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Commons Outrage at European Council as Cannabis Act Threatens to Be Repealed Again
A recently-opened cannabis outlet in Lacerta city centre
08/06/2016 - After a recent proposition by Davishirian Councillor to the EU Sir Steve Mannion, concerning the repeal of the controversial Cannabis Act 2015, Inimician Parliamentarians have expressed their outrage at the possible withdrawal of the hard-fought proposal. "Inimicus has spent time, money, and effort, complying with the Cannabis Act, in the hope we can solve drugs crime by working on a cross-border basis", Central Progressive Party MP Sir William Philips claimed. The Cannabis Act, passed just over a year ago, mandates legalised Cannabis across the European Union. The Act was narrowly passed after a controversial debate. The Act was co-authored by former Inimician Councillor, now National Imperial Council member, Ralph Jaevons, and sponsored by the Imperial government. Some EU nations, however, such as Davishire and neighbouring Angleter, have continued to resist cannabis regulation, mainly citing sovereignity issues. Davishire's EU delegation proposed repealing the Act a few months ago, but was refused by a clear majority of European councillors. The very same repeal is now being debated again.
The sitting House of Commons, which today elected Michael Dowding (ILA), Sir William Philips (CPP), Lynda Cocx (ILA), and Glennis Mayfair (ind.) to the Council of Tribunes, has expressed almost unanimous concern about the proposed repeal. In an emergency debate on the issue, all parties except the People's Movement, which favours tough criminalisation of all drugs, of alcohol, and of tobacco, along with immediate withdrawal from the European Union, voiced support for Inimicus's EU Councillor Alexander Strathclyde, who was the first - and hitherto, the only - Councillor to attack the repeal and its proponents. Centre-Conservative Union spokesperson James Docherty: "Cannabis regulation only works on a cross-border basis. I have always been a supporter of European co-operation, but if this repeal passes, I know many in the CCU, and even some Liberal MPs, will favour immediate withdrawal from the European Council, recalling our Commissioner Sir Eric, and disbanding all further notions of EU membership. The EU will have proven by itself to be the useless institution it has so long maintained it is not. Finally it has achieved a substantial step towards a better region, and now it might very well repeal that only step."
Emperor Artabanos has joined His MPs in expressing His disdain: "Europe must now show unity. It must show it can transcend national boundaries and cling on to the progress it has made. I have given assurances to the House of Commons that I shall not veto any decision they make, and should they decide to recall Sir Eric Hitchens, I cannot stop them if I want to keep my word. An Inimician exit from the EU, which has never been popular with the political class in this country - or the electorate it represents - is not an impossibility. Most of the Inimician people want real co-operation at a European level: a body that takes the action it needs to take, that isn't afraid of a few loudmouths complaining about national sovereignity, a body that centralises, that makes decisions without days-long silliness in the Council. That would be a Europe most Inimicians can support. This Europe? I'm not confident about MPs' and voters' support."
The Commons has scheduled to debate the issue of Europe, and cannabis legalisation in particular, later in this year's session.
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Strathclydes Claim Early Victory as Cannabis Repeal Fails
Inimicus's EU Councillor, Alexander Strathclyde
13/06/2016 - The controversial proposal to scrap the Cannabis Act 2015, passed by the European Council last year amid strongly-voiced discontent in some member states, has failed. Four European Councillors supported a Repeal proposed by Davishirian Councillor Sir Steve Mannion, whereas eight - including Inimician delegate Alexander Strathclyde - voted No. For much of the debate, which became very heated at some points, Strathclyde was the only voice of opposition to what he saw as "a dirty political trick, meant to repeal a perfectly good piece of legislation through the back door." The new Councillor's speeches were quickly put up on online video websites like YouTube, where they have already been viewed hundreds of thousands of times, with largely supportive comments. His Imperial Majesty the Emperor, too, was quick to support and praise His Councillor, releasing a press communique: "Strathclyde has proved himself worthy of representing the Imperial Prerogative and the Inimician people in an effective and decent way."
