Finns vote in presidential election; incumbent the favorite

30 January, 2018, 01:30 | Author: Roderick Gutierrez
  • Finnish President Sauli Niinisto and his wife Jenni Haukio are joined by their Boston terrier during a holiday event in Helsinki Finland

With almost 60 percent of ballots counted, Finnish President Sauli Niinisto is headed towards an election win and another six years in office, The Associated Press reported. His closest rival, Pekka Haavisto of the Greens, got 12.4 percent.

Niinisto received 62.7 percent of the vote on Sunday, with seven other candidates receiving the remaining 37 percent.

Mr Haavisto has conceded Mr Niinisto's victory.

"I am very surprised at this kind of support. I wish you every success and strength in the new term", Kaljulaid said on social media.

"I have no intention of making changes just for the sake of making changes", the 69-year-old told reporters after the result.

Riding on his massive popularity, Niinisto comfortably avoided the need for a runoff, a first since Finland introduced a two-round presidential election by popular vote in 1994.

"We will follow very closely what is happening outside of Finland, globally, and if needed, then we will react".

Eurosceptic politicians, Laura Huhtasaari from the nationalist Finns Party and independent Paavo Vayrynen, won 6.9 percent and 6.2 percent of votes, respectively.

Finland shares a 1,340-kilometer border with Russian Federation and has fought wars against its much-larger neighbor over the centuries. He ran as an independent, with no association with the conservative National Coalition Party he once chaired. Finland joined the European Union in 1995, but doesn't belong to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.

Finland's president designs the blueprint for the country's foreign and security policy together with the government. He said he believed the people were satisfied with him, Xinhua reported.


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