Finland’s presidential election was won by Alexander Stubb of the center-right National Coalition Party, who defeated Pekka Haavisto of the liberal Green Party, who conceded the race.
Stubb is a fervent supporter of Ukraine, which has adopted a firm stance against Russia, and is pro-European.
Based on data from the justice ministry, he declared himself the winner of the run-off vote with 51.6% of the total votes as 99.7% of the votes were counted, compared to 48.4% for Haavisto.
Finland’s new head of state will be in charge of foreign and security affairs, including the country’s recently adopted position as a NATO member towards Russia, with which it shares a large border.
During his live speech, Stubb referred to his triumph as “the greatest honour” of his life.
“The feeling is calm, humble but of course at the same time I am extremely happy and grateful that the Finns in such large numbers have voted and that I get to serve as president of the Republic of Finland,” he said.
The first round was won on January 28 by former prime minister Stubb, who received 27.2% of the vote to Haavisto’s 25.8%. In opinion polls, he has also outperformed Haavisto, most recently by 6–8% percentage points.
Haavisto praised Stubb as “the 13th president of Finland”. “I believe Finland now gets a good president for the republic. Alexander Stubb is an experienced, competent person for the job. No more babble,” he said.