WINDHOEK, Jan. 27 – Finland’s current president Sauli Niinistö remains a strong prospect of a second six-year term as Finnish voters get read to choose their president on Sunday, 28 January 2018.
Niinistö began serving as president of Finland in 2012, but the most common topic of speculation is whether Niinistö will be re-elected directly in the first round, or whether he will be forced into a second round against the closest runner-up. A second round happens on 11 February 2018 if no candidate earns more than half of the vote in the first round.
In the previous presidential election, Niinistö ran as the NCP candidate. It went into a second round, where he earned 62.6 percent of the vote, while 37.4 percent went to his opponent, Green Party MP Pekka Haavisto.
Haavisto is running again, with polls showing around 10 percent support. By contrast, the candidates of two large parties, Centre Party MP Matti Vanhanen and Social Democrat MP Tuula Haatainen, have fallen far short of their own parties’ popularity figures.
Also running are Laura Huhtasaari of the populist “Finns” Party, Merja Kyllönen of the Left Alliance, Nils Torvalds of the Swedish People’s Party, and veteran politician Paavo Väyrynen, a Centre Party member who is running as an independent. Besides Niinistö and Haavisto, the other candidates’ support numbers have mostly remained below 3 percent. – NDN Staffer