АЏП, Summer 2013

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Кĕзе • Kĕze • Summer 2013

Ăŕva Ośŕoncei wants to become president

(10 September) - The controversial former head of state and former prime minister Ăŕva Ośŕoncei has announced his intention to run for president of the Adzhatian State next year. According to the 61 year old, who hasn't participated in Adzhatian politics since he was ousted in 2005, little has changed for the better since the end of Miheĺ Pjotarśŭn dictatorship in 2004, and said that although he was wrong in 2005 to try changing the country's politics by undemocratic means (for which he was cleared of all charges in 2007), much is left to be improved. He said that he will run as an independent candidate.

Ośŕoncei is the first person to openly announce his candidacy for the presidential elections that will take place approximately one year from now. It is assumed that the incumbent president, mr. Ăŕva Bekina (independent, but formerly Bloc-Ħĭnzei), will try to gain a second term in office. Another often mentioned potential candidate is former prime minister Ŕanije Erijeź (Secializdźiś), who hasn't however said anything on the matter herself.

President presents government Hameen-II

(14 August) - President Ăŕva Bekina presented the new government to the press this morning. The second government of Eigĕń Hameen is the result of the early elections that were held on 6 July, because the former government felt that it wasn’t sufficiently capable of ruling the country with only a narrow majority in the Dume of half a seat. Opposition parties question the large amount of ministries in the three party coalition.

The coalition will consist of Secializdźiś, AVŎD and the Dzalităm Partie, who will have 83 of the current 141 seats. The participation of the latter party came as a surprise, as its three seats aren’t essential to help the coalition have a majority. During the early negotiations between the two larger parties, it became however clear that they needed some kind of ‘glue’ to hold the entire structure together. The fact that Dz-P will now be a member of the government, resulted in a rather complicated division of portfolios, which have a total number of twenty (excluding the prime minister): nine ministries will be headed by Secializdźiś ministers (including Demitrieź Fŭĺgan on foreign affairs), eight by AVŎD and three by Dz-P, which include the ministry of economic affairs. Opposition parties such as the NKP, Trŏśtan Frentciŕ and Bloc-Ħĭnzei criticised the division, claiming that it’s unwise to have more ministers to receive large salaries when there is a world economic crisis going on. The prime minister said however that the total amount of ministries will be reduced to nine, including the prime minister’s office, and that most ministers will have to share the facilities. “We took the opportunity of our initial diffi-culties during the negotiations and the subsequent participation of Dz-P to create a modern government that will be able to tackle the various issues of today and tomorrow”, the prime minister said. “For this reason, we created three new minister portfolios: Energy and Natural Resources will be responsible for the search for and research after existing and new forms of energy; Environment and Society is going to seek out green, but nevertheless efficient ways of living and Internet and Social Media will learn our country to participate in the modern internet society.”

For the most part, the new government has taken over the former government’s plans and issues, although some items were dropped, such as the planned annual increase of the defense budget by a fixed ratio, which was a demand of former coalition party Bloc-Ħĭnzei; the defense budget will now be a part of the normal annual budget negotiations. On the other hand, the fact that the Dz-P is now part of the coalition resulted in an increased amount of environmental measures, the possibility of a nation wide smoking ban and more money to increase the quality and security of the nuclear facility in Barhveź, in the south of Adzhatia.

During the next couple of weeks, the new government will be working on the budget for 2014. It is the prime minister’s intention to have it discussed in the Dume by the end of September at the latest. As the summer reces is still going on, it is expected that the Dume will want to question the government’s intended policies also in September.

Three parties agree on coalition

(8 August) - The next government will consist of three parties, instead of two. Secializdźiś and AVŎD invited Dzalităm Partića, the Green Party, to 'fill up some gaps' that became apparent during the earlier negotiations between the two larger parties. Since the Dz-P didn't want to participate for nothing however and insisted on the creation of a ministry for the environment, a lot of redivision and creation of ministries has been going on in the last week, prime minister Eigĕń Hameen told the press. The new government will therefore be rather large in comparison to previous governments, with twenty ministries next to the prime minister's office. Several existing ministries will be split, such as Economic Affairs to make room for the new ministery of Trade and Industry; there will be a separate Budget ministry, originating from Finance; Traffic and Communication will be separated; Democratic Affairs on the other hand has been added to the Justice Ministry, and the Ministry of Women and Children to the Education ministry. Three new ministries are those of Internet and Social Media, Environment and Society, and Energy and Natural Resources. Secializdźiś ministers will head nine ministries (and the prime minister is from Secializdźiś as well), AVŎD eight and Dz-P three. The parties will finalise their search for suitable ministers next week and the prime minister said that if all goes well, the new government could be approved by Friday next week.

