By Rob Picheta and Pierre Meilhan, CNN
Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin has acknowledged partying “in a boisterous way” after the release of private videos — but said she is angry that the footage, which prompted criticism from political opponents, was leaked to the media.
Videos showed Marin, Finland’s 36-year-old leader, dancing with friends in a private setting.
“These videos are private and filmed in a private space. I resent that these became known to the public,” Marin told reporters in Kuopio, Finland.
“I spent a night with my friends. We just partied, also in a boisterous way. I danced and sang,” she said.
The footage shows Marin and five others posing towards a camera and dancing. Another clip appears to show Marin on the floor, singing toward the camera.
It had prompted some of Marin’s opponents to criticize her behavior as unbecoming of a prime minister. Mikko Karna, an opposition MP, tweeted that Marin should undergo a drug test.
Marin told reporters that alcohol was consumed but she was not aware of any drug use during the party.
Supporters meanwhile have defended her, and charged critics with applying a double standard.
“Why can’t she party after work? Do we expect our leaders not to be human beings?” tweeted Ashok Swain, a Professor of Peace and Conflict Research at Sweden’s Uppsala University.
Marin has denied the leaking of the videos was part of a blackmailing scheme. “I am not being blackmailed. These are private videos and they were not supposed to be public,” the prime minister said, adding that “they are filmed this summer and in a private home. I am not telling whose home it is.”
It’s not the first time that Marin’s private life has become politicized in Finland. She previously apologized to the public in 2021 after a photo surfaced of her in a nightclub, following Finland’s foreign minister testing positive for Covid-19.
“I did wrong. I should have considered the situation more carefully,” Marin said in a television interview by public broadcaster Yle at the time.
But she also said she is an “individual, a person, a real person also, even though I’m a prime minister. So, I won’t change the way I behave. Of course, I have to be careful what I say because it can be represented as the whole government, but I’m still a person and I will be in the future also.”
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