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Sanna Marin announces plan to resign as MP and join Tony Blair institute

The former Finnish Prime Minister made the announcement at a press conference on Thursday afternoon.

Sanna Marin wearing a white outfit behind a scrum of photographers and journalists.
Image: Silja Viitala / Yle
Yle News

Finland's former prime minister, Sanna Marin (SDP), is resigning from her job as a member of parliament to take up a new position as a strategic advisor at the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change.

Marin made the announcement at a press conference on Thursday afternoon.

"I am extremely grateful to everyone who voted for me in the election. The decision was not easy, but I believe it is the right one," Marin said, adding that it was "impossible" to combine her work as an MP with her new position.

Marin, 37, said that she hasn't ruled out the possibility of returning to political life and running again as a candidate in Finland. However she declined to comment on whether she might consider the possibility of running in the upcoming European elections.

The Tony Blair Institute for Global Change was established by the former United Kingdom prime minister and is an international non-profit organization that advises governments and politicians on strategic policies.

In a press release confirming Marin's appointment, Blair noted the former Finnish PM's handling of Finland's accession to join the Nato alliance.

"Our mission is to help political leaders worldwide deliver change for their people – and Sanna Marin knows exactly how to do that. Ms Marin is bold and practical, understands the role that technology can play as the enabler of a more efficient and citizen-centred state, and will lend her experience to our mission in more countries throughout the world," Blair wrote.

If Marin's resignation is accepted, she will be replaced by her party colleague, 37-year-old researcher Lotta Hamari.

Hamari, from Hämeenkyrö in Pirkanmaa region, is a mother of two, a physiotherapist and doctor of health sciences.

Last week, Marin formally stepped down as leader of the Social Democrats, saying that she was entering a new stage in her life, which suggested a return as a rank-and-file MP, not leaving her post.

Article updated to include Tony Blair's comment and background on Lotta Hamari.

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