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The World

February 01, 1988

Finns began voting in a two-day presidential election, with incumbent Mauno Koivisto expected to win another six-year term. An election-eve opinion poll showed Koivisto, a Social Democrat, with 52% of the vote. His closest rival, Conservative Prime Minister Harri Holkeri, had 17%. Koivisto, 64, won power in 1982 when his predecessor, Urho Kekkonen, retired after 25 tumultuous years in office. Koivisto has quietly led the country into an era of economic prosperity and stability in foreign affairs, in which Finland maintains a neutral foreign policy but pursues close ties with the Soviet Union.

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