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The Finnish Presidential Election: A Scene Setter

Updated: Jan 23

Finns head to the polls this week with advance voting open in the presidential election, while the main ballot takes place on the 28th of January.

Finland, known for its robust democratic traditions and transparent political processes, is at a pivotal moment. The election comes at a time when global political dynamics are shifting, and Finland's role on the world stage is more significant than ever. Two former foreign ministers, Alexander Stubb (National Coalition Party) and Pekka Haavisto (Greens) are clearly ahead in the polls polls as reported by our daily Mundus News Finland. However, on 23 January, Mundus reported that Jussi Halla-aho's (Finns Party) support has risen to 18%, just two percentage points behind Pekka Haavisto. Alexander Stubb leads with 22%, while Olli Rehn (Centre Party) follows with 12%. Mundus has put together a scene setter for the election. In the report, we delve into the background of Finland's presidential elections, tracing its evolution from indirect to direct elections since 1994, and discusse the limited powers of the current presidency following a significant constitutional amendment in 2000.

Key highlights include a detailed look at the 2018 election, where incumbent President Sauli Niinistö secured a second term with an extraordinary majority. The report discusses the primary issues at stake, focusing on foreign and security policy, and the candidates' varied positions on these and provides insights into the unique aspects of the Finnish electoral system where the role of the president is one of the few in Europe both directly elected and not largely ceremonial. The president also has constitutional responsibility for foreign policy outside of the EU, and is the Commander-in-Chief of the Finnish defence forces.

Join us as we navigate the complexities and excitement of the Finnish presidential election, offering a comprehensive guide to understanding the key players and the stakes involved in this political event. Whether you're a seasoned observer of Finnish politics or new to the scene, this post promises to shed light on what makes this election both important and intriguing.

Download Mundus International's scene setter for the Presidential Election in the pop-up box.


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