According to experts, the agreement between the three parties has to be a strong one; although the two larger parties already have a parliamentary majority without the Dz-P, the negotiation's of the last couple of weeks showed that they don't seem to be able to work together all by themselves. The Dz-P will therefore function as the glue that will hold them together. Secializdźiś and AVŎD will have prevented however that Dz-P (which has only three seats in the Dume) will become 'too cocky' and will have made sure that it won't dominate the government in one way or another, and that it won't be able to leave the government without much ado - although, as said, this wouldn't affect the governmental majority, Secializdźiś and AVŎD fear what it would do to their internal relationship.

Judge Hăŕiaðei dies "in domestic accident"

(4 August) - Vladislaf Hăŕiaðei, one of the seven judges of the Constitutional Court, has died yesterday, his wife has confirmed. No official cause of death was made public, but according to some sources, he was fixing the roof of his summer house on the west coast near Śarmŭŕŕe, when he fell. Judge Hăŕiaðei (72) was appointed in 1999 as a member for life of the Constitutional Court by the Special Commission of Magistrates; this Commission will now have to find a new candidate to succeed Hăŕiaðei.

Hăŕiaðei's status as judge of the Constitutional Court was controversial; although the appointment of the seven judges is normally devided among four parties (the Special Commission of Magistrates, the Dume and the state president each appoint two; the district governors together appoint one), three of the parties were heavily influenced by the president before 2004. After Hăŕiaðei's death, three other judges remain controversial for the same reason, but although they can be sacked, a majority in the Adzhatian politics prefers the problem to be solved by natural course of action.

Leader of the Green Party sighted near Secializdźiś, AVŎD meeting

(26 July) - Igoŕ Beigiŕ, the leader of the Dzalităm Partića (Green Party), was sighted yesterday evening in the vicinity of the building where representatives of Secializdźiś and AVŎD have been meeting each other to discuss the next government coalition. Beigiŕ's presence could be a mere coincidence however, because the negotiating parties would already have a comfortable majority in the Dume and the DZ-P still has only three seats, despite the fact that the party was one of few to win seats during the last election. According to some analysts however, the recent differences of opinion between the negotiating parties could have made them decide to ask a third party to join the talks and 'fill the gaps of disagreement'. On Tuesday, Secializdźiś leader Ŕanije Erijeź said that if no breakthrough was achieved by this evening, there will be a pause of one week, after which the parties will resume their talks.

Exumbran Convention urges member states to respect freedoms

(26 July) - Prime minister Eigĕń Hameen and minister of foreign affairs Astrid Kŭćma attended the second Council Meeting of the Exumbran Convention, which was held yesterday in Chimor. The meeting decided on the organisation's budget, the allocation of EDC subsidies to projects in Khusqaikama and Chimor, and on a controversial proposal by Huenan to restrict such subsidies to member states that have a sufficient level of academic freedom, freedom of press and speech, etc. As was to be expected by the result of the preparational meeting of the Exumbran Parliament, that took place two weeks before the summit, the Dhram Phá delegation voted against this proposal, despite a time schedule that was added on the request of Kronenburg to give current member states the opportunity to adapt the situation in their countries to the new regulation. Harrawi voted against the proposal as well, but only because it didn't agree with the proposed time schedule.

Newly elected Dume installed • AVŎD offended by Secializdźiś-NKP meeting

(18 July) - This morning, the newly elected Dume was officially installed. After the member had taken the oath, they proceeded to elect a new chairperson. There were only two candidates: Eve Ħrăħ (Ĕrevi Śviveź), who already was the chairwoman of the last parliament, was re-elected with 77% against Lĕjnideź Ħcoŕek (Trŏśtan Frentciŕ). Valeŕ Arcva (NKP) was re-elected as vice-chairman. After the elections, things were wrapped up; this was the Dume's last meeting before summer reces.

