АЏП, Spring 2012

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Ашеж • Aśeź • Spring 2012

Traffic minister replaced

(15 June 2012) - As expected, Bloc-Ħĭnzei has replaced traffic minister Miheĺe Kaćăðei-Boħez after consulting the prime minister, following the events of the last two weeks that saw the bankruptcy of Adzhatia's most important airline ACB and the subsequent criticism towards the minister for that, which made several parliament members leave Bloc-Ħĭnzei. According to Ħarman Ćĕrðanei, the leader of Bloc-Ħĭnzei, mrs. Kaćăðei's position had become unsustainable. He named former director of the Adzhatian Transport Authority (Adźaću Dreślevianu Pelitbjuro (ADP)) Vladislaf Tŭĺĺak as her successor. This is the second Bloc-Ħĭnzei minister replacement since the government took office in December last year. The party is experiencing some rough times and opinion polls suggest that there is a possibility that it won't get enough seats to return in the Dume after the next elections. Since those will take place in 2015 at the latest, it is in the interest of Bloc-Ħĭnzei to keep the current government from collapsing prematurely.

Adzhatia to attend FICT summit in Ísðor at the end of June

(10 June 2012) - Adzhatia is planning to attend a FICT summit at the end of June. This was confirmed today by foreign affairs minister Astrid Kŭćma, who also said that although the summit will be most likely held in the capital of Yukland, Ísðor, a precise date has not been announced by neither FICT nor the Yukkish government, and therefore a formal invitation has not been issued yet. Ms. Kŭćma's confirmation comes at a time that more FICT member states and some interested third countries have given semi-formal hints that they will be attending the summit, including Dhram Phá and the South-European country of Voskia.

The minister calls upon either the Conference of Ambassadors of FICT or the Yukkish government to confirm the summit soon, while she expressed her concern that the organisation has been somewhat 'adrift' and that measures should be decided upon soon to prevent it from peter out entirely. 'Most member states were of course shocked about the outcome of the first summit on 4 April in Dhram Ɖú, resulting in a tendency of member states waiting to see which way the cat will jump', she said. 'I think the reaction of Harrawi (who suspended its FICT membership as of 19 April) was completely out of order and in every case premature.'

Some member states announced their intention to leave FICT in the last two months. According to the minister, the period between the founding of FICT last year and the moment that the end of those member states' memberships will be effective, should be properly finished. The minister: 'That means that the financial costs that have been made until now will have to be dealt with. Unfortunately it was precisely the costs that the 4 April summit in Dhram Ɖú wasn't able to agree upon, so I hope very much that these talks will proceed more smoothly nevertheless.'

(update 16 June 2012) - In a first reaction after the proposed Treaty of Ísðor was made public, foreign minister Astrid Kŭćma confessed to be a little bit disappointed that the governments of Kaupelan and Yukland, who contributed the most to the draft, really seem to be willing no more with FICT than this. 'It was of course expected, after the outcome of the FICT summit in Dhram Ðú, but seeing it printed makes it somehow more final - although changes can be proposed until the summit', the minister commented. Asked whether Adzhatia will propose any changes to the draft treaty, or if Adzhatia will leave FICT, like some other member states have confirmed after reading the draft treaty, the minister responded that the draft treaty will be studied more carefully in the next few days. 'And as said, Adzhatia will attend the summit in Ísðor regardless of our final opinion of the treaty.'

Parliamentary seat shake-up after formation of Thursday Front

(8 June 2012) - After a hectic weak following the bankruptcy of ACB and the wave of criticism that followed, several political parties in the Dume suffered from internal disagreement resulting in members switching sides yesterday afternoon. It is the largest amount of mid-term changes since the turmoil that existed in Adzhatian politics in the two years after the 1990 independence. The smallest government party, Bloc-Ħĭnzei, experienced the most severe loss: seven right wing parliament members left that party, among whom controversial party prominent Lĕjnideź Ħcoŕek. The Bloc-Ħĭnzei leadership didn't want to risk new parliamentary elections and decided to remain part of the government coalition; for the seven members who wished otherwise, no alternative remained. The same applied for the liberal party AVŎD, also part of the government coalition, which lost three members as a result. Together with one member of the liberal opposition party PŎA, they formed the so called Thursday Front (Трŏштан Френтціr / Trŏśtan Frentciŕ), which is bound to have a populist character, based on the persons who have founded it. The new party is provisionally lead by Lĕjnideź Ħcoŕek.

