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Justice Chancellor: PM did not neglect duties at summer's weekend party

The assessment was prompted by complaints about Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP) hosting a late-night party at the PM's official residence in August.

Sanna Marin.
Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP), file photo. Image: Sakari Piippo / Yle
Yle News

Finland's Chancellor of Justice, Tuomas Pöysti says there was no reason to suspect Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP) of breach of her official duties.

The formal statement was prompted by complaints Pöysti received about Marin hosting a late-night party at the PM's official residence in August.

Videos of the festivities were shared on social media, showing Marin dancing and partying with various public figures and celebrities. 

The video clips sparked controversy, with some making accusations that drugs were used at the party, prompting the PM to voluntarily take a drug test — which proved negative.

Among other things, some of the filed complaints claimed the PM would have been unable to work due to having consumed alcohol and should have handed over her duties to a deputy.

The Chancellor found that "the minister's conduct can be evaluated by law enforcement mainly when it is a question of the minister's official actions."

The decision (in Finnish) said that the complaints received about Marin referred to her spare time activities, they did not specify which particular duty of hers was left unfulfilled, or that her performance of any duty was jeopardised.

Not a morality monitor

The decision said that Marin did not engage in illegal conduct in her position as an official, nor neglect her duties in her free time.

Pöysti's decision also noted that it is not the Chancellor of Justice's job to assess the morality of the minister's actions — nor her political credibility or level of trust that she enjoys.

The filed complaints also criticised Marin's inappropriate use of Kesäranta, the PM's official residence in Helsinki, and inviting guests who had not undergone security checks.

However, the Chancellor said that the prime minister's official residence may be used for private events and guests are not required by law to undergo security clearance.

The Chancellor of Justice "serves as the supreme guardian of the law. The Chancellor of Justice oversees the legality of the activities of the Government and the President of the Republic. The Chancellor of Justice also oversees that the authorities comply with the law and fulfil their duties. Citizens can file complaints with the Chancellor of Justice about an authority’s activities that they suspect to be illegal," according to the Justice Chancellor's website.

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