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Finns vote in presidential second round

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Finns vote in presidential second round
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Voters in Finland have been choosing their President in the country’s second round of voting.

The front runner is the pro-European conservative candidate Sauli Niinisto. The former finance minister won the first round with 37 per cent of the vote.

He is up against another pro-European candidate, the Green party’s Pekka Haavisto who polled 19 per cent first time round.

Haavisto is hoping to become Finland’s first openly gay president.

The economy remains the deciding factor among many voters.

Analysts believe that a pro-Europe president will ease the pressure on Finland’s prime minister to take a tough line with Brussels over euro bailout funds in the coming months.

In parliamentary elections last year, the Finns Party made substantial gains, with a campaign that focused on criticising the rescue plans.

The president’s post carries with it little executive power apart from military and diplomatic affairs, but it is a high-profile position.