However, the sitting House of Commons had some voices of opposition; the People's Movement, 55 MPs strong, has condemned the European Council's decision. Movement leader Adolf Danube: "I think the Movement might relocate to Angleter or Davishire, whose governments seem to understand the importance of national sovereignty. In all seriousness, the proposed Repeal would have given us and all other EU nations to decide for ourselves this keystone issue; the European Union has nothing to do with this, and that is why we have been arguing for years that an Inimician exit from this awful institution would be the best option for the ordinary Inimician, who is feeling the detrimental effects of legislation like this every day on the streets of our cities and towns."
Alexander Strathclyde's brother, Imperial Consul Lord Christopher Strathclyde, joined his relative in celebrating the Repeal's faillure: "We know Davishire is not content with the Cannabis Act. However, Inimicus and, I daresay, many other EU nations, have seen crime fall, revenues increase, and public health improve, as a result of this Act. We also know cannabis legalisation only works on a wide, cross-border basis, which is why this Act is so vitally important. Had it been repealed, then what would we have done? What would have been the alternative? So yes, I am extremely glad with Alexander's excellent conduct in the Council, providing the sole voice of opposition until his colleague from Australia came to support him. Of course, my gratitude also extends to the other six nations whose Councillors voted against this Repeal."
Alexander's and Lord Christopher's populatity has soared over the last few days due to this Repeal attempt. A Nuntius Inimici poll conducted yesterday, with a sample size of 5,000, rates the Councillor's approval at 81%, and the Consul's at 75%, while Movement leader Danube trails at 33%. The Strathclydes' popularity has put a third brother, Peter Strathclyde, at the centre of House of Commons elections to the Praetor- and Quaestorship, positions the House will elect over the next few days. Peter is the Centre-Conservative Union MP for Pauleus and Umbertos West, and expressed interest in holding a Common Executive Office before, "even if that means abandoning party loyalty", as he said himself, referring to the Imperial Decree mandating that all Executive Officers, whether Imperial or Common, hold office as independents.
For now, Alexander expressed he will "celebrate the victory" together with other European Councillors and his family. Nuntius Inimici will watch the backlash of this vote, the second of its nature in a year's time, with interest, especially relating to a possible EU membership referendum in Davishire.
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Parliament Dissolved // New Voting Franchise Enacted // Emperor Appoints Common Executive And New Deputy
Inimicus's House of Commons in its final session today
Telum, 30/06/2016 - After two days of voting and final statements, the Fifth Parliament of the Empire of Inimicus - but the first of its kind - has ended. His Imperial Majesty the Emperor dissolved the House of Commons at 4.51pm today, after a month of debating and tabling proposals. This Parliament was the first time the Commons convened after its indefinite dissolution in June last year, which was a direct consequence of a widespread expenses and corruption scandal, and has been widely considered a success in its new form. 700 MPs were delegated to the capital to debate and propose on matters of their own choosing - and of the government's. Main topics included the pending refugee influx on the eastern frontier of Inimicus, which was closed but has now been opened to anyone carrying proper identification and visa documents, the state of the Inimician economy, the nation's place in the European Union (especially after a few days of concern over the Davishirian proposal of repealing the Cannabis Act 2015), and a revolutionary proposal by the Inimician Liberal Appeal to mandate the attaining of a sufficient score in a voting test prior to obtaining the right to cast ballots in general elections and referenda.
This controversial proposal, tabled by new MP Lady Nicosia Perthshire, member for Telum Erdingland Common, received support from the parliamentary ILA, Greens, Central Progressive Party, and about half of Centre-Conservative Union members, but also attracted some ridicule. Lady Nicosia told the House an anecdote about an encounter she and Michael Dowding, ILA leader, had with an uninterested voter outside a Telum polling station during the campaign. Some members said this was merely a "personal misconception", and especially People's Movement MPs were vehemently opposed to it. "Not surprising, to be honest", Dowding commented to a Nuntius Inimici reporter, "the Movement relies heavily on the underclass vote. People who might very well not even bother to attempt this free-of-charge, easy test." The ILA's proposing of the bill was seen by more conservative MPs as a "gerrymandering move", as the ILA and others from the centre and centre-left enjoy support from largely middle-class and graduate voters, who are generally better educated and more likely to pass the voting test. Dowding defended his party: "As Liberals, we have the country's interests at heart. That is the centre of our policies. We want to see an educated electorate, one that is aware of the issues facing this country. By introducing a system of intellectual voting, we are encouraging voters to read up on the various problems facing Inimician politics, whilst ensuring that those in the extreme underclass, those who will not learn, are prevented from causing harm to our wonderful country." In the end, the proposal was passed with the two-thirds majority required for a constitutional amendment, partially because the People's Movement was not present during the vote.
