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Runoff Planned in Presidential Election

January 16, 2006|From Times Wire Reports

Finland's first female head of state failed to win enough votes to secure reelection, forcing a runoff against a conservative challenger.

Final results showed left-leaning President Tarja Halonen won 46% of the vote, well ahead of her main challenger, but short of the 50% needed to avoid a runoff.

Finland prides itself on egalitarian values and was the first nation in Europe to give women the vote a century ago.

"It's a pity ... but it's no use to complain," said Halonen, who is seeking a second six-year term.

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