UNRWA needs to continue its work in light of the investigations

Stubb won Finland's presidency after Haisto conceded defeat

Conservative former Finnish Prime Minister Alexander Stubb won the presidential election today (Sunday).

According to Agence France-Presse, Haisto told Stubb on state television, “Congratulations to the thirteenth president of Finland,” while the results indicated that Stubb had won with 51.7% of the vote, after 96% of the vote had been counted.

Earlier today, opinion polls showed Stubbs of the center-right National Alliance party as the closest candidate to victory in the second round of Finland's presidential election on Sunday.

Voters voted in a second round of elections to choose former prime minister Stubb and ex-foreign minister Becca Havisto to take on the post of added importance as tensions with neighboring Russia escalate over Ukraine after joining NATO. War.

Some 4.3 million people were invited to vote for Governor Stubb, who came out on top with 27.2 percent of the vote in the first round on January 28, and Havisto, who is affiliated with the Green Party but is running as an independent candidate. And he got 25.8 percent last month.

Although his powers are limited compared to the prime minister, the president, who is elected for a six-year term, directs foreign policy in cooperation with the government and is commander-in-chief of the armed forces. The position is particularly important in light of geopolitical tensions in Europe since Moscow launched its invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, and Finland, which shares a 1,340-kilometer border with Russia, joined NATO.

Finland remained neutral throughout the Cold War, but abandoned this decades-long policy after the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Helsinki joined NATO last year, angering Russia, which threatened to take “countermeasures”.

See also  Lebanon.. House of Representatives approves 2024 budget, ignoring important reforms.

Last month, the Finnish government announced the closure of its borders with Russia, which it imposed following a surge in migrant arrivals, which Helsinki described as a “hybrid Russian offensive”.

Coordination in foreign policy

Analysts believe that Finland's recent accession to NATO clearly increases the importance of the presidential election. Teodora Hlimäki, a professor of political science at the University of Helsinki, said that “our recent accession to NATO is very significant” because Finland's approach to the issue “will largely be the work of the new president.”

Alexander Stubb speaks to reporters after voting in Espoo on Sunday (Reuters)

In a poll conducted by the public television channel on Thursday, Stubb received 54 percent of voters' voting intentions, compared to 46 percent for Havisto.

The two candidates, each a former foreign minister, shared a common approach to dealing with Russia, strongly backing Western economic sanctions imposed on Moscow in the wake of its attack on Ukraine.

Candidate Pekka Havisto, backed by the Green Party, speaks to reporters after voting in Helsinki on Sunday (Reuters).

“The EU can help Ukraine more,” Havisto said in a televised debate on Thursday night. In turn, Stubb said “Ukraine's path is our path, and right now they are fighting for the freedom of all Europeans. “They deserve all the support we can give them.”

Outgoing President Sauli Niinisto casts his vote in Espoo on Sunday (AFP)

Former President Sauli Niinistö, who took office in 2012 and is ineligible for two consecutive terms, is the European leader most closely associated with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin. He personally informed him in a phone call in 2022 of his country's decision to join NATO.

Since then, relations between Finland and Russia have deteriorated significantly, and public communication between the two countries' leaderships has been severed. Finland, a member of the European Union and the Eurozone, prioritized developing economic ties with Russia in the post-Cold War era, hoping it would reflect democratic momentum.

See also  Oil prices end 2023 with a 10% decline, the biggest decline since the pandemic year

The difference is in the details

Although the two candidates present similar views on foreign policy, they differ on other issues, according to researcher Halimaki, for example, the issue of stockpiling and transporting nuclear weapons.

Although Finland's membership in NATO requires it to participate in maneuvers related to the alliance's nuclear policy, Haisto refuses to allow such activities. For his part, Stubb stressed that Finland should not rule out “any part” related to NATO's deterrence policy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *