With nearly 100% of the vote counted, National Coalition candidate Sauli Niinisto has won the second and decisive round of Finland’s presidential election. Green League candidate Pekka Haavisto conceded the race just before 9 PM. The win by the National Coalition’s Sauli Niinistö will bring to an end a 30-year era of Social Democratic Party presidents in Finland Green League candidate Pekka Haavisto conceded defeat in his bid for the presidency when about 80% of the vote had been counted and it was evident that Niinistö had polled over 60%. Despite a final spurt in Haavisto’s campaign, support simply did not grow enough to bring him a victory. Even so, Haavisto said he was satisfied with the count. “From the summer’s five percent it is a good rise. Over a million people gave me their backing.”
President Tarja Halonen phoned Sauli Niinistö on Sunday evening to present her congratulations on winning the election. The President and her husband Dr. Pentti Arajärvi have invited Niinistö and his wife to the presidential residence Mäntyniemi on Monday. The President’s Office also said Halonen made a call Sunday evening to the defeated candidate Pekka Haavisto.
Voters went to the polls in freezing temperatures Sunday to cast their votes for one of the two contenders, National Coalition candidate Sauli Niinisto or the Green League’s Pekka Haavisto. Turnout looked to be lower than in the first round, at 68.9% In the first round two weeks ago, when voters were choosing from a field of eight candidates, it was 72.8%.