Surprisingly there were no candidates from the two largest parties (Secializdźiś and AVŎD), which is yet another indication that the government negotiations between these parties is going less well than expected directly after the elections: apparently neither the Secializdźiś nor AVŎD wanted to risk 'loosing' an important government portfolio because of a balance already shifted in favour of themselves when the Dume chairperson would be a member from that party. The coalition negotiations experienced a somewhat turbulent week, after it emerged that the parties have difficulty reaching an agreement on the division of the portfolios; the empty places that were created by the intended absence of Bloc-Ħĭnzei in the new coalition, especially the foreign affairs portfolio, appear to be the cause of several disagreements.

On top of that, there was a meeting yesterday evening between representatives of the Secializdźiś and the communist NKP. If a journalist of the Śaizeźiś Jatća newspaper hadn't found out about it and hadn't written an article in this morning's edition, the meeting would have remained a secret. AVŎD leader Ŕedian Bŏcaneź didn't want to comment on the situation other than that his party was offended by this meeting. None of the parties have indicated however that the coalition talks between Secializdźiś and AVŎD could be ended without result, and analysts have asked aloud if the discovery of the meeting couldn't have been intentional: the Secializdźiś could have used it as a pression factor to convince AVŎD to stop being stubborn, like the extra family that wanders around a house you may want to buy.

In the current situation, only two two-party coalitions are possible: Secializdźiś and AVŎD (80/141 seats), and Secializdźiś and the NKP (77). Although the latter would mean a serious shift to the left in comparison to the governments of the last ten years, Secializdźiś could be considering it as a serious alternative.

Third party leader steps down after election result

(15 July) - In a surprise move, Ĕrevi Śviveź leader and former minister of foreign affairs Jukka Bantak has stepped down this morning as leader of his party. In a short statement to the press, he said that after consulting the rest of the party leadership and other party prominents, he thought it best after all to step aside to give someone else the opportunity to lead the party, in order to give it back its former glory. Ĕrevi Śviveź ('Friends of Europe') lost only three seats, but as many had expected that the number of seats would increase, the loss had an even harder impact.

Bantak is the third party leader to resign as a result of last week's election: already on Saturday 6 July, Bloc-Ħĭnzei leader Ħarman Ćĕrðanei stepped down, shortly after an update of the results followed with 85% of the votes counted; these indicated a historic loss for Bloc-Ħĭnzei. It was however widely expected before the elections that Ćĕrðanei would step down as party leader, as polls predicted a severe loss already. On Sunday, PDA leader Ăŕva Kermanat stepped down as well; his party lost its only proportionally elected seat in the Dume, and although three seats remain for the PDA, these are regionally elected seats, which are much harder to obtain and are likely to be lost during the next regional Dume election next year.

Ćĕrðanei added on Wednesday that he wouldn't be available either for the position of Governor of Ĕnćev Valaźiś Krais, the successor district of the current district of Ĕnćeve Adźaciaisa Krais; on 1 September, the district division will be changed. While the members of the district parliaments are directly elected by the people (who will do this for the new districts on 24 August), the district Governors are appointed by the national minister of domestic affairs.

Secializdźiś and AVŎD bicker about division of portfolios

(14 July) - A week after the parliamentary election that proved quite succesful for the Secializdźiś (which went from 30 to 55 seats), negotiations between that party and the second party and former coalition party AVŎD are on their way. On Tuesday, president Ăŕva Bekina asked prime minister Eigĕń Hameen to investigate the possibilities of forming a coalition, and Secializdźiś and AVŎD gathered around the table the same day. On Friday already, it was announced that the two parties agreed to form a government and that most of the former government's policies will be continued and finalised.

On Saturday evening however, an assistant to the minister of economic affairs and co-negotiator on behalf of the Secializdźiś Demitrieź Fŭĺgan told a journalist that the division of the portfolios between the two parties could be a problem; apparently it's especially the question who will become the minister of foreign affairs that is the centre of discussion. In the last couple of years, several ministers of several parties have led this ministry and according to several reports, its current organisation leaves much to be desired. The Secializdźiś would therefore like some continuation and a strong and prominent person who can reorganise the ministry. AVŎD is willing to let Secializdźiś have that ministry, but in that case, it wants the division of the other portfolios to be 'more substantial and more worthwile' for AVŎD.

With the current rate of negotiations however, it seems that there's a good chance that there will be a new government before the next Council Meeting of the Exumbran Convention. The new parliament will be sworn in next Thursday, but its members will be straight off to summer reces after that session.

