Leaked video of PM's wild party sparks national debate

·News Editor
·3-min read

Critics of Finland's prime minister and her partying ways have been blasted as "puritanical" and even misogynistic after leaked footage of a private party leaked online.

The clip of the young world leader dancing, drinking and partying with her friends quickly went viral after being posted on social media.

The clip shows Sanna Marin, 36, partying throughout the afternoon and night alongside well-known local influencers and artists in what appears to be a friend's apartment.

Sanna Marin became the world's youngest national leader in 2019 at the age of 34.
Sanna Marin became the world's youngest national leader in 2019 at the age of 34. Source: Twitter

PM 'resents' video becoming public

Her political opponents have seized on the footage to criticise the prime minister for spending too much time at music festivals and parties, rather than governing. But the backlash quickly generated its own backlash as debate kicked off on social media and in the Finnish media.

On Thursday (local time), Ms Marin said she was upset the videos were published online as they were only meant to be seen by friends. The clips were originally posted to a private Instagram account.

Ms Marin, who became the world's youngest serving government leader in December 2019, said she knew she was being filmed but never thought the videos would become publicly available.

"These videos are private and filmed in a private space. I resent that these became known to the public," Ms Marin told reporters. She said she did not know who leaked them.

Newspaper labels young PM 'gullible'

Many Finns have voiced support for the young leader for combining a private life with her high-profile career. But newspaper Helsingin Sanomat said the episode raised questions about her judgement.

"Marin may have acted in good faith, but this gullible she should not be," the paper wrote in an editorial.

"The prime minister can, in a sensitive situation, put the weapons of information warfare in the hands of those who would like to hurt Finland," the newspaper said.

Meanwhile some of her parliamentary colleagues called for the PM to take a drug screening test and make the results public. Despite saying there was no evidence to suggest she took drugs, it was a demand Ms Marin appeared open to.

"I have nothing to hide," she told reporters. "I have never taken drugs."

Finland's Prime Minister Sanna Marin speaks with members of the media
Finland's Prime Minister Sanna Marin speaks with members of the media on Thursday about the leaked video. Source: Reuters

According to local broadcaster YLE, the term "jauhojengi" or "powder gang" – a reference to cocaine – can be heard in one of the clips. But some online conjecture claimed it was more likely to be the similar sounding reference "jallujengi" or "jallu jenny" used for a type of Finnish liquor.

Ms Marin said the video was a compilation of clips from two separate occasions a few weeks ago. She said people at the events consumed alcohol but no one took drugs to her knowledge.

"We just partied, also in a boisterous way. I danced and sang," the prime minister said, denying a claim that the videos had been a publicity stunt less than a year until the next general election.

Ms Marin has previously opined about how herself and other young female ministers have been targeted with extensive hate speech for their gender and appearance while in office.

with Reuters

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