Sanna Marin resigned as Prime Minister of Finland on Thursday morning, that country’s public broadcaster, Yle, reports, in a fairly hectic week for Estonia’s northern neighbor, one which saw both a general election and Finland formally becoming the 31st NATO member state.
Marin, whose party, the Social Democrats (SDP), finished third at last Sunday’s elections, submitted her resignation letter to President Sauli Niinistö, at the latter’s official Helsinki residence, Mäntyniemi, Yle reported on its English-language page.
The submission also released the government from its duties, though this will remain in office on a caretaker basis until a new coalition is formed, as is the case in Estonia.
Petteri Orpo, leader of the election-winning National Coalition Party, looks set to be the next prime minister and will head coalition government formation talks from next Friday, April 14.
President Niinistö noted that Marin had been in office at an exceptional time for Finland, Europe, and the world, starting as it did just before the Covid pandemic began. This was followed by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February last year, while the country formally joined NATO the same week that Marin tendered her resignation.
In effect, Yle reports, Finland’s incumbent coalition was of a provisional nature as soon as the election results were released, given its mandate derived from the previous parliamentary composition (in fact, Marin did not herself obtain a national mandate as prime minister at all, having been made prime minister by her party, replacing Anti Rinne and narrowly defeating party-mate Antti Lindtman to the post-ed.).
As one of Finland’s nearest friendly neighbors, Marin made official visits to Estonia in 2020 and 2022, and hosted visits from her Estonian counterpart, most recently in November last year.
As in Estonia, the election and means that the caretaker government will only carry out routine or ceremonial and official duties and attend to emergency matters which cannot wait until the next coalition is sworn in.
Estonia’s new coalition lineup is expected to be unveiled over Easter weekend, while the XV Riigikogu convenes on Monday, for the first time.