Huenan seeks to exclude Dhram Phá from subsidies

(11 July) - Although not explicitly worded that way, a proposal done by Huenan to limit Exumbran subsidies to member states with sufficient academic freedom, thereby excluding Dhram Phá from these subsidies on forehand, was discussed in today's Exumbran Parliament session in preparation of the Council meeting that will take place in two weeks. Adzhatian ExMP Măććeib Ŭriuć (Secializdźiś, USDF (socialist faction)) commented that she felt that few was done - and could have been done - in the less than one year of existence of the Exumbran Convention to involve all member states in a sufficient manner. 'Dhram Phá has the image of being rather xenophobic, but little has been done yet by the rest of the Convention to prove them wrong. Limiting subsidies now, without giving Dhram Phá much opportunity to adapt itself, would send the wrong signal.' The Adzhatian members have tried to convince the other USDF members of this point of view, but the Khusqaian DSP-member felt obliged to approve the Huenanese proposal, due to the fact that the DSP is part of the Khusqaian government coalition, which already agreed to support the proposal.

The proposal was accepted by the parliament however, although the communist factions and the Kronenburg members of the social democrat faction voted against it. The Adzhatian government officially has no opinion on the proposal; Secializdźiś are against, and AVŎD and Bloc-Ħĭnzei are in favour, but they don't want to make this a national issue (especially since the government is living its final weeks before it gets replaced by the new one).

Secializdźiś gain 25 seats in snap parliamentary election

(7 July) - In the early parliamentary election that was held yesterday, the Secializdźiś won 25 seats and will be occupying 55 seats in the currently 141 member Dume. The Secializdźiś' victory caused small to large losses to other political parties, most notably coalition partner Bloc-Ħĭnzei, which went from 18 to 8 seats. Bloc-Ħĭnzei already lost 7 seats last year, when several party members defected to found the right-wing populist party Trŏśtan Frentciŕ. During the election night, it seemed that the other coalition party, the liberal-democratic party AVŎD, would loose as well, but after 99% of the votes were counted, AVŎD turned out to have won two seats; with 25 seats, it is now the second largest party. The only other party to win a seat was the Green Party (DZ-P). The former largest party, the communist NKP, lost nine seats and ended up on 22 seats. Analysts claim that the party has been largely invisible during the last year and a half, despite having been the largest party in the Dume.

Although it was clear at the beginning of the evening that Secializdźiś had won this election, Secializdźiś leader Ŕanije Erijeź only appeared shortly before midnight, thanking the Adzhatian people for giving her party its vote of confidence once again and she promised to make a very large effort 'to get this country going', referring to the large amount of parliamentary elections and subsequent government changes Adzhatia has known for the last ten years. It is likely that Secializdźiś and AVŎD will continue working together in the new coalition government. Bloc-Ħĭnzei will most certainly be 'ditched'. Education minister Ŭria Melĕħei (AVŎD) suggested semi-jokingly that the two parties could join forces with the DZ-P, as that party is also a winner. DZ-P leader Igoŕ Beigiŕ responded that he would be honoured if the other two winners would let his party participate, claiming that more green policies could be useful for Adzhatia, but as Secializdźiś and AVŎD already have a parliamentary majority, he would understand it if they formed the next government just with the two of them.

The new Dume will first meet on Thursday 18 July 2013. It is expected that the president will ask someone from the Secializdźiś next week to investigate the possibilities for a new government. This will most likely be the current prime minister, Eigĕń Hameen. Analysts consider it unlikely that there will be a new government before the next Council Meeting of the Exumbran Convention; this will therefore most probably be the last appearance of Astrid Kŭćma (Bloc-Ħĭnzei) as minister of foreign affairs.

Kŭćma delighted with Guelphian referendum results

(23 June) - In a first reaction, foreign affairs minister Astrid Kŭćma has expressed delightment regarding the result of the referendum that was held yesterday in Guelphia on the country's possible membership of FICT. A stable majority voted in favour of joining the international organisation and analysts say that Guelphia may finalise the procedure in the next couple of days, including the naming of an ambassador to the Conference of FICT. The accession of Guelphia will be a financial boost for FICT, as the country will have the largest GDP rate per capita of all the member states; nominally, it comes only second after Kaupelan.