Finnish presidential election, 2000

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Finnish presidential election, 2000
Finland
1994 ←
6 February 2000
→ 2006

  Tarja Halonen 2003.jpg Esko Aho, Former Prime Minister of Finland; Executive Vice President, Nokia.jpg
Nominee Tarja Halonen Esko Aho
Party Social Democratic Centre
Popular vote 1.644.532 1.540.803
Percentage 51,6% 48,4%

President before election

Martti Ahtisaari
Social Democratic

Elected President

Tarja Halonen
Social Democratic

Presidential elections were held in Finland on 16 January 2000, with a second round on 6 February.[1] The result was a victory for Tarja Halonen of the Social Democratic Party, who became the country's first female President. During the elections Halonen was the incumbent Minister for Foreign Affairs. President Martti Ahtisaari had indicated in January 1999 that he would accept the Social Democratic Party's nomination for the 2000 presidential elections, but only if no presidential primary was held. However, Jacob Söderman announced his candidacy at the start of April 1999, and during the final week of that month, Ahtisaari announced that he would not seek the Social Democratic presidential candidacy. In his memoirs, Ahtisaari claims that Tarja Halonen badly wanted to become President, a claim that Halonen has denied. There were three other female presidential candidates in 2000: Riitta Uosukainen of the National Coalition, Elisabeth Rehn of the Swedish People's Party, and Heidi Hautala of the Greens. Halonen's popularity rose significantly during the last few months before the first round of the 2000 presidential elections, while Uosukainen's and Rehn's popularity declined. Former Prime Minister Esko Aho, the Centrist presidential candidate, emerged as the second most popular candidate. Halonen received votes from women across party lines, and she was partly helped by her lack of a major left-wing opponent, and by her reputation as a tolerant, human rights-oriented person. The election was decided by slightly over 100,000 votes, and the voter turnout was much higher than in the 1996 municipal elections or in the 1999 parliamentary elections (see, for example, Tapani Ruokanen, On a Journey: Martti Ahtisaari's Story / Matkalla. Martti Ahtisaaren tarina. Helsinki: Otava Ltd., 2009, pgs. 397-411; Timo Vihavainen, "The Welfare Finland" (Hyvinvointi-Suomi), pg. 903; Hannu Lehtilä, Tarja Halonen: One of Us (Tarja Halonen - Yksi meistä), Helsinki: Otava Ltd., 2005).

Results[edit]

Candidate Party First round Second round
Votes % Votes %
Tarja Halonen Social Democratic Party 1,224,431 40.0 1,644,532 51.6
Esko Aho Centre Party 1,051,159 34.4 1,540,803 48.4
Riitta Uosukainen National Coalition Party 392,305 12.8
Elisabeth Rehn Swedish People's Party 241,877 7.9
Heidi Hautala Green League 100,740 3.3
Ilkka Hakalehto True Finns 31,405 1.0
Risto Kuisma Reform Group 16,943 0.6
Invalid/blank votes 9,290 16,378
Total 3,068,150 100 3,201,713 100
Source: Nohlen & Stöver

References[edit]

  1. ^ Nohlen, D & Stöver, P (2010) Elections in Europe: A data handbook, p606 ISBN 978-3-8329-5609-7