In the second round of the Finnish presidential elections, conservative candidate Alexander Stubb emerged as the winner with 51.6 percent of the votes, according to preliminary results. Stubb’s rival, environmentalist Pekka Haavisto, received 48.4 percent of the votes and finished behind Stubb by just over 100,000 votes.
After learning of the provisional results, Stubb pledged to give his best every day while acknowledging the work of outgoing president Sauli Niinistö. He expressed his desire to continue in Niinistö’s line while ushering in a new era for Finland. On the other hand, Haavisto remained optimistic about the future despite starting behind by a significant margin.
In the first round, Stubb won with just over 27 percent of the vote while Haavisto received just over 25 percent of support. The Finnish president is elected through direct universal suffrage for a six-year term and no head of state can be elected for two consecutive terms due to an electoral reform in 1994.
Despite his political career and brief stint as prime minister between June 2014 and May 2015, Stubb emphasized fairness in the campaign and expressed respect for his rival during a press conference following the election results. As he prepares to be inaugurated as Finland’s new president on March 1st, there will be a lot of focus on what he has planned for Finland during his six-year term.