Column from Finland – God bless our new president Alexander Stubb


Christian Life

Sari Savela, CNE.news

Outgoing President of the Republic of Finland Sauli Niinistö (L) congratulates his successor Alexander Stubb at the Parliament's plenary session during the inauguration of the President of the Republic of Finland in Helsinki, Finland, on March 1, 2024. Photo AFP, Heikki Saukkomaa

Finland submitted the ballots for the Presidential elections at the beginning of this year. Two remarkable facts about the new President.

Finland elected a new President at the beginning of this year. There were nine good candidates running for president, and the campaigning lasted more than six months. There were numerous events, election panels, voters' meetings and wide media coverage, digging up all the information they could about the candidates. In Finland, the campaigning was very civilized and polite, unlike in some other countries.

One of the main themes of the campaign was Finland's security. Two years ago, when Russia invaded Ukraine, Finns' sense of security was severely shaken. After all, we have a long border with Russia. The President of Finland, Sauli Niinistö, said at the time, "Now the masks are off, only the cold face of war is visible."

Suddenly, there was a national consensus that Finland must join NATO. It did happen, but it was a surprisingly long process, taking over one year. In May 2023, Finland became a NATO member state. At the same time as Finland, Sweden, our neighbouring country, applied for NATO membership. This week, Sweden's NATO membership was finally confirmed when the Hungarian parliament voted in favour of membership.


The 13th President of the Republic of Finland is Alexander Stubb. He narrowly defeated Pekka Haavisto of the Greens in the second round of the election. Mr Stubb was the candidate of the National Coalition Party. The current Prime Minister of Finland, Petteri Orpo, is also from the same party.

How Finland's politics work

In Finland, the President's term of office is six years, and the same person may not be elected President for more than two consecutive terms. The President is chosen by direct popular vote. If none of the candidates obtains over fifty per cent of votes in the first round, a second round of elections will be held. That was the case also in the presidential election this year.

The President of the Republic leads Finland's foreign policy together with the Government. The President is also an important leader of values.

The President has been inaugurated this Friday. The task was not easy, as Mr Stubb's predecessor, Sauli Niinistö, has been an unprecedentedly popular and widely respected President. According to a poll commissioned by MTV News, 76 per cent of Finns think Niinistö is Finland's best president.


Mr Stubb's slogan in his campaign was Unifying Programme. As President, he will really need the ability to unite the people.

Mr Niinistö has been widely respected by Christians. He has stood up for Christian values. At the end of his New Year's speech, Niinistö has always wished citizens God's blessing. His predecessor, Tarja Halonen, did not do so.

Alexander Stubb has promised to wish God's blessing in his New Year's speech, at least if the answer on the voting machine can be trusted.

For the first time, the country's first lady is a foreigner. Stubb's wife, Suzanne, is from the United Kingdom. If Mr Stubb's challenger, Pekka Haavisto, had become president, his partner would also have had a foreign background. Mr Haavisto is in a relationship with a man who emigrated to Finland from South America. The fact that he lives with a man may have been one reason why some Christians didn't vote for him. However, both candidates represented liberal values, so neither of them was ideal in terms of Christian values.

In Alexander Stubb, Finland will have a president who is internationally oriented, a skilled performer, linguistically skilled and experienced in foreign policy. He is also a family man.

God bless Finland's new president!



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