The candidates’ difference of opinion regarding nuclear weapons and the deployment of NATO troops in Finland has also received attention. The international media also consider Stubb to be the early favorite.
In the foreign media, the Finnish presidential election is focused on Finland’s role in NATO and the nuclear weapons issue that has created differences between the candidates. For example, the Qatari news media Al Jazeera says that the main task of the future president is “to guide the foreign and security policy, which has taken on a new meaning after Finland joined NATO in response to Russia’s attack on Ukraine”.
In general, the international press sees by Alexander Stubb (co.) as a pre-favourite, and a rival Pekka Haavisto (voting association, vihr.) is considered a candidate with an emphasis on human rights and environmental issues, slightly to the left of Stubb.
In the international media, the candidates are considered very like-minded, even though many media highlight the candidates’ different views regarding nuclear weapons and the deployment of NATO troops in Finland. Among other things, German Deutsche Welle has highlighted Stubb’s statement that “a nuclear weapon is sometimes a guarantee of peace”.
British newspaper The Guardian says that the key election themes for Finns have been international security and defense policy due to the situation on the eastern border. The magazine highlights Stubb’s comment, according to which “foreign policy and security are existential issues for Finland”.
In addition, the way Finnish candidates campaign is considered surprising. The news website of the German broadcasting company ARD Tagesschau says that, viewed from “German eyes”, election campaigning has been “incredibly civilized” and that the candidates rarely speak badly of their competitors.
In the Swedish media, the candidates are also presented as being of the same mind
For example, in Sweden, a newspaper Aftonbladet says that the election battle is between “bicycle Stubb” and “DJ Pex”, and Stubb is considered the early favorite. The family roots of both candidates in Sweden have also been highlighted in the same story. Aftonbladet writes that “both candidates seem to mostly agree”, but issues related to nuclear weapons create the biggest differences between the candidates.
Swedish public broadcasting company SVT on the other hand, deals with Haavisto’s sexual orientation. SVT refers to the citizen barometer of the University of Helsinki, where a third of respondents said that Haavisto’s partner is the reason not to vote for him.
– It was a bit surprising in the sense that I have been a candidate a couple of times before. It hasn’t mattered. But now that I’m in the second round, it came out quite strongly, says Haavisto in an interview with SVT.
Newspaper in Dagens Nyheter the published report tells about the thoughts of the voters of Espoo Westend. Stubb is praised as a diplomatic and skilled politician who wants to strengthen relations with the United States. However, Stubb does not avoid criticism: one of the interviewees criticizes the politics of Stubb’s party coalition in the government, and therefore does not want to vote for Stubb, who lives in Westend.
The newspaper presents both Haavisto and Stubb as liberal candidates. Dagens Nyheter writes that Haavisto is “to the left of Stubb” and that Haavisto has emphasized climate and human rights issues.
In the United States, the media emphasizes NATO-Finland’s foreign policy
News agency AP writes that Finnish voters will choose the president today, Sunday, between two experienced candidates. The most important task of the president is to direct NATO-Finland’s foreign policy. AP also takes into account the consensus of the candidates and the differences of opinion brought up by the nuclear weapons issue.
Newspaper The New York Times writes that “Finns will choose a leader in the elections, who will play a decisive role when the country’s role is determined by the military alliance in NATO at a time when relations with Russia are straining”. According to the newspaper, Finnish elections might typically receive little attention in foreign countries, but Finland’s NATO membership and long border with Russia have aroused special interest “among Finland’s European and American allies as the geopolitical order changes.”