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Tue Jan 24, 2012, 09:57 AM

Finnish presidential poll heads to runoff

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/europe/2012/01/2012122184625249270.html

Conservative front runner Sauli Niinistoe will face first openly gay presidential candidate in February vote.


Pro-euro presidential candidate Sauli Niinisto has taken the lead in the first round of Finnish elections but will have to face Green League opponent Pekka Haavisto in February.

Preliminary results on Sunday showed voters in Finland preferred the former finance minister, giving him 36.9 per cent of the vote.

Centrist foreign minister Paavo Vayrynen, initailly expected to finish in second, was overtaken by Haavisto, who is estimated to have 18.7 per cent of votes cast. That puts Haavisto, the nation's first openly gay candidate, ahead of Vayrynen, who came in a surprising third with 17.6 per cent.

The remaining votes will be split among all the five remaining candidates from the remaining five parties of the parliament. All eight parties nominated a candidate in this year's election.


***probably won't happen -- but there is a chance that finland could elect an openly gay president.

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