Finland PM Sanna Marin promises stability, and to keep posting on Instagram

Sanna Marin of Finland's Social Democrates is pictured after she was elected Prime Minister in Helsinki, Finland, on December 8, 2019.

Sanna Marin of Finland's Social Democrates is pictured after she was elected Prime Minister in Helsinki, Finland, on December 8, 2019.   | Photo Credit: AFP


Sanna Marin becomes the world’s youngest prime minister.

Social Democrat Sanna Marin said on Tuesday she would restore stability to Finland and keep using social media - but with care - after being sworn in as the world's youngest prime minister at the helm of a government led by women.

Ms. Marin (34) won a confidence vote in parliament, with 99 in favour and 70 against, and will head a coalition government in which four of the five parties are led by women and 12 of the 19 members of the new cabinet are women.

She takes over during a wave of labour unrest and strikes that have halted production at some of Finland's largest companies for three days.

“This is our opportunity to tell who we Finns are and what kind of country Finland is,” Ms. Marin told reporters in Helsinki. “The government's responsibility is to create stability in society.”

Ms. Marin said recreating trust between the coalition partners would be one of her first tasks after her predecessor, Mr. Antti Rinne, lost their confidence over his handling of a postal strike and resigned last week.

One challenge is likely to be defending the views of her leftist Social Democrats against the Centre Party, which wants action to boost employment to pay for the costly welfare state.

Ms. Marin did not give details of how she would recreate trust but said: “It demands discussion, a direct one.”

Defending her frequent use of social media, she said: “I present a younger generation but of course, when it comes to social media or Instagram, I think that I’m an individual, a person, a real person even though I’m a prime minister.”

“So I won’t change the way I behave. Of course I have to be careful in what I say,” said Ms. Marin, who posted pictures of herself pregnant and later with her child, now two, on Instagram.

Advice from young and old

Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, at 94 the world's oldest serving premier, offered Ms. Marin some advice.

“While we believe in the idealism of young people, it is important also for them to consider the experience of the old people,” he told Reuters. “Then there will be a combination of the two, and that would be good.”

“Finland has truly taken the gender issues to the next level,” Ursula von der Leyen, the head of the European Union's executive Commission, said in a tweet congratulating Ms. Marin.

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Printable version | Jan 22, 2020 10:24:07 PM |

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