Finnish Presidential Elections enters second Round
Also available in Deutsch
Since none of the candidates of the Finnish presidential elections reached the necessary absolute majority, the two best placed will meet in a run-off on the 29th of January 2006.
These are incumbent Tarja Halonen (Social Democrat Party) and the present Vice-President of the European Investment Bank and former Finance Minister Sauli Niinistö (National Coalition Party).
Halonen took 46.3% of the vote, followed by Sauli Niinistö (24.1%), who thus beat the challenge of Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen (Centre Party, 18.6%). Behind the three major hopefuls, there was a sizeable gap to the Greens' Heidi Hautala (3.5%) and Timo Soini, True Finns (3.4%). The other three candidates - Bjarne Kallis (Christian Democrats), Henrik Lax (Swedish People's Party) and Arto Lahti (Independent) - all collected no more than 2% of the votes and only around 4% between them. The total voter turnout was 73.8%.