Haavisto, of the Greens party, was second with 18.8 percent, securing his place in the Feb. 5 runoff. The result means Finns will have two pro-European candidates to choose from in the second round, contrasting with the surge in euroskeptic sentiment in last year's parliamentary election. "Pro-Europe policies and supporting the euro have received strong support from the people," Niinisto said.
The presidency of Finland is largely a ceremonial position.

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