After 12 years at the Presidential Palace in Helsinki, the first female president in Finland’s history is starting to pack up her things. Social Democrat Tarja Halonen has served the maximum two terms in office, and on Sunday the nation votes for a new president. On Saturday, the last day of campaigning, the candidates defied freezing temperatures and heaps of snow try to to win over the last few voters, CNN’s Finnish affiliate MTV3 reported. “I really liked Halonen. That is why it is so difficult to make up my mind. I liked her style, she was good” resident Merja Lindell told Swedish daily Expressen which is reporting on the Finnish election.
In this election, Finland’s nearly 4.4 million eligible voters can choose between eight candidates, according to the Finnish Ministry of Justice. The Finnish president is elected in direct elections, and each term is six years. If neither of the candidates gets a majority in the first round, a new election is then held between the two candidates who received the most votes.
The Finnish president is in charge of the country’s foreign policy, together with the government. The president is also commander-in-chief of Finland’s defense forces. But because of recent changes, the president’s power is diminishing and more power is being given to the government and parliament.