The Sahara Summary
The Sahara Summary
June 2nd, 2014
Supreme Councillors Unveils Economic and Security Reforms
LAAYOUNE - While the future of The Sahrawi Union remains unclear and the murky London Conference remains in session, Supreme Councillor Nadia Ali-Sayed has nonetheless continued to act on her promises of Sahrawi progress. As of May 31st, the Supreme Councillor has issued a number of new reconstruction and economic development projects, along with a series of new security reforms which all took effect on Sunday, June 1st.
The Supreme Councillor has authorized the National Reconstruction Plan, an economic plan designed to rebuild the country and the national economy. The plan is entirely funded by the new government, which has passed a new budget under the WSA that will be effective until the beginning of 2015. Under the NRP, The Sahrawi Union will continue and resume the construction of schools and hospitals that were planned under the Marrakechian government, and will be expanding on these projects by building even more desperately required healthcare and education facilities, including psychiatric clinics, which are especially lacking. The plan further includes repairs to damaged infrastructure, including public buildings and road works. However, the plan desires to not only rebuild the country, but to foster economic growth and economic independence from Rabat. National road and railways will also be expanded, as well as local industry and government-run businesses. Utility, communication and natural resource companies will also be nationalised and will be transferred to the government. The NRP has also outlined the importance for economic modernization, and sets out to begin importing badly required industry equipment and other needed capital. Inquistan, Rimrothian and Rechroatian aid workers have also agreed to increase the distribution of aid and relief in the meantime. Only after a few days of execution, the NRP seems to have had a miraculous effect.
Most Sahrawi economic analysts have applauded the growth that the NRP has brought while opponents of the Sahrawi state have claimed that this is a mere political move to prove that the Western Sahara doesn't need the economic support of the Marrakechian government any longer. However, it's perhaps the new security measures passed by the WSA that delivers where the Marrakechian government couldn't.
Since the formation of The Sahrawi Union, Polisario activity has completely vanished. Under the Marrakechian regime, there was no military or security funding, which allowed for the Polisario to take hold. Without the presence of troops or policemen, the Sahrawi people were vulnerable and unprotected. Since then. crime has been rampant, and there has been an unceasing sense of anarchy. Under the new security reforms, The Sahrawi Union will begin to fund its own military forces and its own civil security departments. The development of police stations and firehouses will be covered by the NRP, and the military and civil security departments will receive heavy funding as well. The increasing problem of crime will finally be addressed, and the Sahrawi people will finally be able to feel safe again now that the law will start being enforced for the first time since occupation of both Inquista and Marrakechia in 2011.
The effects of the NRP and security reforms are already being felt despite being introduced so recently. This is definitely a step in the right direction, and has proven that The Sahrawi Union is able to function independently, and in a united manner. Despite success, Supreme Councillor Nadia Ali-Sayed has stated she expects some "foreign backlash" to her reforms.
Article by Safwah al-Mutahida
The Sahara Summary
June 16th, 2014
Referendum Date Unveiled; Campaigning Underway
LAAYOUNE - Since the 6th of June, when the Treaty of London was signed by all parties involved in the so-called "Sahara Crisis", The Sahrawi Union has been preparing to hold a national referendum on the issue of Sahrawi independence. There are two choices on the referendum: to either return the Western Sahara territory to Marrakechia and formalise the dissolution of the WSA, or to affirm the Sahrawi state and assert independence. The date of the referendum has been withheld for some time since the signing of the London Treaty, but it has since been announced that it will take place on Wednesday, the 18th of June. The date has created a sense of haste and sudden anxiety, as it is only two days away. Under the treaty of London, the election will be held by Sahrawi officials, but will be overseen by election professionals from the United Republic. The United Republic election officials will ensure the prevention of voter intimidation and voting fraud. WSA troops have withdrawn from all major city centers and voting zones.
