Finnish Minister of Transport and Communications Sanna Marin attends a Transport, Telecommunications and Energy Council Meeting at the European Council in Brussels, Belgium on December 02, 2019.
Dursun Aydemir | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images
Finland’s Sanna Marin has been selected to become the next leader of her Social Democratic party, paving the way for the 34-year-old to become the world’s youngest-serving prime minister.
The transport minister is expected to be sworn in as the country’s head of state over the coming days. She will lead a center-left coalition government of five parties — all headed by women.
The milestone appointment comes shortly after the resignation of former prime minister Antti Rinne, who resigned last week after a separate party in Finland’s coalition government, the Centre Party, said it had lost confidence in him following a postal strike.
“We have a lot of work to do to rebuild trust,” Marin told reporters on Sunday, shortly after a narrow vote to secure the party leadership.
“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,” Marin said, responding to questions about her political experience.
When Marin enters office later this week, she will become the world’s youngest-serving prime minister at 34 years old. New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is 39, while Ukraine’s Prime Minister Oleksiy Honcharuk is 35.
Four other parties in the Scandinavian country’s coalition government are also led by women. Anna-Maja Henriksson, 55, leads the Swedish People’s party, Maria Ohisalo, 34, is head of the Green League, Li Anderson, 32, leads the Left Alliance and Katri Kalmuni, 32, is the leader of the Centre Party.
The five-party coalition, which took office after April elections, has agreed to continue working together in order to try to shift to carbon neutrality.
Marin started working in Finnish politics at the age of 27 when she became head of the city council in Tampere, one of the most populous inland cities in the Nordic countries. On her website, Marin said she first started her political career because she wanted to “influence how society sees its citizens and their rights.”
Finland, a country of roughly 5.5 million people, currently holds the European Union‘s rotating presidency.