More than 20,000 Finnish citizens have endorsed a supporter card to nominate Dr. Olli Rehn, the Governor of the Bank of Finland, as a presidential candidate through an electoral association. Establishing an electoral association for the presidential elections requires the endorsement of at least 20,000 eligible voters. Rehn's campaign officially commenced on Friday with an open public event at Sofia Helsinki.
The extensive collection of supporter cards was orchestrated by thousands of volunteers from across Finland since Rehn announced his bid for the presidency in June. This significant milestone paves the way for the next phase of Rehn's campaign as he seeks to become the president of Finland.
"I am genuinely delighted and grateful that the required number of supporter cards has been gathered, allowing us to kickstart our campaign in earnest. I want to extend my warmest thanks to each person who endorsed the card and all the volunteers participating in the campaign. Finland's president must represent all Finns. They should stand as a guardian of republican values, freedom, equality, democracy, and the rule of law," Rehn stated.
On Friday, Rehn's campaign office opened to the public in Helsinki's City Passage, and the campaign was officially launched with an open public event at Sofia Helsinki. During his inaugural address, Rehn emphasized Finland's resilience during times of crisis and its alignment with Western security communities.
"While geography hasn't changed, our position has. Together with our allies, we are now actively countering Russia's power politics. The next president's crucial role is to successfully anchor Finland within Western security communities."
"I have no illusions about Russia's development. It is incomprehensible that some political forces in Finland would want to reverse Finland's integration into the West and Europe. The outcome of this illusion would be a solitary Finland," Rehn warned.
Rehn also stressed the significance of a sound economy in ensuring Finland's security.
"The president must advocate for a healthy economy. If the public finances are in disarray, unemployment rises, and spirits darken, we become more vulnerable to hostile external influence. It's about how we keep our country united and internally robust."
On Friday, a wide array of Rehn's supporters was announced, along with the release of the second edition of Rehn's book, "The Republic of the Happy."
Rehn's campaign kick-off event can be followed on Friday, September 15, 2023, starting at 6:00 PM at www.ollirehn2024.fi.