‘I rejoice’: Finland forms government of five parties all led by women, with youngest prime minister in world

Four leaders are also in their thirties

Zoe Tidman
Monday 09 December 2019 10:52 GMT
Finland forms government of five parties all led by women, with youngest prime minister in world

Finland’s coalition government will be composed of five parties all led by women for the first time after the female transport minister won a vote to be the next leader.

Sanna Marin has been chosen by her Social Democratic party to replace the outgoing prime minister Antti Rinne.

She will lead a centre-left coalition of five parties who all have female leaders – four under the age of 35.

Ms Marin, aged 34, will become the world’s youngest sitting prime minister and the country’s third female leader.

Former prime minister Alexander Stubb celebrated the new coalition, saying it “shows that Finland is a modern and progressive country”.

“My party is not in government,” he tweeted, “but I rejoice that the leaders of the five parties in government are female.”

Ms Marin, an MP since 2015 and formerly the party’s vice chair, will replace Mr Rinne, who stepped down as prime minister last week after he lost the support of key coalition partner the Centre Party, who cited a lack of trust.

Mr Rinne became Finland’s first left-wing leader in 20 years after the Social Democrats emerged as the biggest party in April’s general election.

However, his leadership was criticised by his main coalition party over a two-week strike by the state-owned postal service in November that spread to other industries, including airline Finnair.

Mr Rinne’s decision to step down prompted the formal resignation of a coalition of the Social Democrats, the Centre Party and three junior partners: the Greens, the Left Alliance and the Swedish People’s Party of Finland.

On Sunday, the Social Democrats and the four other coalition parties said they will continue in Ms Marin’s new government. It will retain a comfortable majority of 117 in the 200-seat parliament.

Tytti Tuppurainen, a Finnish MP, said the country will have “a brilliant new prime minister”.

“She’s eminently good,” she tweeted.

Katri Kulmuni, Maria Ohisalo, Li Andersson and Anna-Maja Henriksson are the leaders of her coalition parties.

Additional reporting by Associated Press

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