|Leader of The Christian Democrats|
28 August 2015 – Incumbent
|Preceded by||Päivi Räsänen|
|Born||21 February 1967|
|Political party||Christian Democrats|
Sari Miriam Essayah (born 21 February 1967 in Haukivuori) is a Finnish retired race walker and a politician, former Member of the European Parliament (MEP) and Member of Parliament since 2015. She is the president of the Finnish Christian Democrats party. Her father is from Morocco.
During her sports career, Essayah competed mainly in 5 000 and 10 000 metres. In the latter, she won the World Championship in 1993 and the European Championship in 1994. She made seven national records, all of which are still standing.
In 2016, Essayah became a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), she has been a member of the Ethics Committee, Finnish Athletics Association since 2014.
Essayah holds an M.Sc (Econ) in business administration and accounting from University of Vaasa.
After retiring from sports Essayah entered politics and represented the Christian Democrats in the Finnish parliament between 2003–2007 but failed to get reelected in the election of 2007. She served as the Christian Democrats' party secretary from 2007 to 2009. Essayah was elected to the European Parliament in 2009 but failed to be reelected in 2014 despite her 61 000 votes. This left the Finnish Christian Democrats without MEPs in the 2014 election. In November 2011 she undertook godparenthood for Mikola Dziadok, Belarusian activist and political prisoner.
Essayah was candidate in the 2012 Finnish presidential election. She came last with 2.47 percent of the votes.
In the 2015 parliamentary elections, Essayah was elected to represent a newly formed constituency of Savonia and Karelia with over 11 000 votes. She was later chosen to be the vice speaker of the Christian Democrats' Parliamentary group. In August, she was chosen the new chair of her party after her predecessor, Päivi Räsänen, retired from the position after over ten years. Sari Essayah was re-elected in Finnish parliament in 2019 elections and re-elected for a third term as the party chair in a party congress in August.
|1987||World Championships||Rome, Italy||19th||10 km||47:30|
|1989||Universiade||Duisburg, West Germany||3rd||5000 m||21:34|
|1990||European Championships||Split, Yugoslavia||5th||10 km||45:10|
|1991||World Race Walking Cup||San Jose, United States||16th||10 km||46:20|
|Universiade||Sheffield, England||1st||10 km||44:04|
|World Championships||Tokyo, Japan||3rd||10 km||43:13|
|1992||Olympic Games||Barcelona, Spain||4th||10 km||45:08|
|1993||World Race Walking Cup||Monterrey, Mexico||2nd||10 km||45:18|
|World Championships||Stuttgart, Germany||1st||10 km||42:59|
|1994||European Championships||Helsinki, Finland||1st||10 km||42:37|
|1995||World Race Walking Cup||Beijing, China||12th||10 km||44:21|
|World Championships||Gothenburg, Sweden||4th||10 km||42:20|
|1996||Olympic Games||Atlanta, United States||16th||10 km||45:02|