In December, Finland's 36-year-old Prime Minister Sanna Marin decided to go for a night out with friends at a Helsinki nightclub and enjoyed some free time into the early morning. When her official phone received an alert that she had been exposed to COVID-19, she later had to issue a public apology for not immediately going into quarantine.
On Thursday, leaked images reinvigorated the now enlarged scandal within the media and politics in Finland after she was seen dancing, posing, and singing with friends at parties, said to be private, the New York Times reported.
In one video, a voice is heard saying, “This gives you a great feeling.” That sparked accusations of drug use, but there had been no evidence that was the case.
According to the BBC, Prime Minister Marin has denied taking any drugs and said that she only consumed alcohol and was just enjoying her night out "in a boisterous way."
"I danced, sang, and partied, perfectly legal things. I've never been in a situation where I've seen or known of others [using drugs]," Marin said.
Marin was formerly the world's youngest government leader, which has now been taken by Chile's new leader Gabriel Boric.
The prime minister's scandal, which has taken on a whole new energy, has made her the target of opposition figures within Finland's political landscape. Opposition leader Riikka Purra called for Marin to take a voluntary drug test, saying there was a "shadow of doubt" over the situation.
Mikko Karna, a member of parliament in the Center Party in Finland, tweeted, saying "it would be wise" for Marin to "voluntarily undergo a drug test." Karna once served in the prime minister's coalition government.
In 2019, Marin became the world's youngest prime minister, chosen by her party at age 34. In 2015 she revealed her struggles with judgment because of her mother's same-sex relationship, the BBC reported.
In July, Finland was welcomed into the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) after the organization of nations' 30 allies signed an accession protocol formally welcoming Finland and Sweden into the nuclear-armed military alliance amid Russia's continued aggression in Europe.