Finnish PM Marin elected as chair of Social Democratic Party

Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin was elected as the chairperson of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) at a party convention in Tampere, southern Finland.

Finland’s former prime minister Antti Rinne had been chairman of the SDP until the convention, even though he gave up the role of prime minister in late 2019 due to displeasure from the Center Party in the five-party coalition government. Rinne did not seek re-election as the chairperson, Xinhua news agency reported.

Talking to the media after her election, Marin said she would defend the political aims of the SDP even if they would be different from the programme of the left-center coalition government. She also emphasized that the measures needed to curb unemployment in the country must be “just”. Employment has been seen as a divisive issue in the coalition.

When Marin was given flowers as the newly elected party leader, “Don’t Stop Me Now” — the song by British rock band Queen — was played as background music.

Antton Ronnholm was re-elected as party secretary of the SDP.

Local commentators have noted that during Marin’s term as Prime Minister, the support for SDP has risen to above 20 per cent for the first time since some 20 years ago. SDP is now the most popular party in Finland, with 23.4 per cent backing, followed by the Finns Party with around 18.9 per cent support, as shown in a recent poll conducted by Finnish national broadcaster Yle.