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Sauli Niinistö
Sauli Niinistö Senate of Poland 2015.JPG
12th President of Finland
Assumed office
1 March 2012
Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen
Alexander Stubb
Juha Sipilä
Antti Rinne
Preceded by Tarja Halonen
Speaker of Parliament
In office
24 April 2007 – 27 April 2011
Preceded by Timo Kalli
Succeeded by Ben Zyskowicz
Chairman of the European Democrat Union
In office
Minister of Finance
In office
2 February 1996 – 16 April 2003
Prime Minister Paavo Lipponen
Preceded by Iiro Viinanen
Succeeded by Antti Kalliomäki
Deputy Prime Minister of Finland
In office
13 April 1995 – 30 August 2001
Prime Minister Paavo Lipponen
Preceded by Pertti Salolainen
Succeeded by Ville Itälä
Minister of Justice
In office
13 April 1995 – 2 February 1996
Prime Minister Paavo Lipponen
Preceded by Anneli Jäätteenmäki
Succeeded by Kari Häkämies
Chairman of the National Coalition Party
In office
Chair of the City Council of Salo
In office
Member of the Parliament of Finland
In office
21 March 2007 – 19 April 2011
In office
21 March 1987 – 18 March 2003
Member of the City Council of Salo
In office
Member of the City Board of Salo
In office
Personal details
Sauli Väinämö Niinistö

(1948-08-24) 24 August 1948 (age 73)
Salo, Finland
Political party
  • Independent (since 2012)
  • National Coalition Party (until 2012)
Marja-Leena Alanko
(m. 1974; died 1995)

Jenni Haukio
(m. 2009)
Children 3
Relatives Ville Niinistö (nephew)
Residence Mäntyniemi
Alma mater University of Turku
Military service
Allegiance  Finland
Branch/service Suomen Merivoimien tunnus.svg Finnish Navy
Rank Kapteeni kauluslaatta.svg Captain

Sauli Väinämö Niinistö (born 24 August 1948) is a Finnish politician and the 12th President of Finland, in office since 2012.

A lawyer by education, Niinistö was Chairman of the National Coalition Party from 1994 to 2001, Minister of Justice from 1995 to 1996, Minister of Finance from 1996 to 2003, Deputy Prime Minister from 1995 to 2001 and the National Coalition Party (NCP) candidate in the 2006 presidential election. He served as the Speaker of the Parliament of Finland from 2007 to 2011 and has been the Honorary President of the European People's Party since 2002.

Niinistö was the NCP candidate in the 2012 presidential election, beating Pekka Haavisto of the Green League with 62.6% of the vote in the decisive second round. Niinistö assumed office on 1 March 2012, and is the first conservative president since Juho Kusti Paasikivi, who left office in 1956. In May 2017, Niinistö announced that he would seek re-election in the 2018 presidential election, running as an independent candidate. NCP and the Christian Democrat Party supported his candidacy. He won re-election in the first round on 28 January 2018 with 62.7% of the vote and his second term began on 1 February 2018.

Personal life

Soome ja Eesti riigipead Soome 100 kontserdil
Niinistö and his wife Jenni Haukio

Niinistö married his first wife, Marja-Leena (née Alanko), in 1974 and they had two sons. Marja-Leena was killed in a car crash in January 1995. Niinistö wrote about the time after the death of his first wife in his book Viiden vuoden yksinäisyys (translation: "Five years of loneliness").

While a cabinet minister, Niinistö, as a widower, was romantically involved with MP Tanja Karpela, a former beauty queen and later Minister of Culture. Karpela's Centre Party was in opposition and Niinistö was considered the second-most influential man in government. In 2003 Karpela and Niinistö announced their engagement, which they ended in 2004.

In 2005, Niinistö met Jenni Haukio, who at the time worked for the National Coalition Party and interviewed Niinistö for the Nykypäivä magazine. They later became romantically involved but kept the relationship secret from the public until the wedding on 3 January 2009. In October 2017, the couple announced that they were expecting a child, and they subsequently had a son.

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