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Sarkkinen appointed social minister as Pekonen steps aside

A Left Alliance ministerial reshuffle also sees Li Andersson return from maternity leave to resume duties as Minister for Education.

Hanna Sarkkinen, sosiaali- ja terveysministeri, Vasemmistoliiton kansanedustaja
Incoming Minister for Social Affairs and Health Hanna Sarkkinen (Left). Image: Rami Moilanen / Yle
Yle News

Hanna Sarkkinen (Left) on Tuesday was appointed Finland's next Minister for Social Affairs and Health, replacing Left Alliance party colleague Aino-Kaisa Pekonen, who is stepping down from the post as previously arranged.

"I have now had two years to orientate and prepare for the task. But one cannot internalise it in advance, what it's like when you step into those shoes and the responsibility really falls on your shoulders," Sarkkinen said in an interview with Helsingin Sanomat last weekend about taking over the role.

Sarkkinen is a two-term Member of Parliament representing the Oulu constituency and this was her first ministerial appointment.

The Left Alliance parliamentary group decided at the beginning of this government's term in office that the ministerial portfolio for health would be divided into two separate two-year periods shared between Pekonen and Sarkkinen.

In another change, party chair Li Andersson will resume her duties as Minister for Education following her return from maternity leave, replacing outgoing incumbent Jussi Saramo.

Headline updated on Wednesday 30.6.2021 at 10.20am from health minister to social minister.

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