Prime minister Eigĕń Hameen (Secializdźiś) announced that no changes will be made to the government coalition after the events on Thursday. 'We regret that these members have discontinued to support our government, but for now a deeper crisis has been averted. The government majority still stands, albeit less convincingly than before', he said. And indeed: a support of only 71 seats remains for the government coalition, which would have been insufficient in normal circumstances, but since the sudden death of one of the regionally elected Dume members last year, the Dume temporarily consists of 141 members instead of 142, until the next regional Dume elections in the autumn of 2014.

Although prime minister Hameen reassured the nation that the government will continue as normal, it is still possible that the traffic minister, Miheĺe Kaćăðei-Boħez, will be replaced nevertheless, to insure the stability of the coalition. The prime minister didn't want to comment on this possibility.

(update 12 June 2012) - In a joint declaration, the leaders of AVŎD and Bloc-Ħĭnzei have demanded that the Thursday Front hand back at least the seats of the Dume that were allocated to AVŎD and Bloc-Ħĭnzei in the last Dume election. Ħarman Ćĕrðanei of Bloc-Ħĭnzei said that during these elections, it is the parties that the people voted for, and the Thursday Front was not on the list then; the latter group therefore has no right to those seats. As for the regionally elected parliament members who switched sides, the situation is debatable as regional Dume elections revolve more about persons. If the TF won't comply, the parties will take juridical steps.

New sport stadium near Huśte

(7 June 2012) - Ereh Vantanen, governor of the Gĕĺa Koŕzăm Krais (White Lands District), announced today the construction of what is to be the country's largest sport stadium. The facilities that currently exist everywhere in the country, are mostly small and old and they show a severe lack of maintenance. As there is little space in the capital district of Ashtinok, the surrounding district of Gĕĺa Koŕzăm Krais was chosen by the sports and planning ministries to host the new stadium. Governor Vantanen reveiled that it will be built near the village of Huśte, some 50 kilometers north east of Ashtinok and from Kosegińdrăt, the capital of Gĕĺa Koŕzăm Krais. The location was chosen due to its closeness to the A1 highway, which will make the spot well reachable from almost the entire country. Vantanen added that the existing railway between the southern city of Alidaŕ and Ashtinok may be extended to Huśte as well, but he said that nothing has been decided upon this yet.

Traffic minister criticised over ACB downfall

(4 June 2012) - The Adzhatian traffic minister Kaćăðei (and in her wake the entire government) took heavy criticism today after the bankruptcy of the country's most important airline, ACB, last Friday. As Adzhatia is a rather remote corner of Europe and perhaps the world as a whole, the fact that certain air connections have ceased to exist is a severe blow to the Adzhatian economy, which had been struggling already to get through the economic crisis in the first place. Opposition parties, but also members of the governing parties, accuse the minister of not having done enough to prevent the airline from collapsing and of failing to see the utmost importance that the existing of the airline has to the Adzhatian economy and its societal connections to the rest of Europe and in particular the European Union.

The minister answered in the Dume to the criticism by stating that saving ACB would have put too much pressure on the government budget, which would have made it a 'very irresponsible course of action'. She also told the country's representatives that she strongly believes that replacements will be found for the lost flights. 'The ministry is talking to several smaller Adzhatian airline companies as well as foreign companies and investors to take over the routes from and to Adzhatia', she said. 'With the Yukkish company Air Yukland talks were already going on about establishing a regular service between Ísðor and Ashtinok via Helsinki; it seems that it has now much more choice than that route only. But we are focusing the most on restoring cargo routes to our country, the lack of which, I agree, will be far worse for our country.'

The opposition and some members of especially Bloc-Ħĭnzei are calling for the minister's resignation or preferably that of the entire government. If a majority of the Bloc-Ħĭnzei Dume members favours breaking up the government coalition, a political crisis will ensue, less than a year after the last ones. The Bloc-Ħĭnzei parliamentary chairman doesn't seem however willing to choose the option of early elections so soon.

