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The president Sauli Niinisto, who was seeking re-election, won 62.7% of the votes

Historic victory of Sauli Niinisto in the elections in Finland

The current president of Finland Sauli Niinisto has been re-elected for the next six years. Niinisto has obtained historical results in a country where, for the first time, a second round will not be necessary thanks to the overwhelming support received by the Finnish population that considers him a good candidate and that supports the stability that this candidate represents.

According to Deutsche Welle and the political columnist Jarmo Makela, the election of Niinisto responds to the desire of the Finns to bet on stability after a few years marked by international political turmoil. In the words of Makela, "They seem to give great value to the experience in foreign policy and have wanted to avoid risks, experiments and adventures”.

With a 62.7% of votes in favor, Niinisto obtained five times more votes than his opponent, Pekka Haavisto (12.4%), of the Green party, whom he had already faced in the 2012 electoral contest. The rest of the candidates who presented themselves to these elections obtained less than 7% of the votes each.

Since the 1994 electoral reform, this is the first time in the history of Finland that a second round will not be necessary to determine the next president of the country. While last week the polls were already placing Niinisto as a winner with more than 60% of the votes, Sunday's results confirm the support received by the Finns who recognize the political work of the candidate. In the words of the president: "The result is better than I expected. I consider that people are reasonably happy with my (political) line."

The Finnish people seem to approve the way in which Niinisto has handled international relations with countries outside the European Union, especially with its neighbor Russia.

As international diplomacy is one of the main responsibilities of the President of Finland, Niinisto has managed to maintain a good diplomatic relationship in recent years with Russia, although the country has been against the decisions on its neighbor, Crimea. The good relations with Putin has allowed Finland to maintain a friendly relationship in the more than 1,340 km of border that separates this Nordic nation from Russia and that represent a weak point in case of political tension.

However, these good relations also extend over to NATO, an intergovernmental military alliance in which Finland has historically decided not to participate. In addition, the pro-European stance of Niinisto and the National Coalition Party to which he belonged until these elections, has earned him good relations with the European Union, an organization in which Finland has been an active member since 1995.

Moreover, the good results of Niinisto diminish the possibilities of the extreme Finnish right (the True Finns) to reach the executive power of this nation; something that did not seem that far fetched during the electoral process of 2012, when the candidate Timo Soini obtained a considerable number of votes.

Sauli Niinisto represents the political tradition of Finland, a country where he has been politically active since 1987 and where he has historically been a member of the National Coalition Party, from which he has decided to separate for this 2018 elections. In fact, the current re-elected president from Finland has been a member of the Parliament, Minister of Justice (1995-1996), Minister of Finance (1996-2003), among other positions.

The international political landscape has translated into Finland a national desire for stability and confidence, which has allowed a classic candidate like Niinisto to obtain the country's mandate for a second time until March 2024.

 

Latin American Post | Laura Delgado

Copy edited by Susana Cicchetto

 

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