Former Finland PM Alexander Stubb wins presidential election  – POLITICO

After attending school in Finland and later in the US, Belgium and Britain, Stubb entered politics in 2004 as a member of the European Parliament. He made a big impression on the Finns in 2008 when – to his own surprise – he was appointed foreign minister.

Praised by allies for his energetic approach to politics, he was also criticized during his time in government for his sometimes hasty statements, and was forced to apologize after being accused of swearing at a meeting of the Nordic Council, a regional cooperation body .

During a difficult year as prime minister in 2014, he failed to reverse his NCP’s declining popularity and lost the 2015 parliamentary elections amid an economic slump. After a stint as finance minister, he left Finnish politics in 2017 and vowed never to return.

Observers say Stubb earned voters’ support during the five-month presidential election campaign by acting calmer and more measured during debates than he was used to and by going out of his way to show respect for his rivals.

“No matter how these elections go, it will be good for Finland,” he said in a debate with Haavisto earlier last week.

Stubb has said he intends to be a unifying force in Finnish society, something the country appears to need after a series of racism scandals involving ministers and, more recently, strikes over working conditions and wages that paralyzed public services.

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