Finland’s Prime Minister Sanna Marin is facing an image crisis following the leak of a video in which she is seen dancing and singing excitedly at a party.
In the recording, which appears to have been posted on social media, Marin and some friends, including some Finnish celebrities, are seen dancing and singing.
Leaders of opposition parties strongly criticized the prime minister – with one of them demanding that she undergo a drug test.
Marin, 36, said he didn’t do drugs, just drank and enjoyed the party “noisily”.
Marin had been dubbed the “world’s coolest” prime minister last week by German news site Bild.
She was once the world’s youngest prime minister and she doesn’t hide that she likes to party – having been photographed at music festivals several times.
Last year, Marin publicly apologized for going to the club after coming into close contact with someone who had Covid-19.
Speaking about the incident, the prime minister said she knew she was being filmed, but was upset that the video became public.
“I danced and sang and partyed—perfectly cool stuff,” Marin said. “I’ve never been in a situation where I use drugs or where I’ve seen people using drugs,” she said.
Opposition leader Riikka Purra has called for Marin to undergo a drug test, saying a “shadow of doubt” hangs over the prime minister.
Other opposition politicians, however, criticized both the prime minister and the media for talking about the party — rather than addressing more important domestic issues.
Marin told reporters: “I have a personal life and a professional life. And I have free time to spend with my friends. The same as a lot of people my age.”
She stated that she will not change her behavior because of the criticism.
“I will continue to be exactly the same person I have been up until now and I hope that will be accepted,” he added.
The video has been heavily reported in the Finnish media — which justified the use of the image of a particular moment as something of public interest.
Marin has been in power since December 2019 and continues to have the support of her party – something necessary to remain prime minister in the parliamentary system.
“The reaction was polarized like all things Marin,” Robert Sundman, a Finnish journalist and commentator, told the BBC. “There are people shocked and there are people saying that it’s normal for a woman her age to have fun with friends.”
“But one thing is for sure,” adds Sundman, “the party photos so far have not affected — at least not significantly — her and her party’s popularity.”
He says the political friendship with Finnish celebrities has received a lot of attention as something that was not common among his predecessors.
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