After retiring from sports she 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 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.