Agencia de Noticias de Occoron
PRESS RELEASE BY THE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT
The President of the Democratic Republic of Occoron would like to offer his condolences to former Minister for Humanitarian Affairs Lucius Telerius of the Federal Commonwealth of Pax Aurea. The President remembers him as an excellent minister, and praises his knowledge, experience and enthusiasm. His first thoughts of course go to his family and friends, whom he would like to wish courage in these difficult times.
PRESS RELEASE BY THE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT
_The President of the Democratic Republic of Occoron would like to stress ? again ? that Human Rights Watch has no ties with the Occoronian government and as a result of that, does not speak for the government. In Occoron, everyone is free to say whatever he wants, a right the President sincerely hopes everyone is entitled to. The Occoronian government will also protect that right and will not allow any limitation to be imposed. The President would also like to remind that Occoron has diplomatic ties with Inimicus and that there are certainly no plans to stop those. There is thus no need to question the willingness of the Occoronian government to work together with diverse nations, especially since Occoron is a multicultural nation itself. _
?I blame some for not looking further than the wording of the message, while forgetting the message itself.?
Montevideo - 26/03/2012
This afternoon, Minister for Foreign Affairs Jorge Carranza gave a press conference on the Speller Case, the first Occoronian government official to go into detail on the matter.
_?A lot has been said and written about this matter, so I had to respond at some point. I know Mr. Anaan as an experienced and hard-working defender of human rights. He is passionate about his job as Director of Human Rights Watch and he believes in what he does. I will thus certainly not deny the man was overreacting a bit in his speech on Sunday. I do not blame him for that, as I believe his indignation and anger are sincere. I do blame others though, for not looking further than the wording of the message, while forgetting the message itself.
Personally, I have never heard of an assassination attempt with soap. Presidents, Kings, Prime Ministers, Archbishops and other high government officials are shot or blown or whatever. But not killed by soap. But hey, this is the 21st century, and there are few things I am surprised about. I will thus not get any further into that. When a leader of the opposition, and having almost 20% of the seats in Parliament isn?t nothing, is accused, I hope there are ringing bells throughout Europe. Not because I want members of the opposition to murder and rape and so on, but because a government should always be very careful about charging prominent opposition members. Not because I say that, and not because Human Rights Watch would like that. But simply because if there is only a little doubt, such a case is gefundenes Fressen for critics of your nation and human rights organization in general. When the charges include things such as ?Placing insults aimed towards an Inimician government official? and ?Strongly disturbing the order of the Inimician Second Chamber?, I hope even more bells start ringing in the average European Foreign Affairs Ministry. When the accused is sentenced to death, after a 24 hour trial, that?s when a real alarm should start going off. And when suddenly a fifth charge pops up, you should have difficulties to hear something else than the alarm. What I just described, are facts. You can check them. There is no doubt about it. That is what happened. And it is perfectly legitimate to ask questions concerning them. Where did that fifth charge suddenly come from? Why did the trial only last 24 hours, while a man's life was going to end? What do the charges about disturbing order and placing insults entail, and why would they not infringe the right of freedom of speech? Those are all perfectly normal questions, about undeniable facts. And before I forget, without answers.
Commissioner Kligenberg has tried to respond rather quickly to the events, and I appreciate that. But she seems to have responded too quickly, as she doesn?t seem to have taken a look at the facts. I am not saying she did it on purpose, maybe we should blame her youthful enthusiasm. Firstly, she asks the Inimican government to deny access to an investigation team sent by my government. As far as I know, President Mahanga asked for an investigation led by regional officials. No Occoronians where mentioned there. Secondly, Commissioner Kligenberg accused some of asking questions without proof. I gave several facts that could be questioned before, but even remarkable is that she preceded that remark by saying that Speller was sentenced after a free and fair trial. Has she evidence we don?t have to support that statement? Thirdly, it is totally uncalled for to question the ability of this Democratic Republic to work together with different minded people. As a press statement by President Mahanga said yesterday, Occoron is a multicultural nation, a nation built by different minded people. May I also remind the Commissioner that this case was brought to the media by the Rhinian President, certainly someone with different ideas than my own head of state. Nevertheless, my President actually agreed. The fact we can work with nations different than ours, does not and should not prevent us from asking questions. The right of information, the right of a fair and equal justice and the freedom of speech are all involved here. This case involves basic principles of this Union, I think it is perfectly normal we take our time to make sure they were respected.
