Sanna Marin: “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.”

By Ian Horswill


Posted on December 9, 2019

Finland’s ruling Social Democratic Party has voted to make 34-year-old Sanna Marin the youngest-serving Prime Minister in the world.

Sanna Marin also becomes the third female to be Prime Minister of Finland, the nation that borders Sweden, Norway and Russia, and has a population of 5.5 million.

She was Finland’s transport minister and succeeds Antti Rinne, who resigned last week after a party in the coalition government publicly rebuked his handling of a national postal strike.

Antti Rinne Sanna Marin

Sanna Marin’s party is the largest in the ruling coalition. Four other parties in Finland’s coalition government are also led by women: the Left Alliance is led by Li Anderson, 32; the Green League is led by 34-year-old Maria Ohisalo; the Centre Party’s head is Katri Kulmuni, 32; and Anna-Maja Henriksson, 55, is leader of the Swedish People’s party.

“We have a lot of work ahead to rebuild trust,” Marin said after winning a narrow vote among the party leadership, Reuters reported.

“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.”

Sanna Marin, Finland, Prime Minister

Sanna Marin succeeds Ukraine’s 35-year-old Oleksiy Honcharuk as the youngest-serving prime minister. North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un is reported to also be 35.

She was head of the city council of her industrial hometown of Tampere at the age of 27 and will take over a country that is in the middle of a wave of strikes that has halted production at Finland’s largest companies. The strike has reportedly cost a combined €500 million (US$550 million) in revenue.

Finland holds the rotating presidency of the European Union until the end of the year, playing a central role in efforts to hammer out a new budget for the bloc.

Marin will represent Finland at the EU leaders’ summit in Brussels, Belgium, on 12 December.