Finland votes in Sunday presidential runoff

The new president will replace Tarja Halonen, one of Finland`s most popular heads of state.

Last Updated: Feb 05, 2012, 14:00 PM IST

Helsinki: Finns are voting for a new president in a runoff ballot between a veteran, conservative front-runner and the country`s first openly gay candidate from the small Greens party.

Ex-finance minister Sauli Niinisto leads polls by a wide margin over former environment minister Pekka Haavisto as polling stations opened nationwide in record cold temperatures.

About a third of the electorate, some 1.5 million voters, cast ballots in a week of advance voting before Sunday`s election. Polling stations close at 8 pm (1800 GMT).
The new president will replace Tarja Halonen, one of Finland`s most popular heads of state, who has served the maximum two six-year terms.

Bureau Report