Finland’s ‘DJ’ candidate hopes to become the country’s first Green and gay president

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01/28/2024

At a packed, dimly lit music venue in Helsinki, an attentive crowd dressed up for a night out sings sweetly along to musicians on stage in front of a kitsch image of a smiling 65-year-old man. While the atmosphere would suggest fun club night rather than political campaign event, it is one of the last appearances of Pekka Haavisto, the man to whom the night is dedicated, before he runs in one of Finland’s most high-stakes presidential elections in living memory. The 65-year-old former foreign minister, who is hoping to become the country’s first Green and first gay president, is second in the ­opinion polls as Finland votes in the first round of the pivotal ­election on Sunday. But he is facing a growing threat from the right.

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