To end this press conference, I would like to stress this: I am not saying that Mr. Speller has been sentenced without a fair and free trial, or even that he is not guilty. I do say that the Inimican government does little to prevent that image from being created.
((OOC: Inimicus is indeed in charge of his own nation and people, but that does not mean it is illegitimate to criticize things he makes his people say, do or going through.))
?The Euro? Let's get rid of it!?
Montevideo - 14/04/2012
The truce in Occoronian politics after the election of Felipe Gomez into the European Commission, has ended. Sonia Satela, former European Councillor and current opposition leader in the Occoronian Parliament, has heavily criticized the economic polity of the current Mahanga-government. The direct motivation of the statement is the announcement of the ratings by Credit Europolis. It is known though that the opposition is asking questions regarding the government's economic policy for quite a while. "What else do you expect from the opposition", was the most common reaction in government circles. Satela referred in her speech to the lowered rating of Occoron, from AA+ to AA-. "This is something we should be really concerned about", Satela said. "From a very good rating to rather good, it might not sound such a big step but it really is. It simply means Occoron has become less interesting and credible on the international financial markets." She also stated that Pax Aurea, a country Occoron's policy is often compared to, did not get a lower rating, while also Marrakechia did equally good as last time. According to Satela, the decline is largely caused by the Euro. Asked about her opinion on the joint currency, she responded: "The Euro? Let's get rid of it! As soon as possible! It is clear how the Euro damages Occoron's full potential as an important European economy. If we do better without it, why are we still using it?" Paulo Grawo, economics professor at the University of Antanarivo, agrees. "It is clear that the Euro is not good for Occoron. I fully understand there might be political costs connected to leaving the Eurozone, but the government should be aware it is really paying a high price now." The government has responded via the President's spokeswoman, Noella Slango: "The lower rating is largely caused by the stricter criteria Credit Europolis now uses. That is not according to the Occoronian government, but according to Credit Europolis itself. There is absolutely no need to worry, as both Eurozone members as GroBdeutsches Reich and non-Euro users as Halsberg and Rhine Ruhr have known the same decrease. Of course, the economic policy is very important to Occoron and thus to the Occoronian government. That is why all policy measures and initiatives are always evaluated, and so is the Euro." After being asked whether the government is now discussing Occoron's membership of the Eurozone, Slango responded "not more than usual". Senior government officials confirm though that the government is not as united as Slango stated. According to them, several Ministers favor an Occoronian departure. Among them would be Minister for Economics Almunia as well as Vice-President de los Santos. Even Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister Carranza, a strong defender of the Euro, would have become more critical.
VICTORIA VIGO LEADS PC-PP COALITION
Presidential and Parliamentary election campaign started
Montevideo - 10/05/2013
Partido Conservador leader Sebastian Pi?era and Partido Popular leader Sebastian Allende, together with top politicians Sonia Satela and Laura Chinchilla, announced today they would form a coalition for the next Presidential and Parliamentary elections, named Occoron, Mia Casa or Occoron, My Home. Both right-wing opposition parties decided a coalition of joint forces was necessary to "stop the dangerous policy of the Barria-government". The coalition will be led by independent Victoria Vigo, who will also be the presidential candidate of the party. With the coalition name, the parties want to stress that Occoron needs to go back to its fundamentals: the nation state. Vigo: "Mahanga and Barria only looked to Europolis, while forgetting the Occoronian citizens. International cooperation was more important than the good of Occoron. Occoron lost the control of its economic policy, we're now transferring our scientific competence to projects as the AORIST. These are good projects for the upper class, but useless for the normal Occoronian. The worst part? Occoronians support it, as they think there are no other options than the Eurozone, or the European Union. But that's not true. Occoron has a strong economy, and most academics actually agree it would be better of without the Euro. That's what we're going to explain to the electorate." Leaving the Eurozone will also be one of the main goals of the coalition. But that's not everything, as also leaving the European Union as a whole is part of the program. "We are aware there currently is no majority for leaving the EU and we won't do anything against the wish of the Occoronians, but we won't hide what we stand for", says Victoria Vigo. Such an electoral coalition, isn't it a fancy word for deception, since the only goal is to get more votes? Vigo: "The contrary is true. Instead of negotiating a coalition agreement to form a government after the elections, we do it now. The