A gay presidential candidate is one of two contenders battling it out in a runoff vote in Finland’s presidential election.

Pekka Haavisto, of the Greens Party,is the first openly gay candidate to run for head of state in the Nordic country.

He’ll go up against Sauli Niinisto, a conservative former finance minister, who won 37 percent of the first round of votes, short of the majority needed to avoid a second round, official preliminary results showed.

The environmentalist leader was second with 18.8 percent, securing his place in the runoff.

An opinion poll published last week showed Niinisto still in the lead, but down eight points from a previous survey.

The president has a largely ceremonial role in Finland and is not considered involved in daily politics.

The runoff election takes place on February 5.

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