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Finns choose new president

In Finland, Sunday the polling stations opened for the election of a new president. Outgoing president Sauli Niinisto is, according to the polls favourite for a second term of six years in the guard to drag.

The 69-year-old Ninisto, a former minister of Finance, must compete against seven other candidates. In the polls the conservative politician, however, a clear lead. Some closed him 60 to 70 percent of the votes, a second round on February 11, unnecessary would make.

Pekka Haavisto, the green candidate, who, six years ago, the ballot, lost to Ninisto, according to the polls the main challenger. Other candidates include Laura Huhtasaari of the populist Finnish Party (formerly True Finns, ed) and Paavo Varynen, as independent comes to mind.

For these elections are 4.4 million Finns entitled to vote. One in three voters has already advance voted. The president in Finland is mainly a ceremonial position, but on foreign policy the head of state have a say. Voters appreciate, according to analysts, the balanced policy that Ninisto. He seeks rapprochement with the Nato, but without the Russian neighbours for the head pose.

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