04 February 2006

While this blog was sleeping

BerlinBear avatarLast weekend, while The Capital Letter was in a state of slumber, the Finns re-elected their woman president, Tarja Halonen, for a further six year term. Just.

Earlier in January, Halonen had easily won the first round of the Finnish presidential elections, but had failed to gain the 50% of the vote required to avoid a head-to-head run off. In that first round, Halonen had recevied 46.3% of the vote, to the conservative candidate Sauli Niinisto's 24.1%. This result forced a run off ballot between the two, which took place last weekend.

Given the very high percentage of the vote Tarja Halonen received in the first round, it may have been something of a surprise to some that she only just scraped home in the head-to-head battle with Niinisto. Halonen received 51.8% of the vote to Niinisto's 48.2%. As a result, she will remain at the helm in Helsinki until 2012.

This result, of course, means that the number of women world leaders, which has been a focus of discussion on this blog in recent weeks
, remains stable at 11 (or 12, depending on whom you count) until further notice. Jolly good.