After her bittersweet defeat on Sunday, Sanna Marin has no wish to be the leader of the opposition in Finland. The prime minister announced yesterday that she will present her resignation to the leadership of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) this Thursday, but that she will remain in her position until the September congress choose his successor or successor.
“Now is a time to join ranks again and resign as leader,” said Marin, who expressed her desire to remain only as a deputy in the new Parliament (“Eduskunda”) and ruled out holding a ministerial position in case the conservatives, the winners of the elections, form a government with the social democrats.
Despite improving his electoral result by 2.2 points and proast 40 to 43 seats, the SDP was relegated to third position by one seat margin. The Social Democrats were outclassed by less than one point and 27,659 votes by the conservatives of the National Coalition Party (KOK) and by only one tenth and 3,884 votes for the far-right Finns Party. A real disappointment for the most popular politician in the Nordic country, which in 2019 became with 34 years in the world’s youngest prime minister.
Despite his interim leadership of the party, Marin will be part of the imminent coalition negotiations that the future prime minister, the conservative Petteri Orpo, will begin next Friday, once the new Parliament is constituted.
“The SDP is prepared to govern. We are tough negotiators, but also a party capable of cooperating that has been in government many times in the history of Finland,” said Marin, who has led a coalition government between Social Democrats in the last legislature , centrists, greens, the Left Alliance and the Swedish People’s Party.
In the view of conservative heavyweights, Marin’s resignation will facilitate an eventual Grand Coalition in Finlandgiven that the current Social Democratic leader rejects the policy of social cuts that Orpo plans. Samu Vahteristo he believes that “negotiations will be easier. If you think about his (Marin’s) rhetoric in recent months, at least we are in a negotiating relationship.”
However, the still Social Democratic leader anticipated a future right-wing Executive in Finland: “I do not see the SDP entering a Government that would make 6,000 million cuts. This would not be in any way compatible with our goals or our electoral program.”
In the midst of the expectation about his future, Marin avoided going into details, although he announced that she will not be a candidate in the 2024 presidential election. “These have been exceptionally difficult years and hard times. With this electoral result, I feel that I have the opportunity to turn the page in my own life,” he acknowledged without hiding his emotion from the journalists.
Since the results of the agonizing vote on Sunday showed that Marin could not govern a second term, Finnish political analysts doubted that the Social Democratic leader would settle for being leader of the opposition or a minister under her political rival. Instead, they anticipated possible destinations in international organizations for a Marin aupada to the power with only 37 years.
One of the most repeated rumors pointed out that the prime minister who had led Finland to NATO in less than a year after eighty years of military non-alignment would be a good candidate to succeed as secretary general to Jens Stoltenbergwhose term ends in September.
However, it plays against that after the Danish Anders Fogh Rasmussen and the Norwegian Stoltenberg, another Nordic politician from a small country, can take over the General Secretariat of the Atlantic Alliance. In this sense, it was pronounced Timo Miettinena researcher at the Academy of the University of Helsinki, speaking to Yle public television: “Finland has just become part of NATO and is starting to shape its own security policy thinking. Sanna Marin has no experience as a prime minister of a NATO country.
It would be more likely that he could direct his steps towards EU politics and aspire, for example, to be the candidate of the European socialists to the European elections of the next year. Other former Finnish prime ministers such as the centrist Mari Kiviniemi and the conservative Alexander Stubb continued their efforts abroad. The first at the OECD in Paris and the second as a university professor in Italy.
In these barely three and a half years at the helm of the Finnish Government, Marin has faced two serious crises with little experience in national politics such as the coronavirus pandemic and the Ukraine war. His praised management of the health crisis is summed up in a country with fewer deaths and infected with covid-19 than its European neighbors without confinement or hospital saturation. Faced with the Russian threat, Marin knew how to lead, together with the president Sauli Niinistoan express accession to NATO that culminated last Tuesday with the integration of Finland as the 31st member state of the organization.
Faced with these successes, the Prime Minister has also had to face these years unusual macho attacks due to his youth and inexperience, as well as for the videos where she was seen having fun partying with her friends like any other citizen. In a forceful tweet, Marin responded to all those who ignored him because of his gender and age: “Incompetent, inexperienced, supermarket cashier, girl, Girls Government, Lipstick Government, Pantyhose Government, threats, hate speech, harassment Yes, women run the government. Accept it.” The Social Democratic leader alluded to the fact that the five parties of the center-left coalition were led by women, four of them under 40 years of age.