Campaigning has already been under way for a few days, with Supreme Councillor Nadia Ali-Sayed championing for the assertion of independence. Ali-Sayed's pro-independence campaign has pushed for the principles of "Security, Prosperity, Nationalism", which she believes has been achieved under The Sahrawi Union. Ali-Sayed has capitalised on the success of her National Reconstitution Plan, which has rapidly rebuilt and modernized the Sahrawi state whilst greatly increasing the national GDP, increased infrastructure and capital investment, decreased unemployment and fostered economic independence from Marrakechia. She has also pointed at the success of her safety reforms, which include the training and drafting of military and civil security forces which were absent during Marrakechian rule. All Polisario activities have since vanished and civil disobedience has been curbed. The rate of crime had previously been described as "high -- especially youth-related", but has since been described as "totally unknown, particularly among youth". Above all, Ali-Sayed has appealed to Sahrawi nationalism and anti-monarchism, and has claimed that independence and absolute democracy is the only solution to end the marginalisation the Sahrawi people. The Sahrawi people form by far the biggest ethnic group in The Sahrawi Union, but are only form a small minority within Marrakechian borders. Sahrawi nationalism has been fervorous since 2011, when Marrakechian forces occupied the Western Sahara following its 20 years of virtual independence. However, just like then, there are those who have opposed such nationalism.
The face and voice of the anti-independence campaign is Ishraf Ayadi, an ethnic Marrakechian and Sunni cleric. While Ayadi has conceded that the Sahrawi people will have a much smaller voice in the Marrakechian government than their own, he has campaigned for the "upholding of tradition and morality, which would be severed under the rule of Nadia Ali-Sayed". The Western Sahara had long been under Marrakechian rule before 1980, and he, like some others, believe that the Marrakechian government and the Marrakechian monarchy have a historic right to the land. He also voices the concerns of the small Marrakechian minority, which he believes would be marginalized under the new government. His campaign has also appealed to conservative Sunni Islamists, whom believe that the Western Sahara should not be ruled by a woman. Ayadi has also stated that he believes that if the referendum favours the return of the Western Sahara to Marrakechia, that all Sahrawi collaborators of the WSA should be tried for treason, and that the government must abide by the rules of sharia law.
Polls will be open from 8:00 to 22:00 on Wednesday. Full results will be expected to be released on either late-Thursday, or mid-Friday.
Article by Safwah al-Mutahida
The Sahara Summary
June 18th, 2014
Sahrawi Referendum Underway
LAAYOUNE - The floodgates of polling stations have officially opened up all across the Sahara. Voters had already started lining up before the crack of dawn, all eagerly awaiting to cast their votes. The voter turnout for the referendum is expected to be quite high. Predictions state that over 80% of eligible voters will exercise their democratic rights. Some voters have traveled hours to cast their ballots. Voting stations have only been put up in cities and a number of small towns in The Sahrawi Union, which has created some exasperation in rural communities. Nevertheless, the show goes on.
The atmosphere of Laayoune is quite celebratory, and much of the city's industry has ground to a halt. Support for Sahrawi independence seems to be strongest here, as the city is home to the most concentrated amount of Sahrawi people. Sahrawi people make up just over 90% of The Union's population, and a vast majority of them support self-determination. Sahrawi nationalist groups such as the Polisario Front have previously fought for autonomy, which they gained in 1980. However, the violent nature of the Polisario has turned many against them. Supreme Councillor Nadia Ali-Sayed issued a statement this morning praising "the democratic system", and that the people are "blessed to fight for independence with peace, not weapons". The government has called for a continuation of peace, and has stated that violence and intimidation during the political process is totally unacceptable. However, a faint sense fear lingers in the air. It was only 3 years ago when the Polisario occupied this city. The scars of battle remain, and so do the fears that if the independence is not realised, armed insurgency might return. Ali-Sayed's security reforms have at least quelled most of the fear, as Sahrawi police and gendarmes have been deployed for the first time since the 2011 occupation.
However the sentiment is quite different further west in the country, particularly near the Marrakechian border. The Sahrawi Union is still home to a number of ethnic Marrakechians, who have been living under fear since being occupied by WSA forces. The government has attempted to make peace and ease tensions, but the atmosphere remains tense, especially in cities like Smara. Ishraf Ayadi, the lead campaigner of Marrakechian unity, is most popular there. Samara is not only home to many ethnic Marrakechians, but it is also the centre of Saharan fundamentalism. Sunni Islam constitutes for roughly 99% of the nation's religious population, and many are apprehensive of the current leadership. While women enjoy the same privileges and rights as men in The Sahrawi Union, many men across the nation are not used to women being in power. Ayadi has also made some rather choice remarks about the Sahrawi members of the WSA, whom he brands as "traitors". Nonetheless, Ayadi has stated that he feels confident in his campaign, and he trust the people of the nation inexplicably.
