Pekka Haavisto: Finland’s ‘DJ’ Presidential Hopeful Adds Beats to Politics
Discover the unique blend of beats and politics as Pekka Haavisto, Finland’s ‘DJ’ presidential hopeful, vies to become the country’s first Green and openly gay president. Dive into the unconventional campaign featuring club nights, 60s-70s classics, and a serious quest for leadership in the upcoming pivotal election.
In the vibrant heart of Helsinki’s music scene, Pekka Haavisto, Finland’s 65-year-old former foreign minister, is orchestrating a unique political campaign that combines beats from the 60s and 70s with the quest to become the country’s first Green and openly gay president. Haavisto, running as an independent, has found an unusual but successful formula in leveraging club nights to connect with voters, even as the race takes an unexpected turn in the final days.
Heading into the first round of Finland’s pivotal presidential election, Haavisto is holding his ground as the second in the opinion polls, facing off against former prime minister Alexander Stubb. However, the unexpected rise of Jussi Halla-aho, the former leader of the far-right Finns party, has introduced a new dynamic, raising concerns among liberals that both finalists in the election’s second round could be right-wing candidates.
Haavisto’s campaign strategy stands out not only for its musical flair but also for its inclusive approach. Club nights, where Haavisto dons the DJ mantle as “DJ Pexi,” have become a central element of his outreach. The events feature performances by leading names from Finland’s music scene, followed by Haavisto’s DJ set, spinning his favorite tracks from the 60s and 70s. His partner, Antonio Flores, humorously describes Haavisto’s musical taste as “terrible,” yet the sold-out nights and the enthusiastic response from attendees showcase the success of this unconventional campaign concept.
Haavisto’s playlist on a recent Friday included classics like “Rivers of Babylon” by Boney M, “Adam and Eve” by Paul Anka, “Era Mentira” by Rikarena, and “Revolution” by the Beatles. Between tracks, Haavisto takes the opportunity to connect with his supporters, sharing the personal significance of each song. This unique blend of politics and music has captured the attention of voters, making Haavisto’s campaign a standout in an otherwise tense political landscape.
Challenges and Concerns
As the election approaches, Haavisto acknowledges the growing threat from the right, especially from Halla-aho. While Haavisto remains optimistic about the varied political choices in Finland, he expresses concern about the potential dominance of right-wing candidates in the final round, leaving some voters without a clear alternative.
Despite the lighthearted moments of his campaign, Haavisto’s focus extends beyond the music scene. He addresses serious security concerns, particularly in border areas with Russia. At an event in Lapland, near Finland’s most northerly border crossing, Haavisto encountered citizens reflecting on heightened tensions and the possibility of war. These concerns highlight the complex issues facing Finland, underscoring the need for a leader who can balance the nation’s diverse challenges.
“Pekka Haavisto, Finland’s ‘DJ’ presidential candidate, adds rhythm to politics, combining club nights and 60s-70s beats in his quest to become the nation’s first Green and openly gay president amidst a challenging election landscape.”
Pekka Haavisto’s campaign is not just about melodies and club nights; it’s a unique blend of entertainment and a serious quest for leadership. As Finland heads to the polls, Haavisto’s unconventional approach has left an indelible mark on the campaign trail. Whether voters are swayed by the beats of DJ Pexi or the political promises of a Green and gay president remains to be seen, but one thing is clear: Pekka Haavisto has added a distinctive rhythm to Finland’s presidential race.