Green League candidate Pekka Haavisto has received massive amounts of donations from supporters in the second round of Finland’s presidential elections. By Thursday evening Haavisto’s campaign budget had brown to more than EUR 710,000 – nearly three times higher than the EUR 250,000 reported for the first round. Olli Muurainen, chairman of the executive of Haavisto’s support group, Suomi-Finland 2012 said that most of the money is being spent on advertising. “In the last four days we will spend approximately as much on campaigning in the media that we have spent on the campaign so far”, Muurainen says.
About half of the advertising money will be spent on advertisements in regional newspapers and about half will go into television advertising. A good deal of money will be spent on a single television advertisement two and a half minutes long that will be shown during the first commercial break of the entertainment programme Putous on MTV3 on Saturday evening. Muurainen says that the idea and implementation of the spot was the work of “people who were completely unknown to the campaign team”. “We have collected the financing in the form of small donations. I do not believe that this kind of political campaigning has been done in Finland before.” He would not say anything about the content, or the producers of the short video.
On the night of the first round, in which Pekka Haavisto came in second place about EUR 100,000 in donations came onto the campaign’s bank account. More than EUR 80,000 was raised by a concert held at Helsinki’s Ice Hall on Monday. The second-round budget of National Coalition Party candidate Sauli Niinistö is nevertheless significantly higher than that of Haavisto. Niinistö’s campaign treasurer Harry Harkimo estimates that Niinistö’s campaign budget is in the neighbourhood of EUR 1.2 million. After the advance report made during the first round, Niinistö’s campaign treasury has increased by about EUR 200,000. The original estimate for the budget was for slightly more than a million euros in financing, and about EUR 940,000 in costs.
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