His Imperial Majesty the Emperor inaugurated the new nine members of the evenly new Common Executive, a team of officers chosen by Parliament from among their own members, who will sit on the National Executive and are responsible for a variety of duties. Five People's Tribunes (Michael Dowding, Lynda Cocx, Karen Smith, Glennis Mayfair, Sir William Philips), two Aediles (Peter Strathclyde, Sir Elbert White) and two Praetors (Marquis Dirk of Milldyke, Francis Laros) have all had to swear oaths to the Emperor, which include the "absolute abandonment of party loyalties". The first Common Executive meeting will be held next Monday, after which the nine Officers will join with the Imperial Executive (Consuls, Chancellor of the Treasury, Defence Officer, Foreign Officer) for the first National Executive meeting of the new political year. The Emperor also introduced a new role in the Inimician political stage, an official deputy to the Emperor, or Vicarius: Baroness Isabella Evans. Evans will, according to His Imperial Majesty, "be responsible for minor duties in the Imperial Office" and act as "replacement" should He be unavailable temporarily. House of Commons leaders wished Baroness Evans well in their closing statements, but Movement leader Danube made known in a press statement he "cannot accept" what he sees as an "undemocratic appointment that the people were given no say over."
The Emperor's new Deputy: Vicarius Baroness Isabella Evans
Cocx Siblings Clash with Strathclydes as Eastern Frontier Debate Intensifies
26/07/2016 - Wilfred Cocx, Senatorial Speaker, Member and Presiding Officer of the National Imperial Council, and close advisor to His Imperial Majesty Emperor Artabanos, has crossed swords with Imperial Consul, Executive Representative Leader in the National Imperial Council, and House of Nobles member Lord Christopher Strathclyde, over the opening of the Eastern Frontier to refugees from Dromund Kaas. Both important figures agree the border cannot remain closed indefinitely, but Mr Cocx, whose brother James Cocx serves as Triumvir for Terra Legatus, the largest province bordering the war-struck nation to Inimicus's east, favours liaising with allies before letting anyone through, whereas Consul Strathclyde has argued in favour of "introducing four, five border crossing points where those with proper paperwork will be allowed to pass freely into Inimicus and beyond." Cocx ridiculed this idea, stating "Inimicus would become Europe's doormat, providing nothing to the region except immigrants." The issue was debated in the National Imperial Council, Inimicus's supreme legislature consisting of twenty members including the Emperor, on Tuesday, which resulted in a heated discussion between the two men, who were formerly seen as great allies. The Emperor, also present at the debate, has not commented on the fight thus far.
The dispute has exposed internal division in Inimicus's ruling structure, which was finally unified after a foiled attempt at arresting members of the NIC in early March of this year. Consequently, former Emperor Hugh Doyle claimed dominion over Inimicus, citing Artabanos's "false claim"; Nicholas Benfield, a prominent Inimician politician, then claimed Artabanos had "usurped power" and formed his own republic in the east of the country. Before any fighting or conflict could occur, however, the Emperor had met with both men and come to an agreement, sounding the start of Inimicus's Triumviral structure. This Triumviral Constitution settled matters (with Benfield's arrest and replacement by James Cocx solidifying the power structure) and continued the longest period of internal peace the nation has ever seen. Wilfred Cocx has already received support from his brother James, eastern Triumvir, and his sister Lynda, one of the newly-elected People's Tribunes. The three siblings made a joint press statement urging the Strathclydes, who hold some important offices of state, to "embrace a human approach" to the issue of migrants, which was first discussed in the House of Commons last month. In response, Lord Christopher and his brother Aedile Peter Strathclyde, also elected last month, released a communique stating they "do not accept the Cocxian approach to this key issue."