Election overseers from the United Republic of Great Britain and Ireland have been quite occupied in the electoral process. The Sahrawi people have opened their arms to the neutral overseers, and they look forward to the results with much anxiety. Results are expected to be released as soon as tomorrow. In many ways, tomorrow will be a new day for the Sahrawi people.
Article by Safwah al-Mutahida
The Sahara Summary
July 15th, 2014
First National Election Since Sahrawi Independence
LAAYOUNE - It has almost been a month since the success of national referendum, in which 63% of Sahrawi voters supported national independence. Now officially and legally free of Marrakechian rule, the Committee for Western Saharan Autonomy has continued to govern The Sahrawi Union. The Committee for Western Saharan Autonomy came to power on 25th of May, and has vowed to remain in power for two months until July 25th. The WSA will also relinquish it's hold on The Sahrawi Union's foreign affairs, which has been delegated to Archbishop Paul Craticus of Inquista and Queen Aleksandra Van Aries III of Red Croatia.
With July 25th rapidly approaching, The Sahrawi Union is beginning to gear up for another set of polls. Only this time the Sahrawi people will not be deciding on the fate of their country's legitimacy, but will instead be tasked with selecting their national leaders. The election has been scheduled for the 28th of July. Supreme Councillor Nadia Ali-Sayed has stated that she will oversee the transition of power from the WSA on the 25th of July to the new government that will be proclaimed following the election results. Election results should be expected on the 29th.
The new national government will consist of 6 National Councillors and the newly elected Supreme Councillor. Each National Councillor will be elected at a regional level and the Supreme Councillor will be elected at a national level . The candidate with the most votes in each of the Sahrawi Union's 6 regions will be elected to the National Council, and the party with the most votes overall in the election will have their party leader elected as the Supreme Councillor.
However, it is possible that Supreme Councillor Nadia Ali-Sayed may not need to transition the power at all, as she has already stated that she intends to run as a party leadership candidate. Supreme Councillor Nadia Ali-Sayed has served as the Head of State of The Sahrawi Union since it's informal union, and had become the national icon of Sahrawi independence during the recent national referendum. Ali-Sayed has since founded The Sahrawi National Bloc, an authoritarian and nationalistic movement. Following the staunch support of 63% of the voters during the national referendum, Ali-Sayed has great chances of remaining in power. However, she has has also faced vocal opposition. 37% of voters rejected her government, despite many of them being Sahrawi themselves. Her policies have been seen as militaristic, and authoritarian, especially following her security reforms, and other, more zealous voters, feel uncomfortable that a woman leads the national government. Despite this, Nadia Ali-Sayed is seen as the favourite to win the national election, and the Sahrawi National Bloc is most likely to garner many votes.
Another memorable face in the upcoming election will be Ishraf Ayadi, an ethnic Marrakechian cleric that has been viewed as the face of Marrakechian unification. Ayadi strongly detests Ali-Sayed's government and has branded the WSA as "traitors". Ayadi has created the United Party, a conservative and moderately fundamentalist party that hopes to bring the Sahrawi Union back under Marrakechian rule. The United Party seeks to maintain tradition, and aims to restore the country to it's historic roots. The party's values also heavily influenced by Islam, and the core supporters of the party are very religious. Despite that roughly only 5% of Sahrawi people are ethnic Marrakechians, Ayadi managed to bring 37% of the national referendum voters to his side. The United Party is most popular on the border regions that lie closest to Marrakechia and among the religious community. The party is also seen as the strongest opposition party to the current government.
A dark horse in the upcoming election will be the Sahrawi Liberal Alliance. The Sahrawi Liberal Alliance is lead by Haran al-Fazazi, an ethnic Sahrawi whom currently holds a position as a Justice of the Laaayoune Community Court. Haran al-Fazazi has spent much of his time prosecuting former members of the Polisario Front for their acts of terror and violence. Al-Fazazi is seen as a moderate candidate between the two other national contenders. The Sahrawi Liberal Alliance will also serve as an alternative to the two more conservative parties. The party seeks to maintain Sahrawi independence, and it means to carry out many liberal economic and social reforms. The party seeks to modernise the state, and bring equality and peace between the Marrakechians and the Sahrawi. While Haran al-Fazazi and his party are't that popular outside the capital city of Laayoune, he isn't willing to allow the two main parties go unchallenged.
