After two years of trouble, OGAE Finland is trying to get back to normal. The Finnish division of OGAE has held an extraordinary congress today with the aim of electing a new president and committee. The new chairwoman is Maiken Mäemets, who became well-known for many fans due to her work in the Helsinki 2007 press centre.
The Eurovision fan movement in Finland has been seriously divided since 2005. That year, a group of unsatisfied members of OGAE Finland created a parallel organisation, called Viisufanit ry (Eurovision Fans Finland). The Finnish victory in Eurovision 2006 appeared to be a good opportunity to recover the lost unity, but all efforts were in vain, as OGAE Finland, Viisufanit ry and Viisukuppila.fi were not able to make up a stable general agreement to collaborate in the ESC 2007 organisation.
As a result of this, OGAE Finland and their former president, Martti Immonen, refused to take part in the fan centre project in central Helsinki, run finally by the other two mentioned entities. On the other hand, OGAE Finland arranged the fan desk in the Helsinki Press Centre. Then, OGAE Finland no longer recognised as the representative club of the entire Eurovision fan community in Finland lost the function of allocating tickets for ESC 2007 in favour of Viisufanit ry and Viisukuppila.fi and was expelled from OGAE International Network, together with its then president.
Finally, Martti Immonen resigned from his responsibilities as president, referring to "health reasons". With the election of the new management, a time for hope opens in Finland. In the extraordinary congress held today in Helsinki, Maiken Mäemets has been elected as the new president of OGAE Finland. Amongst her new missions, to recover the lost unity will be no doubt a priority. For the moment, Viisufanit ry has replaced OGAE Finland from its seat in OGAE International and holds the duty of allocating tickets for all those Finnish fans traveling to Belgrade 2008.
Maiken became well-known to Helsinki press centre visitors because of her work at the fans desk. She also met all the participating delegations as a welcome gesture from OGAE Finland. The new Finnish OGAE committee, which is composed by old and new faces, has also been given the mandate to reunite the Eurovision fans in Finland.