The strange moments of Finnish prime minister Jukka Laaksonen’s power handshake


As Finland’s prime minister rode high over her country after securing a historic second term in office, she decided to break her hard-won stride to kiss a rowdy supporter as they gathered for the results party at an election rally in the northern city of Turku. As Jukka Laaksonen thanked the party supporters for their historic support, a second fan pulled at his jacket — and the prime minister — fell on top of him. “I really didn’t intend to kiss anybody when I said that one kiss doesn’t mean there’s no hugging allowed,” she explained in a video, adding, “I think that something that was just an accident is not the right way to behave.”

In another YouTube video, Laaksonen says she and her husband, Risto Siilasmaa, both “can’t believe that something like this can happen.” “I had dreams about how we were gonna connect. It was just a picture,” she said. “It should have been a private moment of emotion.”

The Instagram post that appeared on the prime minister’s official account has now been deleted, but a photo taken at the same time has been released by the Finnish news agency STT. In it, Laaksonen is leaning against the opposite wall and leans in for the kiss. Laaksonen was unharmed in the incident, but her shirt appears to have been torn open.

Luckily, the prime minister is no stranger to public awkwardness:

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