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President Sauli Niinistö gets ready to shine his shoes for his second term in the Palace. He grabbed 62.7 percent of the votes in the presidential elections, after all votes had been calculated on Sunday evening.
Niinistö was the most popular candidate in every municipality in the country. In Helsinki, he scored 58.4 percent of the votes.
He crushed Greens’ Pekka Haavisto who came second with 12.4 percent of the votes. Third place was taken by Laura Huhtasaari from the Finns Party with 6.9 percent. Paavo Väyrynen — an independent candidate but attracting some of the same voters as Huhtasaari — was not too far behind. He received 6.2 percent of the votes.
Matti Vanhanen from the Centre Party received 4.1 percent, Tuula Haatainen from the Social Democrats received 3.3 percent, Merja Kyllönen from the Left Alliance received 3.0 percent and Nils Torvalds from the Swedish People’s Party got only 1.5 percent of the votes.
The voting turnout was 69.9 percent, which means that 2.96 million Finns voted. 4.24 million people are entitled to vote.
While jumping from one interview to another at the House of the Estates early in the evening, Niinistö was nervously taking glances at the screen, which was updating a live feed of the vote counting. But after 80 percent of the votes had been counted, he started to look relaxed, and TV interviewer after another opened the questions by congratulating him.
During open interview sessions, the most shameless journalists had so many follow-up questions that Niinistö’s time was up before others had a chance to clear up their throats while Niinistö was forced to ponder on the most obvious matters like the meaning of his campaign slogan: “Peace matters.”
Most interviews kept repeating the same old things: Should Finland join NATO? What if Sweden does? How deep are we in the military cooperation with Sweden?
President Niinistö’s answer can be summarized into two sentences: It’s hard to predict what the next six years will bring. We are of course observing the world closely.
Words of a true President.