Some controversy has been aroused as it has been declared that the Polisario Front will be banned from fielding any candidates in the upcoming election. Supreme Councillor Nadia Ali-Sayed has stated that the Polisario Front has been outlawed due to their criminal activity. Ali-Sayed has so far kept the Polisario under tight control, and their activity has almost completely vanished under her rule. Nonetheless, Ali-Sayed has sworn that if the Polisario Front attempts to disrupt the election proceeding, that they will be met with "total retaliation".
All candidates have already begun campaigning. Campaigning for votes won't be new to Ali-Sayed or Ayadi, but Haran al-Fazazi has already managed to accumulate a strong voter base. Ali-Sayed is currently touring the southern regions of The Sahrawi Union, while Ayadi is campaigning in his home region of the North-West, and al-Fazazi has been busy hosting events in the North-East.
Article by Safwah al-Mutahida
The Sahara Summary
July 27th, 2014
Military Parade Held as Election Campaigning Comes to a Close
LAAYOUNE ? Campaigning for the first national election draws to a close as all of the candidates have been invited to attend an official military parade in Laayoune. This is the first national military parade that has been held in the country, and it marks the first time there has been a internal military presence in a country following a series of military occupations of varying foreign nations. The military parade lasted several hours and it displayed a modern array of military weapons, armoured vehicles and a plethora of military uniforms. The military parade was organised by the incumbent Supreme Councillor Nadia Ali-Sayed, whom seeks re-election in tomorrow's polls. Ali-Sayed described the military parade as a symbol of The Sahrawi Union's independence, security and prosperity. This also marks an important chapter in the country's history, following a time of lawlessness and conflict. Foreign forces and local paramilitaries have acted to prevent the the Western Sahara from crumbeling into an anarchic state since the 2011 occupations. Markings of war and feelings of pain still linger in much of the country, so many showed to the streets and took solace in the military parade. While the parade boasts an impressive military feat for the nation, it also boasts a lot of Nadia Ali-Sayed's security reforms.
Supreme Councillor Nadia Ali-Sayed has made national security her number one priority. After coming to power, Ali-Sayed passed several security reforms including the formation of a military and police force. Ali-Sayed has devoted as much as 32.5% of the national budget on the newly created military, and has dedicated a further 25% on law & order. While her devotion to security seems excessive, Ali-Sayed has described her actions as "necessary" as the country faces "threats of lawlessness, anarchy, instability, terrorism and armed rebellion". Ali-Sayed's reforms are yet to be questioned or contested, likely because the Polisario Front has yet been renounced as a potential threat. Despite the fear of armed insurrection, The Polisario Front has practically evaporated since the formation of The Sahrawi Union, and the rampant crime has quickly ground to a halt. However, many of Ali-Sayed's political opponents have criticised her security measures, including today's military parade. The criticism came chiefly from Haran al-Fazazi of the Sahrawi Liberal Alliance.
Al-Fazazi attended today's military parade and described it as "impressive" but has criticised it as a "grand political display by the Supreme Councillor in order to gain more limelight". While al-Fazazi believes that Ali-Sayed's National Reconstruction Plan is a step in the right direction, he also believes that even more money needs to be allocated to education, healthcare and social welfare. While Ali-Sayed has tackled questions of security and order, al-Fazazi believes that the primary focus needs to be drawn to the country's enormous wealth gap, poverty and illiteracy.
Ishraf Ayadi, the main political opponent of Supreme Councillor Nadia Ali-Sayed, declined the invitation to the parade and instead continued to campaign in the city of Baggari.
The Sahrawi Union's newly created military so far only consists of ground forces, which include infantry, tanks, artillery and other armoured vehicles. As the national military expands, the government has stated that a national navy and air force are currently under construction. The Supreme Councillor has stated that if she wins re-election, she would like for The Sahrawi Union to begin building and creating it's own weapons, and to begin researching satellite and nuclear technology. Ali-Sayed's security reforms include conscription and compulsory service, which has sent shock waves through the country. Many Sahrawi people have been conscripted into military and forced to take up arms. As of today, approximately 1% of The Sahrawi Union's total population is in active military service. Despite being small in numbers and raising from the ashes of a war-torn country, The Sahrawi Union is showing early sparks to a a potentially massive militaristic wildfire.
Article by Safwah al-Mutahida
The Sahara Summary
July 28th, 2014
Election Day Marred by Marrakechian Controversy
LAAYOUNE ? Power and sovereignty over the Western Sahara has been passed through the hands of many different forces and influences. It does not come as a surprise that on the day of The Sahrawi Union's first official election that the integrity of the nation's autonomy would come under fire.
