The voting process, which started at 09.00 local time (10.00 a.m.), will end at 20.00 p.m. (21.00 p.m.). In the election, which will determine the successor of President Sauli Niinistö, whose second 6-year term will end in March, no one is expected to receive more than 50 percent of the votes in the first round.

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Polls show that former Prime Minister Alexander Stubb and former Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto are among the leading candidates.

Finland's new president will begin his six-year term in March at a different time than his predecessors due to the changing geopolitical and security situation in Europe.

Unlike in most European countries, Finland's president retains executive power to determine foreign and security policy.

Finland, which abandoned its long-standing policy of military neutrality after the Russia-Ukraine war, became NATO's 31st member in April 2023.