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Ahtisaari: Presidency should be mainly ceremonial
Former President Martti Ahtisaari feels that the post of President of Finland should be made primarily ceremonial.
Ahtisaari, who won last year’s Nobel Peace Prize for his work in international crisis mediation, expressed his view in Helsinki on Thursday at a meeting of the Paasikivi Society, a prestigious Finnish foreign policy forum.
The matter came up in an answer to a question put by Professor Martti Häikiö.
Ahtisaari admitted that he has changed his opinion on the matter. He had an impact on an earlier decision that kept foreign policy powers with the President.
“People don’t have to live with their stupid opinions for the rest of their lives”, Ahtisaari said, noting that in Austria, the president does not have direct power, but is nevertheless appreciated as an opinion leader.
A working group on constitutional reform, named by the government, is to issue a proposal on matters including the future powers of the President of the Republic.