Finnish President has Strong Poll Lead Ahead of January Elections

Finnish President Sauli Niinisto is set to be elected for a second six-year term in January elections by a wide margin, a poll commissioned by public broadcaster YLE showed on Thursday.

Known for cultivating good relations with Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, 69-year-old Niinisto — an independent candidate who previously represented the conservative National Coalition Party — had the support of 76 percent in the poll.

Fourteen percent of respondents backed lawmaker Pekka Haavisto from the Greens of Finland while five others had in total around 10 percent.

The president is in charge of Finland’s foreign and defence policy together with the government, but otherwise the post has become largely ceremonial in the past few decades.

Reuters

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