voters have an idea of what they vote for, they can see themselves where we had to compromise. Normally, the voters vote for the program of one party, which later guesses what issues are important and what aren't during the negotiations. This way shows much more respect towards the electorate, I truly believe this will start a new way of politics in Occoron." "The Partido Conservador has always been very eurosceptic, so I'm not surprised leaving the EU is part of the program. Of course, the Partido Popular is not such an opponent of the EU, but compromises had to be made. State-funded education and the progressive taxes -very important issues for the PP - will remain, contrary to the wishes of the PC. Establishing a military - an important issue to the PC - is part of the program, but so is respect for the French minority in Occoron and the recognition of French as an official Occoronian language - an important issue to the PP. Lower taxes for the private sector - important to the PC - will go to small businesses, as a compromise with the PP. Environmental measures will remain - important to the PP -, but the fees for public transportation will increase, as a compromise with the PC. Everyone had to lower his standards, but they succeeded: the program was accepted by both parties, with very high scores", says Artura Mas, Dean of the Political Sciences faculty of the Montevideo University and Director of the Center for European Studies. "It is not a surprise that Victoria Vigo will be the candidate of the joint opposition: she is an independent and she can count on respect from both sides. With her candidature, the nine independents in the Parliament also joined the coalition of the PC and PP, forces they can perfectly use. As former President of the Parliamentary Commission for Internal Affairs and as formal Minister of Public Health, Immigration, Welfare and Healthcare she has experience in governing. She is also well known to the public, so her candidature is not that strange." The parties of the coalition got 38% of the votes last elections, getting 190 seats in the Parliament. According to the last polls though - of course before the announcement of the coalition - both parties would be polling at 46%. Mas: "Despite the popularity of Mahanga - with an approval rating of about 74% the second most popular president in Occoronian history, after founding father Simon Bolivar - the Barria-government is less popular, polling at about 55%. We particularly saw a decrease after the speech of Sonia Satela regarding the Euro, last month. That means that - two month before the elections - everything is still possible. I think the ELDR and the PS better start their campaign too, or they will be too late."
BARRIA FOR PRESIDENT
Prime Minister wins PS nomination
_Alicia Micetti (left) and Diego Barria (right) _
Montevideo - 19/05/2013
With 63,47% of the votes, Occoronian Prime Minister won the nomination of his Partido Socialdemocrata. His opponent, Member of Parliament Alicia Micetti got the support of 36,12% of the members. It was expected that Barria would win the nomination, but Micetti did receive more support than most analysts believed. The debate within the Occoronian socialdemocratic party was mostly dominated by the membership of the Barria-government. Some in the party - led by Alicia Micetti - feel that the approach by Barria is too much concentrated on convincing centrist voters, instead of more left-wing ones. Micetti, who admitted her loss in a joint press conference with Barria, stated she still supported what she said during the campaign. "Though I still feel that the pragmatic approach by the Prime Minister has its flaws and though I still believe a more idealistic approach would be better for both the party and Occoron, the majority of the socialdemocratic members clearly support the Prime Minister. That is the way life goes." Prime Minister Barria congratulated his colleague on a good campaign, stating that "it is important that once in a while, a party can have some fierce discussions about its ideas and beliefs. After that phase though, it is time to unite behind one common candidate and one common program. That is also what I will be doing the coming days and weeks." Political analysts expect that Micetti will get an important role in the presidential and parliamentary campaign of the Occoronian socialdemocrats. Professor Carmen Maex, director of the Center for National Politics of the University of Asuncion, shares that opinion. "It is clear that the PS is more divided than we all thought. Barria will now have to unify the party and there still is no better way that to combine your forces with your main opponent. Micetti certainly receives more respect now, most analysts laughed when she announced her candidature. She is still young and she will probably play an important role in the coming years. I wouldn't be surprised when she would become a minister in a new cabinet with the socialdemocrats. I'm not sure she would get the office of Prime Minister - I guess it's too early to talk about that, since we don't know yet who'll become President - but I do suppose she will at least get an important ministry." The candidatures for the Occoronian ELDR have to be announced by this evening, the election happens next week. President Mahanga still has not stated he would run for re-election, but he is always one of the latest to do so.
