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Finnish parliament picks world’s youngest sitting prime minister

Thirty-four-year-old Sanna Marin is heading a five-party, centre-left coalition.

Sanna Marin chairs her first government meeting (Jussi Nukari/Lehtikuva via AP)
Sanna Marin chairs her first government meeting (Jussi Nukari/Lehtikuva via AP)

By Associated Press Reporters

Finland’s parliament has chosen Sanna Marin as the country’s new prime minister, making the 34-year-old the world’s youngest sitting head of government.

Ms Marin is heading a five-party, centre-left coalition. The four other parties in the coalition are headed by women — three of whom are in their early 30s.

The 200-seat Eduskunta parliament approved Ms Marin in a 99-70 vote. The government has a comfortable majority of 117 seats.

President Sauli Niinisto will formally hand Ms Marin her mandate later on Tuesday, after which she will officially become prime minister.

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Sauli Niinisto shakes hands with previous prime minister Antti Rinne (Jussi Nukari/Lehtikuva/AP)

The appointment of Ms Marin and her new government allows her to represent Finland at the European Union summit in Brussels later this week. Finland holds the bloc’s rotating presidency until the end of the year.

Having emerged as Finland’s largest party in April elections, the Social Democrats were able to appoint one of their own to the post of prime minister in the Nordic nation of 5.5 million people.

The coalition of the Social Democrats, the Centre Party and three junior partners has said it is committed to the government programme agreed on after the April poll and will continue in Ms Marin’s new cabinet.

Ms Marin, who was the number two in the Social Democratic Party, takes over from incumbent Antti Rinne, who stepped down a week ago after key coalition partner the Centre Party withdrew its support, citing lack of trust.

Mr Rinne has said he plans to continue as party leader until a congress next summer.

PA

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