Sanna Marin: World's Youngest Prime Minister
The 10th of December 2019 was an historic day for the 5 plus millions Finnish, Finland and the world, when 34-year-young Sanna Marin was sworn-in as the new Prime Minister of Finland. Historic day it was, because Sanna Marin became the youngest Prime Minister in the world to head a State. The millennial pledged her focus on climate policies at the European Union Summit in Brussels on the 12th of December 2019.
Her humbleness was infectious, when she stated, “I haven’t concentrated that much on the media coverage of the change of government or my Prime Minister-ship. I have concentrated on the fact that we have a lot of work to do.” It is interesting to note that the leaders of the parties in her coalition are all women. It is also noteworthy to see four of the five women party leaders are under the age of 35. The young leaders mark a new beginning in the world of politics.
Prime Minister Sanna Marin’s coalition consists of the 32-year-young Left Alliance party leader Li Anderson, 32-year-young Centre party leader Katri Kulmuni, 34-year-young Green League party leader Maria Ohisalo and 55-year-old Swedish People’s party leader Anna-Maja Henriksson.
The newly-elected first female European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen congratulated Prime Minister Sanna Marin, when she arrived for the summit. Female political leaders around the world have extended their best wishes to acknowledge her achievement as the new beginning for female candidates to head the State around the world.
Prime Minister Sanna Marin made her priorities very clear at the European Union Summit and revealed, “The new generations are expecting us to act and we have to fulfill the expectations of the people. I am worried about the climate issue. We have to do more. We have to do it faster.” It will be interesting to see how the world’s youngest Prime Minister will build consensus among her coalition to act stringently to tackle the Climate Crisis.
Sanna Marin has shown to the world that she is unlike other politicians in the world. She openly discussed about her upbringing in a rainbow family. She also revealed that she grew up in a disadvantaged family. However, having both her parents as females, Sanna Marin has grown into a fine strong individual, who looks at the world with empathy.
She has proudly and strongly defended her motherland Finland as a generous welfare State. Sanna Marin as the Prime Minister would be able to see her long desired dream of a ‘Free Day Care’ for every single citizen. She had also dreamt about ‘Free Education for all’ during her growing up years, which has become mandatory for everyone in Finland.
In the Parliament, Sanna Marin won 99 votes against 70 among the 200 Parliament members for her nomination as the next Prime Minister of Finland. 21 deputies were absent during the vote. Prime Minister Antti Rinne was forced to step down, when the Centre Party withdrew their support from the Social Democrat leader for failing to handle the postal strike in Finland.
The world’s youngest Prime Minister is the 46th Prime Minister of Finland. Totally focus to take Finland towards a better future, Sanna Marin made her intentions clear for all the Finnish people saying, “I want to build a society in which every child can become anything and in which every human being can live and grow old with dignity. Within four years Finland can become better.”
GUINNESS WORLD RECORD
Sanna Marin has also entered the Guinness World Record books by becoming the World’s Youngest Prime Minister at the age of 34. The World’s Oldest Prime Minister is Malaysia’s Mahathir bin Mohamad, who took office at the age of 93.
Sanna Marin beats Ukrainian 35-year-young Prime Minister Oleksiy Honcharuk and New Zealand’s Jacinda Arden, who became Prime Minister at the age 37.
Sanna Marin is a ‘leftist’ and her coalition partner the Centre Party’s head Katri Kulmini holds the balance of power in the Parliament. It will be interesting to see how these two women would work in unison to care for the betterment of the Finnish people. Katri Kulmini was instrumental to force the outgoing Prime Minister Antti Rinne. Kulimini is now Prime Minister Sanna Marin’s Deputy.
Sanna Marin was serving as the Minister of Transport and Communications from the 6th of June 2019 till she took over as the Prime Minister. Sanna Marin believes that her coalition have a lot of work ahead to rebuild trust. She also revealed that they have a joint government programme, which glues the coalition together.
It is interesting to see that the coalition under Antti Rinne, which took to office in the month of June 2019, failed and crumbled under pressure in less than six months for not handling the postal strike in a proper manner. After Rinne’s resignation, the coalition has agreed to work together like before under Sanna Marin’s new leadership. It is indeed challenging for Marin to work together with her coalition partners.
Mistrust among the coalition party leaders will be the biggest concern of Sanna Marin. However, with all the five party leaders being women, Sanna Marin may succeed to build the trust, where Rinne failed. It is perhaps the first time in Finland’s history that an all-women coalition parties’ leaders are running the country. The women’s coalition has become symbolic and significant for the rise of a new generation of politics in Finland. Finland has had a strong female representation in national politics for decades.
Sanna Mirella Marin was born in Helsinki, Finland on the 16th of November 1985. She grew up in a rainbow family. She was brought up by her parents, who had greatly influenced her upbringing and values as a politician. The strong foundation, Sanna’s parents gave her made her feel invisible among her friends in school and college. They inculcate the strong foundation of everyone is equal and it is not a matter of opinion.
Sanna’s growing up years may have been challenging at times, however, she has overcome all those early hurdles to become a strong individual with great characters. Her childhood had been challenging in many aspects. Same-sex families were a taboo topic and continue to be one even in today’s modern world. Sanna attended the Pirkkala High School and graduated in the year 2004. In the year 2017, Sanna Marin graduated with a Master’s degree in Administrative Sciences from the University of Tampere.
Sanna had earlier revealed, “The silence was the hardest. Invisibility caused a feeling of incompetence. We were not recognized as a true family or equal with others. I wasn’t bullied much. Even when I was little, I was very candid and stubborn. I wouldn’t have taken anything easy.” She worked in a bakery during her teens. Her parents never went to university. Sanna was the first in the family to attend university.
JOURNEY OF SUCCESS
At the age of 27, Sanna Marin was elected to the City Council of Tampere in the year 2012. She rose through the ranks to become the Head of the Council in Finland’s third largest city Tampere. From 2013 to 2017, she was the Chairperson of the City Council. In the year 2017, Sanna was re-elected to the City Council. She also happens to be a member of the Assembly of the Council of Tampere Region.
In the year 2014, Sanna Marin was elected the Second Deputy Chairperson of the Social Democratic Party. In the year 2015, Sanna Marin was elected from the electoral district of Pirkanmaa to Finland’s Parliament. In the year 2019, due to her good work, Sanna was re-elected. On the 6th of June 2019, Prime Minister Antti Rinne appointed her as the Minister of Transport and Communications.
Sanna Marin has become the media attention for being the World’s Youngest Prime Minister to head a State. However, she has emphasized to state, “I have not actually ever thought about my age or my gender. I think of the reasons I got into politics and those things for which we have won the trust of the electorate.”
Sanna has been grateful to have benefitted from the Welfare State throughout her upbringing, especially during difficult times. It was this aspect, which had made her to make her motherland much stronger as her top priority. She disclosed, “I got to live a safe childhood, have an education and pursue my dreams. Enabling it for everyone has driven me into politics.”
Finland is perhaps the only country in the world, which has 47% of women in their Parliament as of 2019. The Northern European nation has had a rich representation of women politicians since decades of its evolution as one of the best nations in the world with very low crime rate.
Prime Minister Sanna Marin’s top priorities will be creating jobs for the nation and cutting greenhouse gases to render Finland carbon neutral by the year 2035. Sanna Marin’s young age is to her advantage and represents a new generation of politicians for the world to get inspired.
Sanna Marin is married to Markus Raikkonen. The couple was blessed with daughter Emma in January 2018.