DE LOS SANTOS FOR PRESIDENT
President Mahanga not running for second term
Vice-President Rosalia de los Santos
Montevideo - 22/05/2013
Incumbent President Fernando Mahanga will not run for re-election. In a message addressed to the members of his ELDR party, Mahanga stated that he does not have the energy to run for a second term. Immediately, rumors started about a possible sickness, but they were later denied by the President's Office. Incumbent Vice-President and President of the Parliament de los Santos was nominated as the ELDR presidential candidate, receiving 84,47% of the votes. The other members supported some local EDLR candidates, who are relatively unknown to the general public. Also Occoronian Councillor Elena Dammo and Party President Evita Peron announced they would not run for the presidency. With the leading ladies of the ELDR as well as the incumbent President declining the ELDR candidacy, the only real candidate was de los Santos. Mahanga not running for re-election, is an amazing surprise though, says Professor Carmen Maex, director of the Center for National Politics of the University of Asuncion. "It is first and foremost surprising that it did not leak earlier. The candidacies for the ELDR candidacy needed to be announced to the Party President by Sunday evening. We're Wednesday now, which means that all ELDR members - who were informed of the candidatures and who were thus also aware of Mahanga's lack of candidature - did not leak the news. It was kept a secret until the announcement that de los Santos won the party nomination. In these times, dominated by quick social media, I think this is very surprising. Although I suppose the shock Mahanga is not running also has something to do with it." A shock is indeed correct, the Occoronian presidential elections are completely open now: "Mahanga always had approval ratings between 65 and 75% - last week he was at 80% -, he would have won with both hands tied behind his back. I'm not sure his decision is a good one for Occoronian politics: he was a charismatic and enthusiastic figure. It certainly is very bad news for the ELDR: de los Santos is not unpopular, but she plays at a totally different level and she certainly doesn't have his political capacities. The race is now completely open, and will be certainly very interesting: we have a coalition of the opposition and two candidates of the current government, while the incumbent and amazingly popular president is not running for re-election." Two of the three main presidential candidates are women, will Occoron get a female president for the first time in 15 years? "First of all - although being a woman myself - I would like to point out that this shouldn't be an issue. Besides, before these 15 male years - and even that's very relative, as we had several female Vice-Presidents and Prime Ministers with Laila Zapatero, Rosalia de los Santos, Raquel Bachelet and Laura Rodriguez - we had 20 years of female presidents. For what concerns this year's elections, I think Barria is certainly the most experienced candidate. He's a political animal and he knows what he's doing. Also de los Santos has a lot of experience - although less than Barria -, but she always preferred working behind the scenes in the past. Vigo is the least experienced of the candidates, but that can be an advantage too. As I said: these elections will be very interesting."
ELDR COVER-UP 'DISGUSTS' MAHANGA
Real reason Mahanga is not running for second term
President Fernando Mahanga
Montevideo - 30/05/2013
The real reason President Fernando Mahanga (ELDR/ALDGE) is not running for a second term, is a disagreement with ELDR Party President Evita Peron. Several ELDR MP's have been caught committing fraud, as they would be using campaign finances for private expenses. Evita Peron did not wish to force the Members of Parliament involved to resign, but instead organized a cover-up. A judicial procedure was started, a fine paid and all money paid back, but none of it was made public. Mahanga said they could not remain a member of the ELDR, leave alone a Member of the Parliament for said party and asked Peron to made the fraud public. Peron disagreed and the MPs involved still have their seats. According to several independent and anonymous sources close to the President, he was "disgusted" and threatened several times he would not seek re-election - although no one actually thought he would really execute his threat. "If this is true, this would be a huge problem for the ELDR, so soon before the elections", says Carmen Maex, director of the Center for National Politics of the University of Asuncion. "The ELDR has always campaigned for transparent finances in politics, and know they organized a cover-up themselves. They of course started a legal procedure, but I'm not sure the electorate will think that's enough." According to the same sources, Mahanga did not want inform the public of the reason of his resignation, as he wanted to keep a certain distance of his party and did not want his last weeks to be determined by some "criminals". The Occoronian newspapers El Mundo and El Universal would have access to detailed documents and would publish the names of the MPs in their evening edition. Maex: "We'll have to wait for evidence first. But if it's really true, this will be very harmful for de los Santos candidature. Since Occoron doesn't know 'negative campaigning', the opposition probably won't do that much, but they won't have to." New polls are underway to investigate the influence on the campaign, we will keep you informed.
