Former Finnish Prime Minister Alexander Stubb to Run for President
Former Prime Minister of Finland, Alexander Stubb, has announced his candidacy for the upcoming presidential elections next year. The announcement was made by Prime Minister of Finland, Petteri Orpo, following a party leadership meeting.
This development was reported by Finland's public broadcaster, Yle.
"He is undoubtedly the strongest among our very capable candidates, and we are prepared to work diligently on his behalf," said Orpo.
Now that he has received the party's nomination, Stubb will enter the race against the current favorite, representative of the Greens and former Minister for Foreign Affairs, Pekka Haavisto, the head of the Bank of Finland, Olli Rehn, former leader of the Finns Party, Jussi Halla-aho, and foreign policy expert Mika Aaltola.
The first round of presidential elections in Finland is scheduled for January 28th next year. A second round between the top two contenders will take place on February 11th if none of the candidates secures over 50% of the votes.
Stubb is a prominent figure in Brussels, having served as a diplomat in Finland's permanent representation and subsequently as an advisor to Commission President Romano Prodi from 2001 to 2003. He was a Member of the European Parliament from 2004 to 2008. Later, he held positions in the Finnish government as Minister for Foreign Affairs, then Minister for European Affairs, and served as Prime Minister from 2014 to 2015 before the National Coalition Party (NCP) took second place to the Centre Party in parliamentary elections. He later held the position of Minister of Finance before losing the leadership contest to Orpo at the NCP party conference in 2016.
In 2018, Stubb announced his candidacy from the center-right European People's Party (EPP) for the position of President of the European Commission, but ultimately lost to Manfred Weber in the elections.
After serving as Vice President of the European Investment Bank, Stubb now heads the School of Transnational Governance at the European University Institute in Florence.
As reported, Finland joined NATO on April 4, 2023, ending years of military neutrality and non-alignment. This move was triggered by Russia's aggressive war in Ukraine.