Following his victory in the first round of Finland’s presidential election, Alexander Stubb of the center-right National Coalition Party will face off against Pekka Haavisto of the liberal Green Party in a run-off in two weeks.
After the election on Sunday, Stubb had 27.2 percent of the total votes tabulated, Haavisto had 25.8 percent, and nationalist Jussi Halla-aho had 19 percent. It had a 71.5 percent turnout.
The top two will go into a final run-off on February 11.
After breaking with decades of non-alignment to join the Western defense alliance in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Finland is holding elections to choose a new president to guide the nation in its new role inside NATO.
“You know what, we made it to the final, but the competition will only begin now,” Stubb, a former prime minister, told his supporters.
In the second round, he will face up against former Foreign Minister Haavisto, a human rights advocate with experience negotiating peace.
If elected, Haavisto would be the first openly gay president of Finland.
“Now our task is to reach those whose candidate is not in the second round,” Haavisto said in a speech to his supporters.