Finnish PM responds to drug allegations

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Leaked videos of Sanna Marin on a night out have exposed the 36-year-old leader to criticism

Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin has denied taking drugs after videos of a night out, in which a number of revelers could reportedly be heard discussing cocaine, were leaked online. The controversy has prompted some politicians to call for the young leader to take a drug test.

“I am upset that these videos have become public. It was about me having a night out with friends. Partying – even in a boisterous way – dancing and singing,” Marin told the media on Thursday morning.

She denied any wrongdoing, but lamented the violation of her privacy. The party took place at a private residence several weeks ago, she said, and expected her off-duty time to remain confidential. Marin confirmed that the party that night later continued at two bars in Helsinki.

The footage, which circulated earlier this week on social media, showed the 36-year-old Finnish prime minister having a good time with several public figures, mostly from the entertainment industry, but also including MP Ilmari Nurminen, 31. According to reports in the local press, some of the partygoers could be heard shouting a term that can refer to cocaine.

A number of Finnish politicians have voiced concerns about possible damage to the prime minister’s image. MP Mikko Karna suggested that Marin should voluntarily take a drug test and make the results public simply to leave no room for speculation. He also said he was concerned about the reputation of the PM’s office. Karna’s political party is part of the current ruling coalition.

Marin’s love of nightlife became an issue last year, when she went out with her husband, hours after a member of her cabinet tested positive for Covid-19. There was some confusion over whether vaccinated individuals like herself should self-isolate after exposure. She later apologized for not double-checking her own government’s health guidelines.

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