Adzhatian airline ACB bankrupt

(1 June 2012) - The most important cargo and passenger airline of Adzhatian origin, ACB(Аџачж Цхвасанж Банџж or Adźaćź Cħvasanź Bandźź) which has been semi state property since 2008, has declared bankruptcy. This was announced today by the traffic minister, Miheĺe Kaćăðei-Boħez. Rumours about a possible bankruptcy had been going on for almost the entire week after one aircraft of the small ACB fleet was grounded in Oslo awaiting fuel payment. Other flights were subsequently cancelled and the aircraft kept in Adzhatia. The company's last chance to raise the necessary funding to pay off its creditors passed at midnight without any positive perspectives and the ministry, not willing to fund the destitute airline any further, took the final unfortunate decision today. In the next few weeks, the company will be dismantled, its aircraft and other materials sold and its personel discharged.

The sudden loss of ACB has the immediate consequence for Adzhatia that it will be temporarily cut off by air from several countries, especially former members of the Soviet Union, but also the rest of Europe will be less accessible during the next few weeks, until other airlines will have filled the gaps.

Kŭćma confirms FICT split-off

(20 April 2012) - Several members of the Dume have asked the foreign minister, Astrid Kŭćma, questions regarding a press conference given yesterday by her Khusqaian opposite number regarding a likely split of the international organisation FICT. According to the Khusqaian foreign minister, a block of five countries, including ours, has initiated a new organisation with better chances of achieving the aims and purposes originally set for FICT; the failure of the 4 April Council meeting proved, according to the block, that due to its structure, FICT won't be able to do what these countries were expecting it to do. As the minister had assured only last Wednesday that Adzhatia would stay in FICT, the Dume wanted answers as to this sudden change of heart.

Kŭćma wrote the Dume however a latter saying that it is the government's decision that Adzhatia remain a member of FICT, and at the same time explore the possibilities of a new organisation. 'It seemed that the programme of FICT was too far going for some member states, and therefore a new organisation will be founded in due time', the minister wrote. 'From what has already been discussed between the countries concerned, Adzhatia would benefit from joining it, whereas we already know what FICT will offer, as it is mostly the former FICTS countries that considered the FICT programme too far going, so I expect that FICT will turn out to be a new FICTS, although I must say that FICT will most likely reform as well. The details of both developments will be revealed to the Dume at a later moment.'

The Dume is now discussing the subject in a debate requested by the largest opposition party NKP (communists), revealing many differences of opinion regarding the matter between the government parties. Especially the Secializdźiś (social-democrats, who are the largest government party) have always been sceptical about FICTS and subsequently FICT, but as FICT showed much more promise than FICTS, the government that was in place last year, decided to go through with the change from FICTS to FICT. Now that FICT seems to have blown up in everyone's faces, the party feels that it should leave FICT alltogether, not participate in any variants of it and instead focus on regional cooperation possibilities. Bloc-Ħĭnzei (ms. Kŭćma's party) and AVŎD however think that these wide international relations will be beneficial to our country and that we should give the other member states the benefit of doubt. The government isn't likely to collaps on the matter however, as that would be disastrous for Adzhatia.

As for the composition of the new organisation, it is likely that, apart from our own country and Khusqaikama, Harrawi and Chimor will participate, and possibly Dhram Phá as well. Rumours about a possible participation of the North-American kingdom of Kronenburg were increased by an unexpected visit from the Kronenburg ambassador Tim Roelofs to the foreign ministry this morning; the Kronenburg embassy in Norway is accredited to Adzhatia.

New foreign minister: 'Adzhatia will stay in FICT'

(18 April 2012) - This morning, Astrid Kŭćma was officially appointed minister of foreign affairs of the Adzhatian state. She pledged to keep putting our country forward in international affairs as her predecessors already tried to do. 'This means that on behalf of the Adzhatian government, I will try to keep Adzhatia in the international organisation FICT and that Adzhatia will try to contribute to it in such a manner that the internal relations will proceed more smoothly in the future. The outcome of the 4 April FICT Council meeting is of course unfortunate, but this doesn't mean that this should be the end of it.'

