The next Finnish President will be elected tonight. According to the polls and early voting results, Alexander Stubb (NCP) will win.

Alexander Stubb (NCP) leads the Finnish presidential race according to the current polls. In the picture, Stubb is sitting next to his wife, Suzanne Iness-Stubb, both enjoying their time in between a couple of veteran politicians at the Opening of Parliament on January 7, 2024. Photograph: TONY ÖHBERG/FINLAND TODAY

TODAY, FINLAND finally voted for its next President.

Two men have survived the race. Alexander Stubb (The National Coalition Party) in a way represents prosperity, stability, maybe. Before entering the race, he was Foreign Minister and briefly Prime Minister years ago. Just over half a year ago, he was a Professor at a university in Florence. Some Professors, however, are debating whether he was a real prof. It doesn’t matter if you don’t click on the link in Finnish.

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When Stubb is off duty, he is known to jump into the hole in the ice or compete in triathlon.

Pekka Haavisto’s (Greens) problem may be that he is different from most Presidents. Finnish or foreign. (He is a former Foreign Minister and a politician who has swum in many waters. Outside the office, he sometimes performs as DJ Pexi, playing rock and evergreens. He’s also known for throwing big parties at his house.)

He is openly gay. (I know, I know, hardly news).

His fiance, Antonio, has been at his side since the beginning of the campaign. Often, when they are not on stage, they keep their communication to a minimum. Smiles are shared. No kisses.

Having said that, in many ways, both candidates share the same core values, in their style. They want to keep Finland safe for the next six years; Stubb would not answer a congratulatory call from Putin—Haavisto would.

It’s often said that in a democracy the country gets the President it deserves.

After losing several capable and some great candidates in the first round of the race, this may ring truer than ever.

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