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Finland’s president poised for new six-year term after crushing poll victory

Sauli Niinisto will stay in office after his closest challenger conceded he had lost the race.

Finland’s incumbent president is poised for another six years in office as his closest opponent conceded defeat.

President Sauli Niinisto was leading with 63.8% of the votes cast on Sunday while his nearest challenger, Pekka Haavisto of the Greens, had 10.9%.

None of the other six candidates had received more than 7%.

Mr Niinisto needs a majority to prevent a run-off and to win re-election outright.

Mr Haavisto has conceded Mr Niinisto’s victory.

He told Finnish national broadcaster YLE that Mr Niinisto “is the republic’s new president with this result”.

Mr Niinisto, a former finance minister and parliament speaker, has been a highly popular president since he took office in 2012.

He ran as an independent with no association to the conservative National Coalition Party that he earlier chaired.

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