WELLINGTON, Dec 11 (Reuters) – New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said Finland’s new Prime Minister Sanna Marin, who has become the world’s youngest head of government, needs no advice from another youthful premier.
Marin, 34, took over Ardern’s mantle as the world’s youngest female leader on Tuesday.
“Oh, look, she needs no advice. This is ultimately one of those issues when people assume of course because you are young that you are not bringing experience and expertise to the table necessarily,” Ardern told Reuters in an interview on Wednesday when asked if she has any advice for Marin.
“I see she’s already a minister, she’s already a member of the government. All I would say is: go well.”
Ardern, 39, burst into prominence during New Zealand’s 2017 election and became the world’s youngest prime minister at the time. She is feted globally as part of a new wave of progressive and young leaders that has included France’s Emmanuel Macron and Canada’s Justin Trudeau.
Ardern’s message, however, was in contrast to some worldly wisdom offered by Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, who at 94 is the oldest leader of a country.
Mahathir said on Tuesday that it would be a good idea for Marin to ask “old people” for their advice.
“While we believe in the idealism of young people, it is important also for them to consider the experience of the old people,” Mahathir said. (Reporting by Praveen Menon and Jane Wardell; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan)