Finland’s head to the polls. To cast his vote for president on Sunday, and after a close race, former prime minister Alexander Stubb of the center-right National Coalition Party easily ousted Pekka Hausto of the liberal Green Party.

Stubb, a former prime minister, declared himself the winner. Run-off vote With 99.7% of the votes counted, Reuters reported, with 51.6% of the vote compared to Haavisto’s 48.4%.

As president, Finland’s new head of state will consider matters such as the country’s security and foreign policy, as well as its stance on Russia, with which it shares a border.

Stubb is pro-Europe and has strongly supported Ukraine while taking a hard line against Russia.

Finland’s presidential candidates compete to shape the country’s foreign and security policies, including Russia

Alexander Stubb

National Coalition Party (NCP) presidential candidate Alexander Stubb reacts at his election reception in Helsinki, Finland on February 11, 2024. Finns cast their ballots Sunday in a presidential election that pits two veteran politicians against each other for a role that has gained prominence in the spotlight. NATO membership and rising tensions with neighboring Russia. (Photo by EMMI KORHONEN/Lehtikuva/AFP via Getty Images)

The presidential winner said in televised remarks that he considered his victory the “greatest honor” of his life.

“The feeling is calm, humble but, of course, I am very happy and grateful that such a large number of Finnish people have voted and that I have the opportunity to serve as the President of the Republic of Finland,” Stubb said.

After Stubb won the first round with 27.2% of the vote, as widely predicted, a second round of presidential elections began in Finland.

Finland has extended its border closure to Russia, saying Moscow has not stopped sending migrants

President Stubb of Finnish politics

National Coalition Party (NCP) presidential candidate Alexander Stubb (L) and Green Party-backed candidate for the neutral Constituency Association Pekka Hausto during an election night event at Helsinki City Hall on February 11, 2024 in Helsinki, Finland. During the reaction. (Photo by HEIKKI SAUKKOMAA/Lehtikuva/AFP via Getty Images)

The President of Finland has command of the military as well as foreign and security policy. The President largely keeps himself out of the country’s politics.

Stubb has been described as a liberal conservative, compared to Havistow, an environmentalist with center-left views. Both candidates, however, took similar positions when it came to foreign policy issues, including Helping Russia and Ukraine..

Hausto congratulated his opponent on Sunday, calling Stubbs “Finland’s 13th president”.

Finland is gearing up for a presidential runoff featuring a former prime minister and a former top diplomat

Stubb hug

National Coalition Party (NCP) presidential candidate Alexander Stubb (CR) and Finland’s Prime Minister Petri Orpo (CL) hug after the results of early voting were announced at their election reception on February 11, 2024 in Helsinki, Finland. put (Photo by EMMI KORHONEN/Lehtikuva/AFP via Getty Images)

“I believe that Finland has now got a good president for the republic,” he said. “Alexander Stubb is an experienced, qualified person for the job. No more.”

The election results mark a new era for Finland, after decades of electing presidents who promoted diplomacy with Russia and chose not to participate in a military alliance that would see NATO and Russia close. Can relieve stress.

After Russia invaded Ukraine in 2022, the country changed its stance. Joined NATO. In April 2023.

Stubb will replace Sauli Niinisto, who is retiring after two six-year terms.

Ninisto was nicknamed the “Putin Whisperer” because of his close ties to the Russian leader.

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