Earlier today, Marrakechian news source 2MTV 2 announced that the Marrakechian government would be closing it's borders to The Sahrawi Union, and that heavy security would be maintained on the border. The Marrakechian government also denounced The Sahrawi Union as a puppet state of Inquista and Red Croatia, and branded the country as a "terrorist state". However, in a rather confusing state of events, it was also announced that some members of the Marrakechian royal family will remain in The Sahrawi Union, putting themselves under virtual self-house arrest. The government also further announced that it does not recognise the independence The Sahrawi Union.
2MTV 2's broadcast sent shock waves through The Sahrawi Union, and spurred massive controversy as the nation faces it's first set of election polls. The candidates in the election were quick to quip, especially Supreme Councillor Nadia Ali-Sayed.
As the Committee for Western Saharan Autonomy was disbanded on July 25th, Supreme Councillor Nadia Ali-Sayed will have to now deal with foreign affairs issue for her first time, and she must do it alone. She released an official video statement shortly after the broadcast, which has since gone viral. In the video, a rather stoic and stone-faced Ali-Sayed addresses the Marrakechian announcement. A transcript of the video has been provided:
It brings me great sorrow to hear that the Marrakechian government is attempting to damper this special and historic day for The Sahrawi Union. On the day of our first historic national elections, it seems that the right to exercise democracy and the right to enjoy freedom has been overturned and judged. I do not blame the Marrakechian government for their reasoning or for the their feelings, however, I am totally repulsed by their actions. This Marrakechian aggression is unnecessary and very sudden. The Marrakechian government's remarks are unfounded and arbitrary. With that being said, we shall not give into their aggression. The Sahrawi Union has always displayed total respect and affection to Marrakechia, and I am disappointed with their lack of willingness to co-operate. I fully expect the newly elected Supreme Councillor to deal with these affairs. If I am to be elected, I will deal with it with peace, cooperation and legal means. The Treaty of London ought to be respected, and the Marrakechian government has clearly defied Article II under the treaty. The Royal Family of Marrakechia can remain in their palace, and are always welcome to The Sahrawi Union. We are honoured that they have continued to remain in this beautiful nation instead of returning to Marrakechia.
I ask for the people of the Sahara to nonetheless smile on such a wonderful day, and to exercise their rights and freedoms. We, as a nation, have achieved prosperity and independence through the ballot, and I hope that this only motivates us even more to strive to greatness.
Wounds over national independence have now been re-opened with the Marrakechian government's sudden denial of the national independence referendum outcome. The proponent supporter of Marrakechian nationalism and the leader of the United Party, Ishraf Ayadi, has been the only candidate to remain quiet about the Marrakechian remarks. Ishraf Ayadi declined to comment on yesterday's military parade in Laayoune, and instead focused entirely on campaigning in the region of Baggari. Today, Ishraf Ayadi has been even more quiet and has seemingly totally vanished from the public eye. It is unclear if Ayadi is ashamed by these remarks, or has taken a tactful stand by dismissing them. Regardless, there has been a lot of backlash and outrage towards the Marrakechian comments, even in the predominantly Marrakechian communities, as the remarks have been seen as insulting and offensive. The comments have done a lot of last minute damage the United Party's credibility, due to their allegiance to Marrakechian reunification. Despite all of this, the party remains to have a strong grasp on the country's many conservative voters, especially those near the Marrakechian border.
The Sahrawi National Bloc, lead by Nadia Ali-Sayed, has capitalised on the comments and has further spurred more feverous nationalism. The Marrakechian announcement is expected to boost the turn out rate for the election, and is expected to be counter-productive to their cause. The announcement has only further increase Sahrawi nationalism, and might very well help Nadia Ali-Sayed propel to first place.
Haran al-Fazazi, the leader of the Sahrawi Liberal Alliance, has also made last minute dividends off the Marrakechian government's remarks. While al-Fazazi has had many disagreements with Nadia Ali-Sayed in the past, particularly over yesterday's military spectacle, he stood by the outcome of the Sahrawi independence referendum and has condemned the actions taken by the Marrakechian regime. Al-Fazazi believes that the Sahrawi Union has taken massive steps towards progress and that the situation must be defused with dialogue and peace.
