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Pekka Haavisto named Green presidential candidate

The Green League party council on Sunday unanimously confirmed Pekka Haavisto as their presidential candidate, following his announcement one day earlier that he was seeking the nomination.

Pekka Haavisto viimeisteli puhettaan, jonka hän piti vihreiden puoluevaltuuskunnan kokouksessa Lohjalla sunnuntaina 12. helmikuuta.
Pekka Haavisto at the Green League party council meeting in Lohja on Sunday. Image: Martti Kainulainen / Lehtikuva

Haavisto announced he would be running for president on Saturday, citing the current global political climate as the main reason for his candidacy.

”The Western world has seen two major changes: Brexit and the U.S. presidential election. Trump’s administration is testing the limits of the constitution and harsher attitudes towards Iran and China do not forebode a calm year,” Haavisto said.

In a speech held right after his confirmation as a presidential candidate, Haavisto emphasized how Finland does not need any more enemies, and that discrimination and ostracising different groups do not build unity or a desire to defend Finland.

The presidential candidate believes security will not improve unless the root of the problem is solved. Haavisto said a country like Finland can further global peace and stability by supporting the United Nations, peacekeeping operations, civilian crisis control, and peace processes.

In the last presidential elections in 2012, Haavisto received over a million votes and came second to current President Sauli Niinistö of the National Coalition Party. Haavisto was the first openly homosexual presidential candidate in Finland and the first to have chosen civilian service instead of the military.

In addition to the Greens, only the Centre Party has announced a candidate for the 2018 presidential elections. The Centre candidate is former prime minister and current MP Matti Vanhanen. The incumbent, Sauli Niinistö, has not yet announced whether or not he will be in the running.

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