Expressen's editor-in-chief Patrik Kronqvist in Helsinki following the Finnish presidential election.
Reporting on Finland's presidential election is a bit tricky, says the political editor of the Swedish evening newspaper Expressen. Patrick Cronquist to Iltalethi.
– To my readers the distance between the candidates does not seem too great and the election result does not affect the relations between Finland and Sweden.
Cronquist says presidential elections are similar to America's, but in stark contrast. He mentions the candidates' mutual respect and appreciation of the campaign, which is sought after even in Sweden's heated political climate.
Kronqvist reports on the presidential election in Helsinki, where voting began at 9 a.m. Sunday on Election Day.
– People show interest in elections. I attended Alexander Stubb's last campaign event last night and it was amazingly packed despite the cold.
According to Kronqvist, it seems a bit paradoxical that interest in presidential elections is at a very high level, even though presidential powers have been narrowed in a trend-like way since the 1990s and, on the one hand, coalition support. By Stubbs and the Greens representing the Electoral College Becca Haviston A second round between seems apolitically like-minded.
On the other hand, Cronquist reflects that this is not only a bad thing in defense policy debates in Russia's neighbor.
A very visible difference
From the point of view of the international media, there seem to be very few real differences between Haavisto and Stub, and to find such, one has to go to the level of detail. For example, they write like this Daily news And The New York Times.
One of the most obvious differences between the presidential candidates is their approach to nuclear weapons. Stubb wants to change Finland's nuclear law to allow the transfer of nuclear weapons in Finland. Havisto disagrees.
According to Kronqvist, the candidates' debate on nuclear weapons policy is followed with interest in Sweden, because in Sweden, which is waiting for membership in NATO, the same debate took place between the right and the left.
Candidates' nuclear stockpiles are also cited In Norway.
Cronqvist also noted that Havisto had challenged Stubb in a previous televised interview about his earlier overly optimistic writings about China.
The NATO process increased interest
Cronqvist estimated that Finland's and Sweden's NATO process increased Swedes' interest in the Finnish presidential election. However, Swedes are basically not very interested in Finnish politics.
– I would say that Finns know more about Swedish politics than the other way around.
On the other hand, Cronqvist says that among those longing for a republic in Royal Sweden, the Finnish president is interested as an institution. Svenska Yle, like the columnist, organized the world's only Swedish-language presidential poll Patrick Oksanen pointed out. According to Cronqvist, Linna's celebrations have also attracted attention in Sweden.
Stubb is well known
Among the candidates, Stubb is better known than Havisto in Sweden, Cronqvist thinks.
Stubb, who speaks Swedish as his mother tongue, has worked as a columnist for the Swedish business newspaper Dagens Industrie and is seen as a “young, dynamic triathlon type”. On the other hand, Haisto's background as an environmental and peace activist and a gay man is viewed as interesting.
However, no candidate is a super celebrity on every Swede's lips. Cronquist compares the presidential election to last spring's parliamentary election, which he watched.
– I would say that last year there was a lot of general hype around Sanna Marin. Sweden's current prime minister is more popular than ever.
On the other hand, Sauli Niinisto, who will soon end his presidency, is seen as the president who handled the NATO membership negotiations with Turkey better than his Swedish counterparts.