Voters in Finland on Sunday are
expected to reject Pekka Haavisto, the country's first openly gay
presidential candidate, the AP reported.
Polls show ex-finance minister Sauli
Niinisto is headed for a landslide.
Haavisto, of the Greens Party, advanced
to a runoff election against Niinisto last month. Niinisto led 7
rivals with 37 percent of the vote, but he failed to receive the
majority needed to win the contest. The two highest vote-getters
advanced to Sunday's runoff election.
Haavisto is the first openly gay
candidate to run for the post in Finland.
The president is largely removed from
daily politics, but holds tremendous influence over public opinion.
The 63-year-old Niinisto, a member of
the conservative National Coalition Party, narrowly lost a 2006
Haavisto, 53, is a former environmental
minister who is involved in the United Nations. He has been in a
registered partnership for 10 years with an Ecuadorean immigrant.
While Haavisto's sexual orientation
hasn't been a major issue in the campaign, analysts believe it is a
“Haavisto's sexual orientation, in my
mind, will be one of the major reasons, if not the main one, why
people won't vote for him,” Olavi Borg, a political analyst, told
the AP. “The older generation simply isn't ready for it.”