January 28, 2018 / 6:48 PM / a year ago

Rival concedes to incumbent Niinisto in Finnish presidential race

Green Party's presidential candidate Pekka Haavisto (C) and his spouse Antonio Flores arrive to give their vote during presidential election in Helsinki, Finland January 28, 2018. Lehtikuva/Heikki Saukkomaa/via REUTERS

HELSINKI (Reuters) - Finnish presidential candidate Pekka Haavisto conceded defeat in Sunday’s elections after incumbent Sauli Niinisto’s emerged with a strong lead.

“Niinisto has clearly won this race, my warm congratulations to him,” Haavisto, the Greens of Finland candidate and Niinisto’s closest rival, told reporters.

Niinisto, 69, who originally represented the conservative NCP party, was leading with 64.3 percent of the votes, compared to Haavisto’s 11.1 percent, with around 50 percent of votes counted.

Reporting by Jussi Rosendahl and Tuomas Forsell; Editing by Jon Boyle

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