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Finland's Sanna Marin set to become the world’s youngest prime minister at 34

34-year-old Sanna Marin will become the world's youngest sitting head of government when she is sworn in as Prime Minister on Tuesday.

Finland's Sanna Marin set to become the world’s youngest prime minister at 34

As Finland prepares to welcome a new coalition government this month, the nation is set to be led by five female leaders, of which four are younger than 35. Among the five is the country's current transport and communications minister, Sanna Marin. The 34-year-old  will become the world's youngest sitting head of government when she is sworn in as Prime Minister on Tuesday. The Social Democrat has been picked by her party to replace the outgoing prime minister Antti Rinne, who stepped down last week over accusations that he had mishandled a postal service worker strike.



 

 

According to CNN, Rinne's resignation came after he lost the confidence of his main coalition party, the Centre Party, on how he handled the two-week strike by the state-owned postal service in November. Marin's rise to the top of Finnish politics has become the key to preserving the country's left-wing coalition which has lately been under a lot of pressure from the conservative opposition. As per a report by The New York Times, speaking to reporters after being elected to the position by her party late Sunday, Marin said, "The past week has been extraordinary. Now is the time to look ahead. What is needed now is action beyond words to build trust from all government parties."



 

 

Marin has a lot to live up to as Finland's liberal voters hope she might be better equipped to champion her bloc’s liberal ideas than her 57-year-old predecessor. Once sworn in, the left-leaning liberal, who has been a member of Parliament since 2015, will become the country's third female prime minister to date. Even political opponents, like the former conservative Finnish prime minister Alexander Stubb, acknowledged the significance of the new government and the powerful message it sent to the rest of the world.



 

 

"My party is not in government, but I rejoice that the leaders of the five parties in government are female. Shows that #Finland is a modern and progressive country. The majority of my government was also female. One day gender will not matter in government. Meanwhile pioneers," Stubb tweeted. Marin, on the other hand, isn't as focused on the symbolism. "I have never thought about my age or gender, I think of the reasons I got into politics and those things for which we have won the trust of the electorate," she told reporters. 



 

 

NPR's Rob Schmitz revealed that Marin insisted on not focusing on her identity, saying, "She brushed away questions about her age and gender, saying she has never thought about either. Instead, she told reporters, she thinks about the reasons she got into politics and the things for which her party has won the trust of the electorate." Outlining her ethos in a letter asking for her fellow party members' ahead of the decision on Sunday, Marin stated that ensuring the welfare state's strength was a priority to her, especially since she'd benefitted from it throughout her life.



 

"I got to live a safe childhood, have an education and pursue my dreams. Enabling it for everyone has driven me into politics," she wrote. While the PM-in-waiting's rise to the top has drawn global attention, Anne Holli, a political science professor at the University of Helsinki, said coming from Finland, this isn't much of a surprise as the nation has had strong female representation in Parliament for decades. "We have actually a very broad base of women in politics, and we have had a pretty equal situation in the political sphere for more than 35 years. I think one can kind of expect this sooner or later," she said.



 

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