Aland. The election to the Lagting in October was a great
success for the Social Democrats of Åland, while the
Liberals lost most and lost government power. The Social
Democrats doubled the number of seats from 3 to 6, and the
Liberals went back from 10 to 6 seats. The largest party,
however, became the Center, which increased with a mandate
About 4/5 of the Lagting consisted of bourgeois parties,
but the voting magnet, the election winner and Social
Democrat Camilla Gunell, 41 years old, got the post as
county council. In doing so, she became the first Social
Democratic head of government in the history of Åland.
Gunell formed a new provincial government with his own party
as well as the Center, Moderates and Unbound Collection. Of
the seven ministers, four were women and three men. The
coalition had a majority with 21 of the Lagting's 30 seats.
During the year, Åland, which receives its electricity
supply from Sweden, was promised state Finnish support for
the plans for an electricity cable to Finland's mainland as
well. The Finland cable is estimated to cost the equivalent
of SEK 1.1 billion and is intended to secure reserve power
in the event of a breach of the Swedish cable.
When Finland's President Tarja Halonen visited Åland to
open the newly elected Lagting, she expressed concern that
Åland's youth would rather study in Sweden than in Finland.
As a result, they do not get to know the Finnish
administration, Halonen noted.
The disputed Finns' controversial MP Teuvo Hakkarainen
ended up in the hot air during the fall after a statement
that gays, lesbians and Somalis could be placed on Åland and
form an ideal society there. Hakkarainen claimed that he was
joking but was given a warning by his own parliamentary
group. Åland's MP Elisabeth Nauclér explained that everyone
is welcome to Åland, including Hakkarainen, but that the
move should be voluntary.