A 34-year-old transport minister and lawmaker will become Finland’s youngest ever prime minister and its third female government leader.
Late on Sunday night, the Social Democratic Party council voted to name Sanna Marin to take over the government following former Prime Minister Antti Rinne’s resignation. Marin, who won against her rival Antti Lindtman with a vote of 32-29, will be sworn in later this week.
The Social Democratic Party emerged as Finland’s biggest in the April election, meaning the Social Democrats can appoint one of its own to assume the position of prime minister of the Nordic country.
Former Prime Minister Rinne resigned on Tuesday, December 3, after a party within the coalition lost confidence in him as a result of his handling of a postal strike.
As per the Guardian, Marin told reporters after her win:
We have a lot of work ahead to rebuild trust.
I have never thought about my age or gender, I think of the reasons I got into politics and those things for which we have won the trust of the electorate.
Four other parties in Finland’s coalition government also have female leaders: 32-year-old Li Anderson heads up the Left Alliance, while 34-year-old Maria Ohisalo leads the Green League, the Centre Party is led by 32-year-old Katri Kulmuni and 55-year-old Anna-Maja Henriksson is head of the Swedish People’s party.
Not only will Marin become Finland’s youngest ever prime minister, but she will also become the world’s youngest sitting prime minister.
Marin’s political rise to the top has been relatively quick, following her appointment of head of the city council of her industrial hometown of Tampere at the age of 27.
Her takeover comes amid a three-day wave of strikes that will see the halt of production at many of the country’s biggest companies, starting from today, December 9. According to data from the Confederation of Finnish Industries, the strike will cost companies a combined €500 million ($553 million/£420 million) in lost revenue.
Following Rinne’s resignation, the centre-left coalition has agreed to continue with the same political programme, which stresses a shift toward carbon neutrality.
We have a joint government programme which glues the coalition together.
Marin’s takeover comes at an awkward time for the country, which currently holds the rotating presidency of the European Union until the end of the year, therefore playing a big role in negotiating a new budget for the bloc.
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Topics: News, European Union, Finland