The stakes are high in Finland this weekend with the most sought after political prize in the country up for grabs. But the job may already be in the bag for the woman who has been the country’s president since the year 2000. Backed by the Social Democrats and leftist groupings, Tarja Halonen is set to secure another term in office if the opinion polls are to be believed. The Nordic nation’s prime minister is among those aiming to stop her.
Centrist Matti Vanhanen has among his most effective weapons an internet diary highlighting the ups and downs of life on the election trail. Between 20,000 and 30,000 people read it every day. Conservative contender Sauli Niinisto is also keeping a candid campaign journal on the web. Just over a year ago he survived the Asian tsunami.
As the candidates battle it out on television, many Finns have already made up their minds. Over 30 per cent of all registered voters have cast their ballots, ahead of Sunday’s election.