The Nordic nation of Finland has elected Alexander Stubb as its new president. Stubb, who previously served as Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, won the election by a narrow margin over former Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto of the Greens. Projections by Yle indicate that Stubb received almost 90 percent of the votes counted, with Haavisto following closely behind at 47.9 percent.
Stubb is a member of the National Coalition Party, a liberal-conservative party with a strong emphasis on being pro-European. He was briefly Prime Minister from June 2014 to May 2015 and later served as Minister of Finance. In the first round of voting on January 28th, Stubb finished in first place with 27.2 percent, while Haavisto received 25.8 percent of the vote.
Two other candidates, right-wing populist parliament speaker Jussi Halla-aho and ex-European Commissioner Olli Rehn, also ran for president and received about 16 percent each but were not able to achieve an absolute majority in the first round. However, they can now cross their fingers about their future aspirations as they are now out of contention for the presidency. Sauli Niinistö was President of Finland for twelve years before retiring from office earlier this year.