Finland's Prime Minister Sanna Marin is facing criticism after being seen partying in a widely-shared leaked video, resulting in a lot of backlash from the Finnish opposition who call her behaviour not fitting for a country leader.
On social media footage, she is seen dancing and singing with friends, including several Finnish celebrities.
Additionally, opposition parties have demanded that Marin take a drug test after people in the background of the footage can reportedly be heard shouting for cocaine. Media outlets in Finland appear to believe it is not a good image for the Prime Minister.
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Marin has denied taking drugs, adding that she only drank alcohol and parties in a "boisterous way."
The Prime Minister has not hidden her outgoing lifestyle and has often been photographed at music festivals, including Finland's recent Flow Festival.
Prime Minister of Finland, Sanna Marin (left) at Flow festival in Helsinki Source: Instagram pic.twitter.com/aW6jrthCgz— Nordic News (@Nordic_News) August 12, 2022
Last year she apologised for coming into close contact with someone infected with Covid-19 after she had gone out clubbing.
Commenting on Thursday's video, she said she knew she was being filmed but was disturbed at the video becoming public. "I danced, sang, and partied – perfectly legal things. And I have never been in a situation where I have seen or known of others [using drugs]," she added.
Members of Finland's opposition have slammed both the Prime Minister and the media for focusing on the party rather than key political issues.
"I have a family life, I have a work life and I have free time to spend with my friends. Pretty much the same as many people my age," Marin told journalists in response to the criticism, stressing that she did not believe she should change her behaviour.
"I am going to be exactly the same person as I have been until now and I hope that it will be accepted," she said.
Marin has been in power since December 2019 when she became one of the world's youngest leaders at 34. Her party still stands behind her.
Social media harassment
Although Marin is been recently been dubbed the coolest Prime Minister in the world by German paper Bild, she and her female-led coalition government have faced extensive sexist harassment on social media.
Thursday's video appears to have had an equally polarising effect, with political affairs expert Julien Hoez defending the Prime Minister after a Twitter user suggested that a mother and woman her age should not go clubbing.
The problem is that she's a 36 yo mother and acts like a 16 yo tweenie rager, twerking and "spreading" all over the floor. 🙄 That alone should be reason enough for her to feel embarrassed! The whole "shaming the PM office" thing a whole other issue, but equally valid. ✔️— The K (@kmp78obvs) August 18, 2022
Hoez then added that sexist attitudes were to blame for the backlash.