When 10-year-old Mili Kasurinen says she wants to become a town council leader, she means it.
She may be the youngest ever applicant for the job but the primary school student, who is running to head the council in Kemijarvi, Finland's northernmost town, has made it very clear that her application is not some gimmick to go viral.
Oh, and she is up against 18 other candidates – all of whom are adults.
"I made it clear that this is not some sort of joke to be laughed at," she was quoted as saying. "I asked them to read my application through to the end."
Kasurinen has also planned out a list of things she would like to do if she’s elected.
For example, she wants to merge all the town’s primary schools into one – a central Kemijarvi school.
“That way every other day we’d be at school, and every other day at home doing distance learning,” she suggested, adding that the town should also include an online teaching system to educate children from home.
“If the system was then sold to other municipalities, that would make money for the town.”
Besides educational reforms, Kasurinen wants to work for the town’s “economic revival” as well as solve its environmental problems. She doesn’t like it when people – especially young people – litter the countryside or don’t care about cleanliness in their surroundings.
“If the town’s kept clean, tourists are likely to be happier here,” she said.
Asked how she would balance work with education, the fourth-grader answered she plans to go to school for half the day, then "run down to the town hall and start working hard there too” – for which she would happily accept a part-time salary.
Despite her remarkable self-confidence, Kasurinen is worried about missing out on the job because of her age. “Yes it’s a worry, but I’m not going to start complaining about it,” she stated, insisting, “I would get on and do my job, and I definitely wouldn’t let the town down.”
While she thinks she should be taken seriously, Kasurinen believes at least half of the municipality’s cabinet should be experienced grown-ups.
“If everyone was aged 10 to 15, the whole thing would go a bit loopy.”