Print options

January 21, 2012

Finland Votes in Presidential Election

Polling stations are open in Finland for Sunday's presidential election.

A recent public opinion poll shows former finance minister Sauli Niinistoe - the front-runner - could get about 30 percent of the vote.  But he has slipped from much higher support in earlier polls.  He is not expected to get the simple majority among the eight candidates to avoid a runoff on February 5.  Election results are expected late Sunday.

The presidency in Finland is a largely ceremonial position, with the prime minister running the country's daily affairs.

The new president will replace Tarja Halonen, who is completing his second six-year term, and is not allowed to run again.  Halonen defeated Niinistoe in the last presidential election.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.