The government will disband for recess during August, with VicariusBaroness Isabella Evans taking over the passive stance of Inimicus's institutions during the 31-day period. The Emperor will then formally open the Sixth Year of Imperial Government on September 1st, celebrating the outcome of the overthrow of the Republic in 2011 and the first Imperial Inimician government forming. However, the recess might now be dominated by this apparent tear in the Emperor's administration, which has divided the government into two factions. Our political editor Colin Hoskins: "It doesn't seem like this is truly about the refugee situation; or at least not anymore. Wilfred Cocx, a long-time veteran of Inimician politics, former Prime Minister, former President of the Union of European Conservatives, and the Emperor's closest friend and advisor, probably feels as though the Strathclydes, with their charisma and intelligent politics, are invading on his territory. It's not without reason that Wilfred proposed his brother James take the thrid Triumviral position: he needs powerful allies if he wants to remain at the centre of power. At the same time, the Strathclydes have had a first taste of being in the government's ire, and they seem to enjoy it. Occupying the important positions of Imperial Consul and Aedile respectively, Lord Christopher and Peter are doing everything they can to profile themselves in the media and with the public, even if that means making enemies in the [National Imperial] Council and beyond.
Top: Wilfred Cocx IC, James Cocx; Bottom: Lord Christopher Strathclyde, Peter Strathclyde
INIMICIAN AERONAUTICAL AGENCY LAUNCHES FIRST CROESOS MISSION PARTS
15/08/2016 - The first of many Croesos and Cambyses mission rockets has been successfully launched into space. The combined effort by the Imperial Armed Forces and the Inimician Aeronautical Agency seeks to prepare Inimician cosmonauts for a double nuclear test, first announced by His Imperial Majesty the Emperor just over a week ago. Croesos 1 was aired without complications at exactly 15.00hrs Inimician Standard Time, and is currently entering into its set orbit around the earth. It will take some time before the planned elliptical orbit the Croesos and Cambyses crafts are to assume will be perfected, but according to Timothy Rees-Mogg, IAA chairman and Scientific Advisor to the Emperor, the first launch "was a resounding success." Further launches are planned for the 20th, the 25th, and the 30th, with consequent parts being sent up into orbit every five days. Mr Rees-Mogg expects "we will be ready to send our men and women into space in mid-September".
In total, twelve Inimicians will assemble and finally detonate the two crafts in space; it is unsure who these cosmonauts will be just yet. They will mainly be tasked with performing final assembly duties on the two nuclear test sites, planting detonation equipment, and returning to Inimicus before being given the final honour to set off Inimicus's first ever nuclear tests. The Emperor said in a press statement that "all brave men and women working on this project will, if it is carried out successfully, be greatly rewarded and decorated." Several names have circled as potential members of the space team, notably Dr Pete Philips, who has been to space just under a dozen times and it widely considered Inimicus's most experienced cosmonaut, but the Emperor has not commented on any appointment just yet.
Inimicus's two types of nuclear weapon, the extremely heavy Cocx Class (at 25 megatonnes of blast yield), and the Speller Class (15Mt) were developed and produced by the Imperial Armed Forces in the last year, after the Empire was given a license to produce 150 nuclear warheads by the ENAA. Nuntius Inimici will broadcast the launch of every planned departure from the earth live.
Timothy Rees-Mogg, 'the man in charge'
Croesos 1 lifts off
EMPEROR CLASHES WITH DOYLE; TRIUMVIRAL AGREEMENT FRAGILE
08/08/2017 - His Imperial Majesty Emperor Artabanos has clashed with former Emperor Hugh Doyle in a heated statement exchange over His Imperial Majesty's conduct during His election and possible allegations of fraud associated with it. Yesterday, Hugh Doyle, who became Emperor in 2012 but abdicated just short of his first anniversary in office due to ill health, proposed Emperor Artabanos had committed large-scale fraud during the May 2013 vote that made Him Emperor, and His consequent re-election in September of the same year. No evidence of this has been proposed by Doyle, but he asked for a formal inquiry by the National Imperial Council to take place as soon as possible. He further claimed Artabanos was acting outside of the confines of the Triumviral agreement by sending investigators into what Hugh claimed is "his territory". Doyle was allocated two provinces of the Empire to govern more or less independently - as far as domestic matters are concerned - last year, when the Emperor's concession-making prevented the country from descending into civil war for the second time in five years.
