АЏП, Spring 2016
Secializdźiś and DZ-P continue; no early elections
(18 May 2016) - In a combined press conference, party leaders Ŕanije Erijeź (Secializdźiś) and Terezije Ŕećvăń (DZ-P) announced that they will continue to govern Adzhatia as a minority government with support by the communist party NKP, after the surprise exit of fellow coalition partner AVŎD last week. This means that no early elections will be scheduled. The government's main policies won't be changed a lot as a result of its sudden course change to the left; the planned privatisation of the country's railway company and several local bus companies, which was on AVŎD's wishlist, will however be postponed until further notice, much to the chagrin of the now oppositional AVŎD. Secializdźiś and DZ-P hope to present the new government on Friday at the latest.
AVŎD leader Igoŕ Dzarcviśei called the news 'a sad day for Adzhatia' and announced heavy opposition from the liberals. "We gambled and we lost", he told the press, "but as far as AVŎD is concerned, the election campaign begins now and we intend to win this battle." Due to the division of the 45 regionally elected seats in the 160 member parliament, Dzarcviśei words are much closer to the truth and his intention much easier to achieve than his combative words might suggest: AVŎD can add 14 seats to those the party will win in the next elections, whereas Secializdźiś and DZ-P combined only 7, so Secializdźiś have to win with much more than a narrow advance to AVŎD in order to remain the largest party; in the latest polls the parties were approximately equally popular.
AVŎD leaves coalition government and calls for new elections
(10 May 2016) - In a surprise move, the leader of the liberal party AVŎD, Igoŕ Dzarcviśei, announced today that his party will leave the government coalition, and he called for early elections to be held in September, leaving the other two government parties, the socialdemocratic Secializdźiś and the green party DZ-P behind in shock. Prime minister Eigĕń Hameen (Secializdźiś) condemned the move as 'reckless and irresponsible' and stubbornly kept calling it "Dzarcviśei's move", so as to suggest that the rest of AVŎD may not share the same opinion, whereas DZ-P leader Terezije Ŕećvăń called AVŎD's sudden course change "incomprehensible".
Fact is however that Igoŕ Dzarcviśei was already known as fervent anti-coalition within AVŎD. His election last Saturday to succeed Ŕedian Bŏcaneź as party leader should have been a warning, but the prime minister didn't seem impressed at the time, claiming that he was confident that AVŎD would keep its end of the bargain until the next elections, which have to be held before 1 July 2017. Dzarcviśei's anti-Russian sentiment was one of the main reasons for wanting to end the current government; according to him, the government should have protested louder against the Russian occupation of the Crimean peninsula in 2014. He also criticised the government's social policies, which - according to him - would revert Adzhatia to the situation of the Soviet era and send a lot of people into poverty.
Early elections are however far from certain. It is equally possible that Secializdźiś and DZ-P convince president Kataŕine Matuś to organise a new government formation attempt, possibly with a minority government as the outcome, which will govern until the regular elections next year. Most likely partner to support such a government is the communist party NKP, if the government takes certain leftist measures to attract the NKP's interest.
(Update, 12 May 2016) - The president received the leaders of the five largest parties as well as the smallest government party DZ-P yesterday in order to talk about the crisis at hand. The leaders of AVŎD (Igoŕ Dzarcviśei) and the far right Trŏśtan Frentciŕ (Lere Baśćŏt) told the press that they advised the president to call for early elections; Ŕanije Erijeź, the leader of Secializdźiś, said that elections seem to her the last way out and that other solutions should be discussed first. DZ-P leader Terezije Ŕećvăń and NKP leader Bohatiŕ Ŭććaŕa expressed themselves in similar ways. Friends of Europe party ĔŚ leader Maðias Ŕaskeź refused to comment.
It is expected that the president will start her deliberations today, unless she wants the opinions of the smaller parties as well. It is guessed that she may give a formal reaction at the earliest in the course of tomorrow, but more likely is that she will wait until after the funeral on Saturday of former Constitutional Court Judge Oĺĕgeź Briuŕ, who died earlier this week.
(Update, 15 May 2016) - In a short meeting between president Matuś and prime minister Hameen, the former asked the latter to try to form a new government. She gave him however an ultimatum: if no government has been former within a week, she will set a date for early elections and appoint a transitional government, a 'challenge' which Hameen accepted. The official reason for the pressure that the president put on the government formation is that she doesn't want to keep the country without a proper governmetn for too long. However, the president being a member of AVŎD, it is suspected that she ultimately favours giving Igoŕ Dzarcviśei the opportunity to form the next government - that is, if AVŎD wins the elections.
Constitutional Court Judge Briuŕ dies
(9 May 2016) - In his home in Huśte, Judge Oĺĕgeź Briuŕ, one of the seven members of the Constitutional Court, has died this morning after a short illness. This was confirmed by his family. Briuŕ was appointed Judge in 2003 by president Miheĺ Pjotarśŭn and although the fact that Pjotarśŭn effectively ruled as a dictator made this appointment somewhat controversial after our country chose a more democratic path after 2004, Judges of the Constitutional Court are appointed for life, with an evaluation occurring after ten years; Briuŕ's evaluation took place in 2013, but there was no majority in favour of removing him. Judge Briuŕ was 76 years old and is survived by his three children and seven grandchildren.
The Constitutional Court consists of seven judges; two are directly appointed by the Special Commission of Magistrates, two by the president, two by the Dume and one by the district governors together. Since Judge Briuŕ was appointed by the president, it will be the task of incumbent president Kataŕine Matuś to nominate a new judge. It is expected that she will hold the first consultations after Judge Briuŕ's funeral, which will probably take place on Saturday.
FICT expands to thirteen members
(7 May 2016) - During the 7th General Assembly of FICT that was held today in Bizet, the capital of the Republic of MAS, two new member states were admitted: the principality of Pannonia and the kingdom of Amargo, so the number of member states increases to thirteen. Prime minister Eigĕń Hameen called the summit 'a success', also because a breakthrough was reached in the ongoing discussion about the reform of the Free Trade Agreement, and a Secretariat of Scientific Cooperation (FSSC) was established. An attempt to remove all the visa limitations for citizens of FICT member states didn't make it however due to severe opposition of especially Guelphia and Yukland.
The two new member states Amargo and Pannonia will have to ratify the Treaty of Ísðor in order to validate their membership. Foreign affairs minister Demitrieź Fŭĺgan said that diplomatic relations with both countries will be intensified through the indirect lines that are already in place: our embassy in China is responsible for the relations with Amargo, and the one in Romania for Pannonia.