The Finnish presidential family is set to grow by one early next year.
President Sauli Niinistö and Mrs. Jenni Haukio shared the piece of good – and for them personally long-awaited – news on Monday, announcing they expect to add a new member to their family in February, 2018.
“We will have an addition to our family in February, 2018. We have been hoping for a child for a long time and have experienced many difficulties over those years. There have therefore been delicate issues related to the early days of pregnancy, but we are able to share the news now,” they commented in a press release from the Office of the President of the Republic.
The news was met with an outpouring of congratulations on social media from both private citizens and policy makers, including each of the five other candidates vying for the presidency.
“My warm congratulations to the presidential couple on the delightful news,” tweeted Tuula Haatainen, the presidential candidate of the Social Democratic Party.
Some also speculated that the announcement will all but secure a second presidential term for Niinistö.
“Sauli Niinistö may get over one hundred per cent of the votes cast in the first round of the presidential elections. Because of Haukio,” tweeted Mikael Jungner, an ex-chairperson of the Social Democratic Party and an ex-chief executive of YLE.
The Office of the President on Monday also assured that the matter will have no effect on how the president performs his official duties.
The child will be the third for Niinistö and the first for Haukio. Niinistö will also become the first president to father a child while in office and, at 69 years of age, all but a statistical oddity: Helsingin Sanomat points out that only 13 men within the age group of those born in 1945–1950 became a father in 2016.
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Roni Rekomaa – Lehtikuva