The Finnish population is now casting votes in a presidential election where the current President, Sauli Niinisto, is not participating due to exceeding the term limit. This election is set to signal a directional shift for the Nordic country following its NATO membership in April last year.
The President of Finland, responsible for foreign and security policies, also serves as the commander-in-chief of the Finnish Defense Forces. Amid the war in Eastern Europe, the new head of state will face a unique situation for the country.
With Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Finland began its journey towards joining the North Atlantic Alliance, thereby abandoning its long-standing international “neutrality.”
Among the key presidential candidates, Alexander Stubb, from the ruling National Coalition Party, stands out. Stubb briefly served as Prime Minister from June 2014 to May 2015 and later held the position of Finance Minister for just over a year. Pekka Haavisto, a member of the Green League but running as an independent candidate, is also seen as a frontrunner.
Jussi Halla-aho, a prominent figure in the Finns Party and current Speaker of the Parliament since last June, opposes the European Union’s globalist drift and the immigration influx. Halla-aho expressed hopes for historically high voter turnout in a message on social media platform X.