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February 02, 1988

Incumbent Mauno Koivisto narrowly missed outright victory in Finland's presidential election, but he appeared certain to be chosen for a new six-year term by an electoral college. The Social Democrat, who in the last six years has led Finland into an era of unprecedented economic prosperity, won 47.9% of the popular vote, falling short of the 50% needed for outright election. Under Finland's dual electoral system, the election will be decided Feb. 15 by a 301-member electoral college, whose members were also chosen in the election. Koivisto won 144 seats in the college, just seven short of a majority. But analysts said his reelection is a foregone conclusion.

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