Sauli Niinistö, a former finance minister and speaker of the parliament from the conservative National Coalition party received 62,7 per cent of the votes, a result which came as no surprise. Sauli Niinistö has throughout the entire presidential campaign been clear on how the role of the new president is to be played. Since the president has a direct mandate from the people he is entitled to engage also in other policy domains than those prescribed in the Finnish constitution.
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When the voters go to the polls for the second round of the Finnish presidential election on Sunday February 5, the ultimate winner will be destined for a significantly weakened presidential office. The role of the future president was of the main issues during the first round of electoral campaign and will be further debated during the upcoming week between the two finalists.
In the short term it seems reasonable to assume that Putin wants to win the presidential elections in early March by an absolute majority in the first round. The election campaign will be a first pointer to where Russia is heading.
This Sunday, on December 4, parliamentary elections are held in Russia as the first step in the country’s electoral cycle that will end with the presidential elections in early March 2012.
On 23 October 2011 a presidential election was held in Bulgaria, together with the country’s municipal elections, with a run-off on 30 October 2011. This comment explore the way that these elections were conducted, the political platforms of the three main contestants, and finally assess their outcome for the future politics of Bulgaria.
From a party-political perspective, the election has seen at least a partial consolidation of the pattern of competition. Although the spectacular arrival of a new party, the pro-market and libertarian Palikot Movement (Ruch Palikota, RP) represents a new locus of ideological identification in this structure, the surprise of its emergence should not lead to the rash drawing of conclusions as to its present relevance or future prospects. When the novelty of Palikot's triumph has worn off, the governing liberal-conservative Civic Platform (Platforma Obywatelska, PO) - and Tusk in particular - will remain the real winners of this election.
While the centre-left as expected won the Danish election on 15 September 2011, the victory turned out to be much narrower than predicted and the two main parties of the Left, the Social Democrats (S) and SF both lost votes compared with the 2007 election.
When the preliminary electoral results came in the evening of 17 September, two things were rather clear. First, the Harmony Centre (Saskaņas centrs, SC) seems to be the winner of the extraordinary parliamentary elections in Latvia. Second, the so-called oligarch parties have suffered a humiliating defeat.
The 2011 election will differ from the previous elections in two important ways: First, there is a real likelihood for a change in government with Social Democratic leader Helle Thorning-Schmidt taking over as prime minister. Second, the campaign so far has been dominated by debates about the state of the economy while immigration and health care, the major themes of the three previous campaigns, have played only a minor role.
Populist temptation has always haunted Latvia. Not less now, when voters are struggling to recover from Europe´s deepest GDP-fall. “People want change”, says professor Runcis who fears that Zatlers can not deliver that, and so distrust of politicians might grow. The political scientist is worried about the ex-presidents lack of competence in the economic field, and he is critical of Zatler´s political ambitions.