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Finnish leaders congratulate Biden and Harris

Many leading Finnish politicians tweeted congratulations, with one notable exception.

Sanna Marin ja Sauli Niinistö.
PM Marin and President Niinistö were among the first to congratulate Biden and Harris. Image: Kalevi Rytkölä, Juha Kivioja / Yle
Yle News

President Sauli Niinistö has congratulated United States President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on behalf of Finland.

Two hours after major US media outlets declared Biden as the winner of the election, the official presidential Twitter account quoted Niinistö as saying in English: "I have congratulated Joe Biden on his election. I look forward to continuing to build on our strong partnership with him and Kamala Harris."

About two hours after that, Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP) tweeted in English: "My congratulations to Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. Looking forward to cooperating on transatlantic relations." In a Finnish tweet, she added: "The United States is an important partner for Finland."

Around the same time as the president’s tweet, Speaker of Parliament Anu Vehviläinen (Cen) posted this comment in Finnish: "Democracy has spoken, end of discussion. Success to the United States. Congratulations to Joe Biden and Kamala Harris."

Swedish People's Party chair Anna-Maja Henriksson wrote: "Congratulations to President Elect Joe Biden! Congratulations also to Vice President Elect Kamala Harris for shattering the glass ceiling! The people have used their democratic right and made a change. I welcome USA back to the Paris climate agreement."

Mixed messages from opposition leaders

Petteri Orpo, leader of the two main opposition parties in Parliament, the conservative National Coalition, wrote in English: “Congrats Joe Biden & Kamala Harris! Great news for the US, rules-based international order, moderate politics and for Finland. Populism lost this round but the political divisions remain. Good luck to the new administration - Western values need their advocate.”

Jussi Halla-aho, chair of the other main opposition bloc, the nationalist Finns Party, has not publicly congratulated the president-elect. Late Saturday evening, he posted the following comment in Finnish:

“I was asked this morning how the nation could be united after Trump’s term. I thought of one [way]: Stop insulting the losing [candidate] and his supporters and move forward! (And not say, but Trump started it!).”

Business mogul Hjallis Harkimo, chair of the one-man opposition group Liike Nyt, tweeted in Finnish: “Biden won the election, congratulations on that, Trump should admit his defeat, nothing’s going to change it.”

Sari Essayah, chair of the third-largest opposition party, the Christian Democrats, had not commented on the US election on Twitter as of Sunday.

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