Finnish presidential candidate surprised at renewed focus on his sexuality

World 18:00 09.02.2024

The Finnish presidential candidate Pekka Haavisto has questioned why his sexuality has come under such strong focus in the final days of campaigning before Sunday’s election as polls narrow with his rival, Alexander Stubb, Ednews reports referring to The Guardian.

The 65-year-old former foreign minister, who if he wins would become Finland’s first Green and first gay president, said he had been surprised by the way his sexuality had become an issue of public interest in the second and final round.

International security and defence are a high priority in the Nordic country after it joined Nato last year as it borders Russia. The Finnish president is head of state, commander-in-chief of the army and responsible for foreign policy in cooperation with the government.

Haavisto, who is running as an independent, added: “For me it surprises that it’s a topic during the second round in these elections, and also that when going around the country and meeting voters and having discussions it has not been coming directly to me like it maybe was discussed in 2012. Even that time it wasn’t so [much of an] issue so it looks a little like an artificial topic now in the second round.”

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