'It's over for her'
de los Santos keeps losing in polls
Vice-President de los Santos
Montevideo - 02/07/2013
Vice-President and Presidential candidate de los Santos has still not recovered from the fraud scandal by several MPs and subsequent cover-up by Party President Evita Peron that hit her ELDR (ALDGE) several weeks ago. Four days before the election, she is polling at around 10%, while both Prime Minister Diego Barria and Occoron, Mia Casa chairwoman Victoria Vigo are polling at 40%. Surprisingly, the ELDR party can count on 20% of the voter's support, while the PS (S&D) only convinces 30% of the voters. Occoron, Mia Casa (UEC-ECL) has the support of around 50% of the electorate. Carmen Maex, director of the Center for National Politics of the University of Asuncion, explains the difference between the scores for the presidential elections and the parliamentary ones: "Barria's popularity is much higher than his party's. He's a smart and - at least according to women's magazine Flair - Occoron's best-looking politician. Men can imagine having a beer with him, women apparently love him. And let's not forget his great political insight, talent and experience, combined with his record as Prime Minister: if the opposition wouldn't have joined its forces, he would have won the presidency months before election day. Compared to Barria's personal popularity, we have the Partido Socialdemocrata: mostly described as the smaller brother of the ELDR, filled with young and enthusiastic though naive people. It's funny and nice to watch, but people don't seem to take them seriously. Only Barria can exceed his party's image and also convince people who weren't born in a socialdemocratic family. The Occoron, Mia Casa list - or the joint opposition - is the greatest threat for Barria. While Barria convinces younger people and has a huge support among women, Victoria Vigo is very popular among the elder and men. As a conservative, she raises mostly 'manly' issues, such as national security and defense, while Barria - a socialdemocrat - mostly talks about 'female' issues, such as education and healthcare. Vigo is also the new and therefor 'clean' candidate: she can present herself as 'the change we need for the future', while stressing once in a while she actually does have some experience. She can perfectly criticize the political establishment without being completely ignorant. She is a mother and can be presented as caring and friendly, but at the same time she seems determined. On the other hand, we have de los Santos: also compassionate, but too soft for the highest executive office in the Democratic Republic. Combine this with her rather poor performance in the debates - she was completely overwhelmed and it looked like a duel Vigo-Barria - while she also has to carry the fraud and cover-up history of her party. Not very good to start a presidential campaign with. It's over for her. Her party though has a strong local base and will recover, that is also what explains the difference between the parliamentary and presidential score: the party leaders are being punished, but the MPs mostly keep having support."
PRESIDENT VIGO SWORN IN
First presidential decrees signed
President Vigo being sworn in
Montevideo - 06/07/2013
President Victoria Vigo has been sworn in this morning. In a rather short ceremony, broadcasted live by all major Occoronian television networks, now former President Mahanga transferred his presidential powers to President Vigo. First, Vigo had taken the following oath: "I swear to respect the laws of the Occoronian constitution and people and to protect the independence and integrity of the Democratic Republic." Vigo's husband was together with his wife, and he carried the first version of the Occoronian Constitution and Declaration of Human and Civic Rights. After the President, also Vice-President Fernando Leon took the oath to the Occoronian constitution and people. Later today, during a special session of the Parliament, also the members of the Cabinet, the Prime Minister and all members of Parliament will do so. Immediately after taking power, Vigo signed her first presidential decrees: one asks the Parliament to start building a military, another asks to start Parliamentary debates on the Occoronian membership of the European Union and thus also the Eurozone and the European Economic Community. Both decrees will be discussed at the real beginning of the new parliamentary legislature, on Monday. The new Secretary of State for Trade and the new Minister for Foreign and European Affairs will also phase out all treaties, projects and conventions between Occoron and other European countries, such as the AORIST. Minister Morales confirmed that Elena Dammo will remain European Councillor, "at least for the time being", although she will have to remain independent and not affeliated with the ALDGE. Carmen Maex, director of the Center for National Politics of the University of Asuncion: "No one expected Vigo to sign those two decrees immediately. There is no doubt that it will completely change Occoron's policy, both domestic and abroad. It is almost sure that Occoron will start developing a military, and it is very likely that it will leave the EU in the long term. Starting today though, the relationship with the EU completely changes: from a generally pro-European nation, Occoron's policy will be eurosceptic. I'm not sure that a majority of the Occoronians is against the EU and its institutions, but it is true that the support has decreased the last months." George Forrest, CEO of Occoron's largest mining company, has presented himself in the meantime as leader of the pro-European businessmen. He already announced that leaving the EU would be "dangerous and unwise". It is very doubtful though, according to Maex, that President Vigo and the parliamentary majority will change their mind."
President Vigo signing her first presidential decrees
Vice-President Fernando Leon
Prime Minister Sebastian Pinera
Minister for Internal Affairs Sebastian Allende
Minister for Foreign and European Affairs Eva Morales
Representative to the European Council Elena Dammo