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Finland’s record-young PM appointed, faces confidence vote next week

The new government led by Sanna Marin will face a confidence vote in Parliament next Tuesday.

Presidentti Niinistö Kättelee Sanna Marinia.
President Sauli Niinistö congratulates newly-minted Prime Minister Sanna Marin. Image: Jussi Nukari / Lehtikuva

Finland has a new government, headed by Social Democratic Party vice chair, Sanna Marin. The administration is Finland’s 76th.

At just 34 years old, Marin, the former Minister for Transport and Communications, is now the world’s youngest premier. Her cabinet consists of 12 women and seven men. All leaders of the five-party government coalition are women.

President Sauli Niinistö appointed the new administration shortly after 3pm on Tuesday, at the same time accepting the resignation of the previous government led by SDP chair Antti Rinne.

Rinne had been premier for just six months before tendering his resignation over his mishandling of a labour dispute between postal workers and their state-owned employer, national mail carrier Posti. Rinne and his government continued in a caretaker capacity until Marin's formal appointment on Tuesday.

"A historic day"

There was plenty of praise for the new government, with observers commending its youth and composition – including the opposition.

"A historic day: the world gets the youngest sitting prime minister and Finland gets a government in which all of the party leaders are women. It is amazing that this is possible, specifically in Finland," chair of the opposition National Coalition Party Petteri Orpo tweeted.

Prior to Niinistö’s appointment of the new government, MPs voted on Tuesday afternoon to confirm Marin as the new head of government. Government MPs gave Marin a comfortable margin of 99 votes to 70 to seal the deal. Thirty MPs were not present for the vote.

On Wednesday, MPs will elect a new Deputy Speaker to replace Tuula Haatainen, who will take on the weighty portfolio of Labour Minister in Marin’s cabinet following a government shakeup. Ex-PM Antti Rinne will take over from Haatainen as Deputy Speaker.

The new government won’t have much time to settle in, as it will face a confidence vote next Tuesday.

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