In a leaked video, Finland’s Prime Minister Sanna Marin is seen in a photograph dancing and singing with friends at a private party.
The 36-year-old leader poses for the camera. She sits on her knees, hands behind her head. She is entangled in a group hug. She’s having a good time.
Countless similar videos are shared daily on social media by young and not-so-young people partying in Finland and all over the world. But the leak has triggered a debate among Finns about what level of reveling is inappropriate for a prime minister, especially considering neighboring Russia’s attack on Ukraine, which prompted long-neutral Finland and Sweden to apply for NATO membership.
Marin, who leads the center-left Social Democratic Party, has faced a barrage of questions about the party: Were there drugs? Alcohol? Was she working or on summer vacation? Was the prime minister sober enough to handle an emergency had one arisen?
The video, clearly shot by someone at the party, was leaked on social media and caught the attention of Finnish media this week. Marin said she attended the party in recent weeks, but refused to say exactly where and when.
She also acknowledged that she and her friends celebrated in a boisterous way and that alcohol – but, to her knowledge, no drugs – was involved. She said Friday that she took a drug test to put an end to speculation about illegal substances.
I hope that in the year 2022 its accepted that even decision-makers dance, sing and go to parties, Marin told reporters. I did not wish for any images to be spread, but its up to the voters to decide what they think about it.
The prime minister, who is married and has a 4-year-old daughter, has often insisted that even though she’s the head of Finland’s government, she’s just like anyone else her age who likes a good time with friends and family in their leisure time.
In Helsinki on Friday afternoon, opinions were split.