Artabanos ordered Imperial Wardens to question local politicians in Hugh's provinces about a possible plot to oust the Emperor from office, which in turn prompted Hugh to call for an investigation into His Imperial Majesty. This afternoon, the Emperor announced He HImself will ask the National Imperial Council to conduct such an investigation to clear up what has been a running issue for the last three years. However, the Emperor also made it clear He did not approve of Doyle's actions, which, according to Him, form a direct violation of the Triumviral Agreement and the Inimician Constitution. Therefore, Doyle has been called to answer to the Crown Court, on which the Emperor can formally sit, on charges of corrupt intent and treason. The session is to be held within two weeks, lest Doyle be branded an enemy of the Realm and be stripped of his citizenship rights.
"This truly is unprecedented", our political correspondent Colin Hoskins comments, "Never before has a former Emperor, a very close subordinate of His Imperial Majesty, openly accused the sitting Emperor of corruption. Moreover, the National Imperial Council has never been asked to conduct a formal inquiry into the Emperor's conduct, by the Emperor Himself. It is evident, therefore, that Artabanos is completely certain He has done nothing wrong, and indeed, His re-election only four months after His initial election does suggest this is the case. However, we will have to carefully wait and see what this matter brings; Doyle and Artabanos have never got along well in the past, as was shown by the Triumviral Crisis of 2016, but this adds a whole new layer to their feud. Doyle has insisted Artabanos stole his place on the Throne, but whether Artabanos cares is another matter. Exciting times!"
The clashes between His Imperial Majesty Emperor Artabanos (left) and Pro-imperator Hugh Doyle seem unending
FORMER EMPEROR DOYLE ACQUITED AT EMPEROR-ATTENDED CROWN COURT TRIAL // DISSOLUTION PARTY WINS SENATE MAJORITY
23/08/2017 - Pro-imperator Hugh Doyle has been acquited by the Crown Court of Inimicus after a two-day trial attended by His Imperial Majesty the Emperor. Doyle was charged with corrupt intent and treason, but was found not guilty this afternoon. Chief Crown Justice Scoffylde concluded the trial by stating: "Although Mr Doyle's conduct of late cannot in any way be termed admirable or desirable to the stability of the Realm, and, should his stated intentions be pursued, they would constitute a clear breach not just of the Triumviral Agreement, but also of this Empire's Constitution, Mr Doyle has thus far not committed any action that may be described as treasonous or corrupt. Treasonous intent does not equate to treason."
His Imperial Majesty Emperor Artabanos unexpectedly attended the trial as Justice, a right He has under the Constitution. In a press statement, however, He claimed: "I never intended to interfere with the course of justice. I merely sought to attend and observe the process of justice which makes this country the transparent democracy it is. Therefore, I left the Honourable Justices to their decision - as should be evident from their resolution of this case." It is not clear, however, whether the conclusion of this trial will also conclude the feud between the Emperor and Mr Doyle, a conflict which has flared up in recent weeks, but which has been going on since Artabanos assumed the Emperorship in 2014. In any case, shortly after the trial, which was held in the Crown Court buildings a stone's throw away from the Imperial Palace and the Imperial Diet buildings, Doyle was seen attending National Imperial Council business again. Whether or not he met with the Emperor is unknown.
Chief Justice Scoffylde, chairman of the Imperial Crown Court
In other news, the yearly election for the National Senate has resulted in a 1-seat majority for the new Dissolution Party, which campaigns for the immediate dismantling of the Senate as a legislative body. Turnout was a low 31%, a result of constantly decreasing turnouts since the National Senate was called into being a few years past. Our political correspondent Colin Hoskins comments: "The fact a national election has been degraded to a short subtitle on the Nuntius Inimici front page is comment enough." It is expected the Dissolution Party will bring forward articles of dissolution as soon as the new Senate first sits, next week.
ARTABANOS: DANGEROUS, DELUSIONAL, DEFECTIVE, OR DOWNRIGHT DREADFUL?
By Sophie Brierley
For the last three years, the Imperial Palace has been inhabited by one of the most peculiar creatures Inimicus has seen since its founding. Emperor Artabanos, former Duke of Terra Praestoris, has occupied the Emperor’s Office for forty months now, and throughout His tenure He has shown remarkable resilience, unyieldingness, political aptitude, and a dangerous tendency to plotting in dark corners, behind closed doors. In His most recent stunt, Emperor Artabanos has called a general election to supposedly justify His democratic mandate – which has never existed in the first place; and I will explain why.
