Alexander Stubb, a former Prime Minister and former chair of the National Coalition Party (NCP), has confirmed he will not seek to be elected to the position of mayor of Helsinki in next year’s municipal elections.
Speaking on Yle TV1's Ykkösaamu morning show on Saturday, Stubb said that while there were pros and cons to the idea of running for the position, there were also many "negative memories" for him associated with domestic politics.
"Many people who know me personally know that the answer is no," he said right at the beginning of the interview.
Stubb is currently a director and professor at the EU University in Florence, and he justified his decision not to run by saying he will continue to focus on international affairs.
"The position of the mayor of Helsinki is extremely important. It is one of the most significant public tasks that Finland can have," Stubb said. "I hope that the National Coalition Party and Helsinki will find a good, modern, forward-looking, tolerant mayor."
Stubb suggests former MP as NCP candidate
Stubb had strong support to enter the mayoral race, with a survey commissioned by Helsingin Sanomat suggesting that 29 percent of Helsinki residents were in favour of his potential nomination as the NCP’s candidate.
Current MP Elina Lepomäki was the second most popular candidate, with 12 percent support among respondents.
During the Ykkösaamu interview, Stubb suggested Kirsi Piha should be the NCP’s candidate. Piha was a member of Helsinki city council during the 1990s, and is both a former MP and MEP.
Stubb was also asked if he would be interested in running for president.
"It is a question that needs to be seriously considered, but at this stage there is no way to answer it, because there is no answer," he replied.