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Finnish PM Sanna Marin tests negative for drugs after party video leak

Finland’s prime minister, Sanna Marin, has tested negative in a drugs test she took after a leaked video last week showed her dancing exuberantly and drinking at a party at which unsubstantiated reports claimed drugs may have been circulating.

The test was taken on 19 August and “found no narcotics”, the government said in a statement on Monday. It provided no details of what kind of test was used or what it screened for, but said that the prime minister would pay for it herself.

A government official, Iida Vallin, told Helsingin Sanomat newspaper the comprehensive test had screened for amphetamines, barbiturates, cannabis, dextropropoxyphene, cocaine, methadone and a range of other narcotics.

Marin, 36, told a press conference on Friday that she had never taken drugs – “not even in my teenage years” – and had not seen any drugs being used at the party on 6 August. The prime minister said she had taken the test “for my own legal protection and to clear up any doubts”.

Finnish media reported claims – amplified chiefly by far-right and anti-government accounts – that a voice on the clip could be heard shouting “the flour gang”, supposedly a reference to drugs, but it is not clear the term was used or even what it means.

Marin told reporters that her ability to take important decisions at a time of heightened security had been unimpaired, saying she had consumed only a moderate amount of alcohol and “could have left to take care of government tasks” if necessary.

She said she did nothing but “dance, sing, hug my friends and drink alcohol”, adding: “I hope that in the year 2022, it’s accepted that even decision-makers dance, sing and go to parties”. Women have posted videos of themselves dancing in her support.

Opponents have claimed the incident raises questions not so much about the prime minister’s right to party but about her judgment in her choice of friends and in allowing herself to be filmed in a way that could expose her to criticism.

Marin, who became the world’s youngest serving government leader in 2019, said she was aware she was being filmed but that the clips were never intended for public viewing. “What could have been done was to take care that such things would not be leaked,” she said, adding that she was confident her friends were not responsible.

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