In fact, Artabanos’s life and career, even long before the Emperorship, has been riddled with mischief, backstabbing, plotting, and a general attitude of disregard towards any authority other than His own. Before being elected to Terra Praestoris’s Provincial Assemby for the Teluminan Monarchist Party, or TMP, in 2005, there are very few records of what Artabanos did, where He lived, what His profession was. He served as Assembly Member for two years and was then suddenly bombarded to the Ducal Residence in Astro, where He lived a comfortable life far enough away from central power to be safe, but close enough to exert real influence. As Duke, He enacted several popular reforms and facilitated the rise of the Militant TMP, which eventually started the Inimician Civil War in 2011.
Even here, six years ago, Artabanos’s political fox-likeness showed already. His covert hiding of many TMP loyalists and party officials after the group had officially been declared renegade by the Republican government showed He knew where power would go. As a matter of fact, a source close to the Praestoris Ducal government told me they were certain Artabanos regularly attended the Republican government at Telum and was a personal friend of many Republican administrators. This source also confirms Artabanos deliberately kept a low profile during the Civil War, yet met with William Jameson, the later Emperor William, almost every day.
The same Emperor who was later assassinated by environmentalist extremists in early 2013. Or was He? Because CCTV images show Artabanos arriving into the Imperial Palace an hour or so before the explosion that killed His Imperial Majesty took place, and also shows Him leaving, accompanied by a hooded man, fifteen minutes after the blast. Furthermore, there was no independent autopsy of Emperor William’s body, and there are no records of interment at any public morgue or hospital, despite official reports saying the Emperor only died a day after the explosion. Could it, therefore, be the case that Artabanos smuggled William out of the palace, and faked His death? If so, William must still be out there.
Consequently, I went looking for the former Emperor. Traces were very thin and sources very reluctant to state anything, adding to the mystery of this case. Eventually, I was led to the countryside of Terra Rosarum, not far from Orbis Terrarum. As I was on my way to a location I had been told may house political refugees, I was suddenly pulled over by an army of Imperial Guardsmen, who summarily arrested me without charge and brought me to Patricio, where I was held for two days. During my captivity, I was subjected to mental and physical intimidation and torture, including waterboarding, regular beatings, and dehydration. I was instructed never to release anything to the press about where I’d been, and never to return anywhere near it again.
So is William still out there? If so, He may be joined by political outcasts such as Lord Gerard Sergent, Ann Moszkowicz, Rita Fortuyn, even Nicholas Benfield, all of whom fell victim to Artabanos’s plays over the years.
But what would Artabanos’s motive have been for faking William’s assassination? After all, He did not stand in the consequent Imperial Election, and retained a low profile for at least a year after the explosion. It appears from evidence, however, that He may have simply been paving the way for a smoother transition to power. During Emperor Hugh’s reign, Artabanos continued to attend meetings with Palace officials, Parliamentarians, military officials, and major lobbyists and donors, who all appear by their tax returns to have donated vast sums of money to the Artabanos Foundation in 2013 and 2014.
But that is far from all: during the remarkably short period of Emperor Hugh’s sickness, Artabanos’s visits to the Palace increased. Moreover, from records it appears the Imperial Physician was dismissed two weeks prior to Hugh’s sickness announcement, and replaced by Thomas Ewell, not even a doctorate holder. What he did hold, however, was a position in the Praestorian administration, having worked closely with Artabanos the four years prior to Hugh’s abdication. An unfortunate case of chance? I think not.
Moreover, I consulted several physicians and GPs on the effects of Crohn’s disease, the illness Hugh was supposedly diagnosed with, and all said there does not have to be any real impact on a person’s day-to-day life as a result of Crohn’s. Dietary adjustments and certain drugs help alleviate symptoms, and there would certainly not be any reason for the vast, vast majority, if not all Crohn’s sufferers, to appear in a wheelchair, or exceptionally frail. As Hugh did.
