34-Year-Old Sanna Marin of Finland Becomes the World's Youngest Prime Minister

"The past week has been extraordinary," said Sanna Marin

Sanna Mirella Marin
Photo: Thierry Monasse/Getty

A 34-year-old politician is about to become the youngest woman in the world to lead a nation.

Sanna Marin will become Finland’s youngest prime minister ever and the youngest national leader in the world, after being chosen late Sunday night to take over on behalf of the country’s Social Democratic Party.

Former Finnish Prime Minister Antti Rinne resigned last week after he was denounced by the Centre Party, which led to the search for a new prime minister. Rinne had been openly criticized for his leadership during a two-week postal strike, according to the Associated Press.

Marin, who has been a lawmaker since 2015, was Finland’s transportation minister and Rinne’s deputy prime minister prior to being tapped to lead the government over the weekend.

Marin thanked supporters via Twitter on Monday.

“The past week has been extraordinary,” Marin told reporters soon after the vote, according to Finnish newspaper Helsingin Sanomat. “Now is the time to look ahead. What is needed now is words and deeds to build trust from all government parties.”

Marin was elected with a majority of the parliament vote, 32-29.

Sanna Mirella Marin
Thierry Monasse/Getty

During the elections in early 2019, Marin had stepped in for Rinne as the leader of the Social Democratic Party while he was on a two-month leave of absence after falling ill with pneumonia.

She led the party’s campaign leading up to the April elections, in which the Social Democratic Party won and Rinne, the party’s leader, assumed the role of prime minister.

Finland has long held a progressive political balance. Marin will be the third woman to serve as the country’s prime minister, while five of the country’s nine registered political parties are led by women.

Former Finnish Prime Minister Alexander Stubb, who served from 2014-15, tweeted out his support for the growing number of women leading the country’s government.

“One day gender will not matter in government,” he said, posting a picture depicting the five women leading Finland’s main political parties. “Meanwhile pioneers.”

Finland will vote to approve Marin’s appointment on Tuesday.

The Nordic nation currently holds the European Union’s rotating presidency and, according to the Associated Press, is expected to quickly approve Marin’s nomination early this week so she can represent Finland at the EU’s summit in Brussels on December 12-13 later this week.

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