Finland elects new president

01/28/2024 04:30 (current 01/28/2024 04:30)

The candidates in a television confrontation shortly before the elections ©APA/AFP

NATO's youngest member, Finland, elects a new president. In the first round of Sunday's presidential elections, three women and six candidates are running to succeed the previous head of state, Sauli Niinistö. These include political heavyweights such as former Prime Minister Alexander Stubb, former Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto, former EU Monetary Commissioner Olli Rehn and current Speaker of Parliament Jussi Halla-aho.

Polling stations are open from 9am to 8pm local time (8am to 7pm CET). A preliminary result should be known overnight.

Neither candidate is expected to immediately receive more than half of the votes cast. If this happens, a second round between the two strongest candidates will take place on February 11th.

Niinistö, who led the EU's northernmost country into NATO last year, was not allowed to run again after two six-year terms. His successor is expected to take office on March 1st.