And who appeared behind Emperor Hugh, behind His non-physician, when the Emperor’s abdication was announced? Yes, Artabanos of Astro, supposedly in his capacity as Chairman of the Ducal Council – another office which I would like to know more about, by the way; it seems to be more influential than many think, even though it hasn’t appeared in any news outlet for years.
There is ample evidence, meanwhile, to suggest Artabanos used intimidation and limitation tactics in key voter areas to manipulate the election result of 2014. These include the closure of seven voting centres in predominantly Green areas (as Judy Speller, the Green candidate, was Artabanos’s prime opponent for the Emperorship) on the grounds of terror threats, the pressing for the inclusion of 17-year olds in the franchise (younger voters were massively pro-Artabanos at the time); the manipulation of postal ballots (records show at least 65% of postal votes went to Artabanos, a disproportionate amount); manipulation of in absentia votes by pro-Artabanos officials (of all proxy votes, 71% were cast for Him by a relatively narrow selection of people who all cast the limit of 6 proxy votes per person); and, most importantly, ballot box stuffing. According to various sources, evidence of ballot box stuffing was present in well over a third of voting centres across the country.
Yet none of these aspects, which were reported by voting centre officials and returning officers, were properly investigated. Moreover, and worse still, CCTV footage of the Ducal Palace in Astro shows that Artabanos hosted a party for returning officers and voting centre chairpersons just days before the vote, reportedly to “celebrate democracy”, but I would suggest this was no more than a ploy to recruit election officials to stuff more ballot boxes.
The same tactics were repeated in the Imperial ‘by-election’ of September 2014, a reincarnation of which we are seeing this year. Indeed, election fraud was made even easier by Artabanos being in a position of power: intimidation, disinformation, and the release of artificial votes, are easier to achieve when one is pulling the strings. I have little to no doubt that the same tactics will be used this September.
In terms of internal disputes, the evidence is rife, too. Twice we have seen the evidence of armed insurgencies in the Imperial Palace: the most recent was the antecedent to a conflict that brought the nation to the brink of civil war. The earlier, however, was dismissed as being a training exercise, with explosions credited to a multifold gas leak. What exactly happened on the 23rd of October 2015 has been covered up by an incredibly thick layer of political maneuvering, including a complete scrapping and restructuring of Inimicus’s executive, ridding the country of a Parliamentarily accoutable cabinet. Just under two months later, Keith Carmichael ‘conveniently’ caused a media-drawing row by assassinating two of Inimicus’s Cardinals, which turned the public eye from the Imperial Palace to the Vatican and the consequent diplomatic tensions.
In February 2016, we suddenly saw proceedings of the National Imperial Council appear on the Inimician Broadcasting Company’s Palace channel. IBC Palace commenced immediate broadcasting of an Article XXV procedure, which would see the NIC attempt to depose the Emperor. According to a Skype interview I conducted with Rita Fortuyn, who has gone into hiding after being hunted by the Emperor for moving a motion against Him, when it became common knowledge in the inner chambers of the Palace that Article XXV was going to be moved, the Emperor and His cronies started buying and intimidating Imperial Councillors. According to Fortuyn, this culminated in an armed conflict inside the Council chamber – inside our democratic legislature! – between pro and anti-Imperialists. This is surely one of the grossest insults to Inimician democracy by the very man who is bound by Constituional oath to protect it.
Meanwhile, Artabanos was spotted dining with a stranger on a supposed ‘sick day’ on 30th May 2015. Who this stranger was, was kept a secret for years. But Fortuyn could also provide some clarity here: she says the unknown man was Artabanos’s lover, and was presented to the Council two weeks after the dinner as His fiancé. The Council was sceptical, which resulted in more Imperial pressure on and intimidation of Councillors. Key allies to the Emperor included, and continue to include, Wilfred Cocx, Marquis Maximillian de Barrington, and Lord Christopher Strathclyde, who all apparently helped Him restrain Councillors’ opinions.
These are just some of the extremely apparent examples that make clear to me, and should make clear to every sane Inimician, that Artabanos is far from the benevolent ruler He wants us to see Him as. He is not only mean-minded and evil, but will also stop at nothing to achieve His goals; His tactics include murder, intimidation, fraud, and corruption, and there is no point in sight where He’ll stop. The upcoming election is a play: but a play that can backfire on Artabanos if we all vote with our consciences. Vote tactically for the runner-up, and we may yet beat the Emperor and strike Him from His Throne. However, if His Imperial Majesty wins another landslide – possibly or probably because of electoral fraud – we may yet see the end of democracy in this country within ten years of our gaining it – if we haven’t lost it already. Don’t fall for it.
