Finland is torn between conservative dominance and the green milestone in this Sunday’s elections

Finland choose this sunday in Second round to the president who will take over from Sauli Niinistö, a tiebreaker in arm wrestling format between the conservative Alexander Stubb and the green Pekka Haavisto. Both are more than accomplished politicians, both have passed through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and are assumed to be more than qualified for a position whose main functions are in the field of defense and national security. If Stubb wins the game, he would round out the conservative dominance of the country, where the coalition led by his coreligionist Petteri Orpo, with the far right as an ally.

Haavisto has to his credit the fact of having followed the express integration process of your country in the NATOprecipitated under the impact of the russian invasion of Ukraine. He was then Foreign Minister in the Social Democratic Government Sanna Marin and was a key figure, along with the conservative Niinistöuntil the ratification of all the allies is achieved – something that, for the moment, Sweden has not achieved, which requested it in parallel but is still awaiting Hungary’s yes.

Achieving victory would be a milestone for Haavisto, 55 years old. Never a minority party Like the Green achieved the Finnish presidency. It is the third time that he has tried it, since he faced Niinistö twice at the polls. In search of expanding his electoral spectrum, he has left his militancy on hold. But everyone in Finland recognizes him as a founding member of environmentalism in this country. His homosexuality is also well known, and he lives openly. Her husband, the Ecuadorian Antonio Flores, who arrived in the country 25 years ago, has a central hair salon in Helsinki – House of Flores -, some of whose events Haavisto has attended.

Weight of the conservative sector

He is a man of courteous disposition who does not shy away from the media, which sometimes makes him the protagonist of the gossip press. Whether this factor will act in favor or against the candidate is difficult to gauge, Haavisto himself admitted these days when faced with that recurring question. Finland is a open societybut the polls point to Stubb as the favorite and the most conservative sector This aspect of your private life can be disrupted.

Stubb55 years old, prime minister between 2014 and 2015, has held three ministerial portfolios throughout his career, including Foreign Affairs, but has seven years away from politics national. This is due, in part, to his internal disputes over the leadership of the conservatives, a fight in which he was defeated by the now Prime Minister Orpo. In the first round he achieved first place, with 27.2% of the votes. The polls now predict between 52% and 54%, according to public television Yle. Haavisto was in the first round at 25.8% and now It is predicted about 48% or up to 50%.

He green candidate has managed to close the gap in the final stretch, marked by successive strikes against the line of austerity and cuts applied by the Orpo government and its coalition partner, the far-right True Finns.

Social crisis

The factor of social and labor tensionas well as the partial paralysis of public life for several days, can act against Stubb. In the second round, the conservative has the support of the former far-right candidate for the position, Jussi Halla-aho, who came in third place with 18%. Haavisto’s is a somewhat unequal fight, since his natural allies, the Social Democrats, have been disarmed since Marin’s defeat. His candidate, Jutta Urpilainen, obtained 4.4% in the first round.

The presidential position is theoretically neutral and has a certain range of moral authority. Finns look more for experience or solidity than for political assignment. According to the Yle television network, citizens currently trust more in the solidity of a good president than in his government. Defense and national security will be the priority tasks of the future president of Finlanda country that since last November has closed its 1,340 kilometers of border shared with Russia. There is no relief in this situation, since just this past week his Government decided to extend the absolute closure until April.

With the most modern Army in the region, mandatory military service for men – but voluntary for women – and more than 800,000 reservists, Finland does not trust the Russian neighbor with whom, until the invasion of Ukraine, it maintained fruitful relationships for both sides. There are no substantial differences between Haavisto and Stubb in matters of Defense. The conservative candidate, however, does not rule out that his country hosts nuclear weapons and is open to his territory having a permanent allied base, which Haavisto rejects.

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