The minister would not comment on the increasing rumours that FICT is about to split in two.

Foreign minister appointed acting mayor of Sańdźiś Miheleze Lăć

(10 April 2012) - The Adzhatian foreign affairs minister, dr. Ońa Iśśeŕ, has been appointed acting mayor of Sańdźiś Miheleze Lăć, a small town in the north and capital of the North Adzhatia District. This was confirmed today by both a spokesman of the prime minister's office, the foreign affairs ministry and dr. Iśśeŕ's political party, Bloc-Ħĭnzei. He replaces former mayor Sardźia Bakŏń, who stepped down last Friday after a corruption scandal.

Dr. Iśśeŕ had been minister of foreign affairs slightly more than three months, after having worked at the Miheĺ Iĺicśŭn Institute, a specialised organisation for the analysis of foreign affairs and diplomatic relations. Although there are reports that dr. Iśśeŕ's functioning as foreign affairs minister has not been exemplary, 'personal reasons' are given as dr. Iśśeŕ's official motive to leave the ministry so soon.

Dr. Iśśeŕ will only be acting mayor until a new permanent mayor has been found for the town. He didn't want to comment on his appointment or on his plans after his acting mayorship. Prime minister Hameen and the party Bloc-Ħĭnzei are looking for a new foreign affairs minister; they hope to announce a name later this week.

(Update, 11 April) - Bloc-Ħĭnzei has proposed its current party secretary, ms. Astrid Kŭćma (*1960), as successor to former foreign affairs minister dr. Ońa Iśśeŕ, who became the acting mayor of Sańdźiś Miheleze Lăć unexpectedly yesterday. Ms. Kŭćma's parents are of Ukrainian origin and Astrid spent a lot of time in Kiev in the 80's, working as a clerk for the Supreme Council of the Ukrainian SSR. After the independence of Adzhatia, she held several positions as government official. It is expected that the prime minister will approve Bloc-Ħĭnzei's choice; if so, Kŭćma will be appointed on Friday at the earliest.

First FICT Council meeting broken off after disagreement • foreign minister criticised

(8 April 2012) - Dr. Ońa Iśśeŕ, the foreign affairs minister, has been heavily criticised today by members of opposition as well as government parties for his invisibility during last Wednesday's FICT Council meeting, that was called 'too steep a hill' by prime minister Hameen.

'After his appointment as foreign minister at the end of last year, he promised that our country would play a larger role in FICT,' says Bohatiŕ Ŭććaŕa, leader of the New Communist Party NKP; 'but instead dr. Iśśeŕ has not said an official word during the entire meeting and his comments outside the meeting did not add significantly to this Dume's knowledge about what was going on at the meeting; and during the discussions and negotiations he let our prime minister do the dirty work, whereas dr. Iśśeŕ could have used his alleged expertise to put our country more to the front and perhaps even make the meeting in general a success.'

Ŕanije Erijeź, former prime minister and current leader of the social-democratic party Secialiźdźiś, agreed completely with mr. Ŭććaŕa: 'Seeing his performance during last Wednesday's Council meeting, we seriously ask ourselves whether or not dr. Iśśeŕ has been the right choice for foreign minister'. The prime minister, mr. Eigĕń Hameen, issued a short declaration however that dr. Iśśeŕ's position as minister of foreign affairs is not discussed at this moment and that it was ridiculous to relate his taciturnity to the failing of the Council meeting.

Asked for his opinion of the Council meeting, the first that FICT had since its founding in June 2011, mr. Hameen called it a missed chance. He thought that the budget discussion was ill prepared, as some delegations used the Council meeting to discuss details that should have been properly discussed in the Conference of Ambassadors, eventually leading to the meeting to be broken off. The prime minister didn't confirm or deny rumours about a possible split of FICT in countries that would approve a more audacious budget and those who wouldn't, but stated that our country has done much to try to make FICT a success. Mr. Hameen said that he will discuss the matter with the current Adzhatian ambassador to FICT, mr. Anatoĺ Bugănskie.