Polling stations opened across Finland Sunday for the second round of presidential vote, with conservative Sauli Niinistoe widely expected to triumph over green liberal challenger Pekka Haavisto. Voting began at 9:00 am (0700 GMT) and ends at at 8:00 pm (1800 GMT) with final results expected around 2000 GMT on Sunday. The most recent public opinion poll, published Thursday, gave the National Coalition Party’s Niinistoe 62 percent support against 38 percent for the Green League’s Haavisto.
The 63-year-old Niinistoe’s experience as finance minister has lent his candidacy credibility amid the European debt crisis while 53-year-old Haavisto’s openly gay stance has lost him support among older and more traditional Finns, according to analysts. Niinistoe led a field of eight candidates in first round voting on January 22, garnering 37 percent of votes to Haavisto’s 18.8 percent.
Full Article: AFP: Finland votes in second round to elect new president.