IMPERIAL ELECTION: POLLS SHOW TIGHT FIRST-ROUND RUN
21/09/2017 - With only four days to go until Inimicus votes for its next Emperor, a clear two-way run has developed in recent polls. His Imperial Majesty Emperor Artabanos closely leads ex-Emperor Hugh Doyle, but the current incumbent's lead is only 5 points in the most up-to-date Nuntius Inimici poll, only one point from the error margin. Of course, Inimicus uses the Alternative Vote system for Imperial Elections, and it may be that second preference votes from those voters who preferred one of the other candidates, but will put Doyle or Artabanos second, will decide the election. However, the other five candidates' support is meagre, and does not come close to the extensive dual struggle the polls reflect. The most recent Nuntius Inimici poll shows the folllowing:
Half of the 'other' votes go to the People's Movement candidate, while the Inimician Liberal Appeal and Centre-Conservative Union both attain 7 per cent of the vote, with the rest roughly equally divided between the United Green Front and Central Progressive Party. By contrast, in the last two Parliaments the ILA and CCU together received over 60% of the popular vote.
Emperor Artabanos, speaking at an event to commemorate the victims of the recent London terror attacks, refused to comment on recent polls, saying: "We are here to remember those who died, and to show our solidarity with the British people, not to campaign." Mr Doyle, also present at the event, did comment: "The Emperor's hold on the electorate seems to be slipping. It's time to break the Artabanos tyranny." When confronted with how the Emperor's support has increased by over twenty points over the last few weeks while his ratings have stayed the same if not decreased, Doyle declared the interview over.
A recent IBC frontrunners' debate, featuring the Emperor and Doyle, was viewed by millions of Inimicians at home and abroad, 64% of whom declared Artabanos the clear winner. Doyle was rated as "rude", "over the top" and "non-factual", while adjectives used to describe the Emperor's performance included "calm", "reserved", "in control", and "knowledgeable".
EMPEROR ARTABANOS WINS THIRD MANDATE, OPENS PARLIAMENT WITH DECREES
30/09/2017 - Emperor Artabanos has won His third Imperial Election, winning 46.1% of first-preference votes and well over 60% of second-preference ballots. His main challenger, former Emperor Hugh Doyle, attained just 36.4% of first prefs, with other candidates receiving 17.5%. His Imperial Majesty was the candidate with the most votes in every Inimician Provice, which, though it does not affect the end result, does mandate Provincial Assemblies and Dukes to support the Emperor.
The day after the vote, the 26th, at a fomal ceremony in the Imperial Palace and the buildings of the Imperial Diet, all six Dukes, all National Imperial Councillors, all 150 Nobles, and all members of the National Executive, swore renewed oaths of loyalty to the Emperor in accordance with the Constitution. Afterwars, the Emperor made a speech from the Throne inside Parliament in which He pardoned anyone inside the Diet or Palace who had previously plotted against Him.
"I would also like to remind those who considered my main adversary the rightful Liege of this Realm, that I could have had him barred from the Election on two constitutional grounds", the Emperor continued, after which He cited Article XVIII, which describes the requirement of Imperial candidates having two years' experience in the House o Nobles, which Hugh did not have, and XXI, which makes way for candidates to be excluded from Imperial Elections if exceptional circumstances necessitate.
The Emperor then went on to decree the following: "It is in our benevolent opinion that Mr Hugh Doyle, former Emperor of this, Our Realm, be formally charged with malicious intent on breaching the Constitution of our said Realm, and performing said breach by standing for the office of Emperor, in breach of Article XVIII of the Constitution of our said Realm, and that he is to answer before Our Crown Court within the fortnight or be declared an enemy of the Realm."
This unexpected Decree was followed by another which formally declared the Triumviral Constitution null and void, ending the tripartite split of the Empire that has existed for a year and a half. The abolition of the Triumvirate was one of Artabanos's election pledged, and the very first He has acted upon.
Imperial Palace Throne Room