Pekka Haavisto is the first openly gay candidate to run for head of state of Finland.
The Associated Press reports:
The conservative favorite easily won the first round of Finland?s presidential election Sunday, setting up a runoff against an environmentalist leader who is the first openly gay candidate to run for head of state in the Nordic country.
Sauli Niinisto, a former finance minister, won 37 percent of the vote, well ahead of the other candidates but short of the majority needed to avoid a second round, official preliminary results showed.
With all votes counted, Pekka Haavisto, of the Greens party, was second with 18.8 percent, securing his place in the Feb. 5 runoff.
The result means Finns will have two pro-European candidates to choose from in the second round, contrasting with the surge in euroskeptic sentiment in last year?s parliamentary election.
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