Finland’s Sanna Marin, 34, becomes world youngest-serving prime minister

Khabarhub

December 9, 2019

3 MIN READ

Finland’s Sanna Marin, 34, becomes world youngest-serving prime minister

Photo: Quartz

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Tallinn, Estonia: A 34-year-old transport minister and lawmaker has been tapped to become Finland’s prime minister (PM), making her the youngest leader to ever hold the job and the world’s youngest sitting PM. Marin will be taking over from Antii Rinne, who resigned from the position last week after just six months on the job, following controversy over his handling of a postal strike. Like Rinne, Marin is a member of the Social Democratic Party, the largest in Finland’s five-member ruling coalition.

Finland’s ruling Social Democratic Party council voted 32-29 late Sunday to name Sanna Marin over rival Antti Lindtman to take over the government’s top post from incumbent Antti Rinne.

Having emerged as Finland’s largest party in the April election, the Social Democrats can appoint one of their own to the post of prime minister in the Nordic nation of 5.5 million.

Marin has been the party’s vice chairwoman, a lawmaker since 2015 and served as until this week as the minister for transport and communications. According to Finland’s biggest newspaper Helsingin Sanomat and the Ilta-Sanomat tabloid, Marin will become the world’s youngest sitting prime minister.

Finland currently holds the European Union’s rotating presidency until the end of the year. Lawmakers are likely to approve the appointment of Marin and her new government quickly so she can represent Finland at the Dec. 12-13 EU leaders’ summit in Brussels.

Rinne stepped down Tuesday after a key coalition partner, the Center Party, withdrew its support, citing lack of trust. The Center Party also criticized Rinne’s leadership skills prior to a two-week strike by the country’s state-owned postal service Posti in November that spread to other industries, including the national flag carrier Finnair.

Rinne’s resignation prompted the formal resignation of a coalition of the Social Democrats and the Center Party and three junior partners: the Greens, the Left Alliance and the Swedish People’s Party of Finland.

On Sunday, Social Democrats and the four other coalition parties said they are committed to the government program agreed upon after the April election and will continue in Marin’s new government. The new government will still have a comfortable majority of 117 seats at the 200-seat Eduskunta or Parliament.

Social Democrats said Sunday they’re seeking to have Rinne, a former trade union leader, become the Parliament’s vice speaker. He also plans to stay on as the Social Democrats’ chairman until a party congress next summer.

(Agencies)

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