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International

Finns go to the polls Sunday to elect a new president

11:24, Sunday, 28 January, 2024
Finns go to the polls Sunday to elect a new president

The two leading candidates represent the left and right-wings of Finnish politics, but the far-right candidate has made progress in recent polls.

Voting begins in Finland Sunday morning, with citizens able to cast their ballot for one of nine candidates aspiring to be the Nordic nation's 13th president.

Advance voting started earlier this month, and the country's election commission reports that more than 1.8 million people, or 44% of eligible voters, made their choice ahead of Sunday's main vote.

The two leading contenders, Alex Stubb from the right-wing National Coalition Party and Green politician Pekka Haavisto, both have a wealth of foreign policy experience - an important qualification for the role which is largely ceremonial, but retains a constitutional lead on foreign affairs outside of the EU; with the office holder also commander-in-chief of the Finnish military.

Recent polls have put Stubb and Haavisto within a few percentage points of each other, and as close as 0.6% - and with neither candidate likely to get more than 50% in the first round, the top two will head to a second-round vote in February.

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