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Centre Party endorses Olli Rehn as presidential candidate

The Bank of Finland governor says Russia's frozen assets should be used to rebuild Ukraine.

Olli Rehn ja puoliso Merja Rehn keskustan ylimääräisessä puoluekokouksessa Turussa 23. syyskuuta 2023.
The Centre Party on Saturday endorsed Bank of Finland governor Olli Rehn as its candidate in next year's presidential election due in January 2024. Image: Lehtikuva / Heikki Saukkomaa
Yle News

The Centre Party congress in Turku on Saturday said Olli Rehn would run as its candidate in next January's presidential election.

"I'm deeply grateful to the 20,000 Finns who supported my presidential candidacy," Rehn said in his speech, making a reference to his voter association backing.

This past spring Rehn announced that he would be running in the presidential election through an unaffiliated voter association, despite his Centre Party background. Incumbent president Sauli Niinistö set this trend in 2018 when he collected 156,000 signatures to launch his re-election campaign, rising above party politics and presenting himself as head of a citizens' movement.

Speaking to Centre Party delegates, Rehn said that the president's main task was foreign policy. On that note, the Bank of Finland governor said he believed that Russia's frozen currency reserves should be used to rebuild Ukraine.

"It would be the right thing to do, economically significant and legally possible," he told the party faithful.

Rehn praised his fellow candidates in the race as both experienced and knowledgeable. He is entering the contest alongside Pekka Haavisto (Green), Alexander Stubb (NCP), Finns Party leader Jussi Halla-aho and foreign policy expert Mika Aaltola, among others. Recent polls have indicated Rehn falling behind the top two candidates, Haavisto and Stubb.

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