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No women candidates in Finnish Presidential race

25 Jan, 2012


Tarja Halonen, Finland's hugely popular first female head of state, will stand down this year after serving two six-year terms. All the candidates in the race to replace her are men, and, after the first round on Sunday, the list has been boiled down to two.

These are Sauli Niinisto, a former finance minister who has been ahead in the polls for some time and is viewed as a conservative, and the Green Party's Pekka Haavisto, the first openly gay candidate to stand in a presidential election in a Scandinavian country.

Both candidates are pro-European, with Haavisto defeating third placed former foreign minister (and anti-European) Paavo Vayrynen by only a narrow margin.

The run-off election will be held on 5 February, and the number of elected women heads of state will then fall from 7 to 6. A CFWD Factsheet containing a full list of current women presidents and prime ministers can be downloaded here.