World's youngest PM at 34 takes power in Finland

09/12/2019 - 16:40 Published in News/General

Finland's left-wing Social Democrats, who lead a five-party coalition government, have picked 34-year-old Minister of Transport and Communications Sanna Marin to become the country's youngest-ever prime minister next week, taking over after the resignation of Antti Rinne.

Rinne resigned earlier this week after coalition member the Centre Party said it had lost confidence in him following his handling of a postal strike.

"We have a lot of work ahead to rebuild trust," Marin told reporters after winning a narrow vote among the party leadership.

Antti Lindtman, head of the party's parliamentary group, was runner-up.

"We have a joint government programme which glues the coalition together," Marin said.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is 39, Ukrainian Prime Minister Oleksiy Honcharuk is 35, while North Korea's leader, Kim Jong Un is reportedly 35.

Marin will head Finland's women-led coalition, which includes Left Alliance's Li Anderson, 32; the Green League's Maria Ohisalo, 34; the Centre Party's Katri Kulmuni, 32 and Anna-Maja Henriksson, the 55-year-old leader of the Swedish People's party.

According to the Guinness World Records, Malaysia's Mahathir bin Mohamad, now 94, is the oldest sitting prime minister.

The coalition, which took office just six months ago, has agreed to continue with its programme after Rinne announced he was stepping down at the demand of the Centre Party.

The timing of the change in leadership is awkward for Finland, which holds the rotating presidency of the European Union until the end of the year, playing a central role in efforts to hammer out a new budget for the bloc.