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Finland to get youngest-ever PM

The Social Democratic Party Council on Sunday night elected Sanna Marin as their candidate for the premiership.

Sanna Marin ja Antti Rinne
Sanna Marin and Antti Rinne. Image: Jussi Nukari / Lehtikuva

The SDP Party Council on Sunday evening elected Sanna Marin to serve as Finland’s new Prime Minister, following Antti Rinne's resignation on 3 December. The fallout from a protracted postal dispute led to Rinne stepping down ahead of a parliamentary challenge filed by opposition parties.

Marin received 32 votes while fellow fellow SDP politician in the running for the premiership Antti Lindtman drew 29 votes from members of the Social Democratic Party Council.

At 34, Marin is two years younger Esko Aho who became Finland's prime minister in 1990 at the age of 36.

Marin is a second-term MP from Tampere and has been Minister of Transport and Communications since June. She led the party during Rinne's extended sick leave last winter.

Marin holds a Master's in Administrative Studies and is married with a toddler.

In a letter she sent to SDP members on Sunday, Marin said, "Finland is in the midst of an exceptional situation. The main focus for Social Democrats is to continue our work in building a fairer and more egalitarian society."

Working-class background

During general elections this spring, Marin's campaign emphasised environmental sustainability and equality. Marin is against Finland joining NATO and has said she wants to phase-out fossil fuel vehicles.

Raised by a single mother, she has blogged about her working-class background and the financial difficulty her family faced. She said she was the first person from her family to finish high school and gain a university education, achievements which she credits to the welfare state. Marin has also talked about the stigma she encountered as her mother was later in a same-sex relationship with a woman.

Finland's next premier will eventually be elected by Parliament and appointed by the president.

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