August 19 (Al Jazeera) – Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin is facing a political backlash after video footage of her partying with fellow politicians and celebrities was leaked online.
The footage, published on social media on Wednesday, shows Marin and five other people dancing and singing in what appears to be a gathering held at a private home. At one point, Marin, 36, is seen on her knees with her arms behind her head, dancing and mimicking a song.
According to Finnish media reports, one of the other partygoers can seemingly be heard in the background shouting “jauhojengi”, which means “flour gang” in Finnish and is also slang for cocaine.
It wasn’t immediately clear when the party – which was reportedly also attended by Ilmari Nurminen, a member of parliament for the prime minister’s Social Democratic Party, and Finnish singer Alma – was held.
But the footage has prompted calls from Marin’s political opponents for her to take a voluntary drug test, with opposition party leader Riikka Purra saying there was a “shadow of doubt” hanging over the prime minister.
Marin on Thursday denied taking any drugs during what she described as the “wild” party in a private home and contested the perceived use of the term “jauhojengi”.
“I have not used drugs myself, or anything other than alcohol. I’ve danced, sung and partied and done perfectly legal things,” the Finnish leader told reporters, adding that she was “disappointed” that footage of the party had become public.
Marin – who in December 2019 became Finland’s youngest prime minister ever – also said she would not change in the wake of the controversy, saying she intends to continue to be the same person as before.
“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,” she said. “I am going to be exactly the same person as I have been until now and I hope that it will be accepted.”
This week’s developments came after Marin was forced to issue a public apology at the end of last year for going out clubbing after coming into close contact with a COVID-19-positive individual.
The Finnish prime minister said at the time that she had missed a message telling her to isolate because she had left her work phone at home. She did not test positive for the virus.
Marin, who is open about her penchant for partying and has often been photographed at music festivals, was dubbed the “coolest politican in the world” by German news outlet Bild last week.