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Former Finnish PM Alexander Stubb to run for president

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Former Finnish Prime Minister Alexander Stubb said on Wednesday (16 August) that he will be a candidate in Finland’s presidential election due in January of 2024.

His announcement came after incumbent premier Petteri Orpo on Sunday asked Stubb to become the National Coalition party’s candidate.

“In this geopolitical situation the answer is unequivocal: when the fatherland calls, then we go,” Stubb told reporters.

Stubb, currently a professor and director of the European University Institute in Florence, Italy, held several ministerial posts before serving as prime minister between 2014 and 2015.

Stubb has also served as an MEP for Finland from 2004 to 2008, sitting in the centre-right EPP group. During this time he became one of the most well-known members of the Parliament.

Among those who have announced their candidacies for the presidential election are Finland’s former foreign minister Pekka Haavisto, academic Mika Aaltola and Bank of Finland governor Olli Rehn, a former EU Commissioner for enlargement.

Stubb is known in Brussels circles for having competed with Manfred Weber to be the European People’s Party ‘Spitzenkandidat’ for the 2019 European elections, as well as for having challenged him to lead the EPP.

Ideologically, Stubb is in opposite camps with Weber, whom he accuses of betraying values and being open to alliances with the European far-right.

(Edited by Georgi Gotev)

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