Skip to content

Sanna Marin says she won't run for president

The PM on Sunday talked to reporters on topics ranging from the rising cost of living to harassment.

Sanna Marin (SDP) spoke to the press on the prime minister's question hour on Yle Radio 1 on Sunday. Image: Fanni Uusitalo / Valtioneuvoston kanslia

Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP) told reporters on Sunday that she was not interested in standing as a presidential candidate in the 2024 election.

"I'll tell it to you straight—I won't be available," she said.

An Yle poll in 2019 indicated that Marin was the favourite to become Finland's next president. Her backing for the post has since dropped, with more recent surveys showing Bank of Finland governor Olli Rehn topping polls as the most likely winner of Finland's next presidential election.

Cost of living crisis

The premier said rising food and fuel costs were hitting people in Finland, adding that the inflationary environment was unlikely to come to an end soon.

Marin said any possible tax cuts would target low and middle income earners. She noted that efforts were underway to address accelerating fuel costs.

Marin said Europe's economy was facing inflation and that Finland was still managing "relatively well."

The Ministry of Finance has warned that economic growth is slowing and inflation is accelerating more than previously expected.

Knocking on Nato's door

Marin also weighed in on Turkey's opposition to Finnish and Swedish Nato membership. She said there was little Finland and Sweden could do to move things along if Turkey wanted to hold them "hostage."

"There shouldn't be any barriers to us joining," she explained, adding that most Nato members would like to see the Turkey issue resolved by Nato's Madrid summit slated for the end of June.

President Sauli Niinistö's office on Sunday tweeted (siirryt toiseen palveluun) that Nato would host talks between Finland, Sweden and Turkey on Monday in Brussels.

Marin also said it was important that Finland would be able to seal off its eastern border in the event that Russia would direct asylum seekers to the border in an effort to destabilise the country.

"We need to be able to close all eastern border checkpoints and centralise asylum processing at another location," she explained.

The European Union on Friday said it backed (siirryt toiseen palveluun) Ukraine and its neighbour Moldova to become candidates to join the bloc.

In addition to Ukraine and Moldova, Marin said Finland also supports the granting of EU candidate status to North Macedonia and Albania.

"There's no shortcut to becoming an EU member, but these countries could start membership talks," she said.

Harassment, paparazzi and privacy

Marin also reacted to claims published by Helsingin Sanomat on Sunday alleging inappropriate behaviour by National Coalition Party MP Wille Rydman.

She said she was shocked by the report but said she was unfamiliar with the details of the matter.

The premier shared that she faced harassment as a young woman and underlined the importance of public awareness around these issues.

"I believe it's a common experience for young women, unfortunately. I've also faced inappropriate behaviour at different political functions," she told reporters.

Sunday's interview also touched on the paparazzi-style photo taken of Marin that led to an unnamed individual filing a complaint with the Council for Mass Media in Finland (JSN).

"It would be nice for me to be treated as a private individual in my free time, but I understand that as a public person I can be photographed and these images can be distributed, even if they're in poor taste," she said.

Marin also emphasised that the privacy of her four-year-old child should be respected.

"It's a safety issue," she said.