The United Party is widely expected to win over the region of the North-West, which lies on the Marrakechian border and is the home state of Ishraf Ayadi. The region of Baggari is expected to be a swing state, either favouring the United Party or the Sahrawi National Bloc. Despite heavy campaigning in Baggari, the United Party has lost some support due to today's events. The National Bloc is widely expected to win the regions of the North-East, South-East, South-West and the capital of Laayoune. The Sahrawi Liberal Alliance is not expected to form a majority in any of the country's regions. If the Liberal Alliance's capitilisation of today's events comes to fruition, it is possible that they could win a large sum of votes in the sparsely populated region of the North-East, or in Laayoune.
Voting stations will remain open until 22:00 today and results are expected to be released tomorrow.
Article by Safwah al-Mutahida
The Sahara Summary
July 29th, 2014
Sahrawi National Bloc Wins Sound Victory as Marrakechia Backs Down
LAAYOUNE ? The Sahrawi Union's first official and free national election has successfully come to an end. Despite a war-torn past, a strong ethnic divide in some parts of the country, and recent controversy with Marrakechia, there was no reports of violence or unrest during polling. Voters were able to successfully cast their ballots peacefully without civil disturbance. Many analysts questioned if The Sahrawi Union was capable of holding national elections without bloodshed, and others predicted retaliation from anti-government groups such as the Polisario Front. Progress of The Sahrawi Union's commitment to security and democracy has thankfully proven many of these theories wrong.
Results of the election were monitored and counted by the Sahrawi Independent Election Commission (SIEC). The results were finalised and released this afternoon.
24,293,450 total eligible votes
18,650,074 votes counted
Voter turnout rate: 76.77%
National Council Seats:
2,351,987 total votes counted
SNB: 282,238 votes (12%)
UP: 1,801,622 votes (76.6%)
SLA: 263,423 votes(11.2%)
Elected: Alim Rahal (United Party)
872,603 total votes counted
SNB: 356,022 votes (40.8%)
UP: 143,107 votes (16.4%)
SLA: 373,474 votes (42.8%)
Elected: Sinan Dassouki (Sahrawi Liberal Alliance)
3,900,431 total votes counted
SNB: 2,671,795 votes (68.5%)
UP: 1,181,831 votes (30.3%)
SLA: 46,805 votes (1.2%)
Elected: Yasir Ahmad (Sahrawi National Bloc)
4,859,212 total votes counted
SNB: 3,736,734 votes (76.9%)
UP: 179,791 votes (3.7%)
SLA: 942,687 votes (19.4%)
Elected: Kahil Nejem (Sahrawi National Bloc)
3,542,643 total votes counted
SNB: 3,347,798 votes (94.5%)
UP: 134,620 votes (3.8%)
SLA: 60,224 votes (1.7%)
Elected: Dhakir Ghali (Sahrawi National Bloc)
3,127,903 total votes counted
SNB: 2,880,799 votes (92.1%)
UP: 131,372 votes (4.2%)
SLA: 115,732 votes (3.7%)
Elected: Zafar Zaman (Sahrawi National Bloc)
18,650,074 total votes counted
Nadia Ali-Sayed (SNB ): 13,275,386 votes (71.2%)
IshrafAyadi (UP): 3,572,343 votes (19.2%)
Haran al-Fazazi (SLA): 1,802,345 votes (9.6%)
Elected as Supreme Councillor: Nadia Ali Sayed (Sahrawi National Bloc)
1st Sahrawi National Council (July 29th, 2014):
Alim Rahal (United Party ? Northwest)
Sinan Dassouki (Sahrawi Liberal Alliance ? Northeast)
Yasir Ahmad (Sahrawi National Bloc ? Baggari)
Kahil Nejem (Sahrawi National Bloc ? Laayoune)
Dhakir Ghali (Sahrawi National Bloc ? Southwest)
Zafar Zaman (Sahrawi National Bloc ? Southeast)
Nadia Ali-Sayed (Sahrawi National Bloc ? Supreme Councillor)
Supreme Councillor Nadia Ali-Sayed shall remain incumbent in office, as she welcomes the first 6 National Councillors to her government. Nadia Ali-Sayed was elected with surprisingly strong support, garnering just over 70% of the vote. Ali-Sayed's Sahrawi National Bloc also won a four out of the six National Council seats, with the Sahrawi Liberal Alliance and United Party both acquiring one seat.
The voter turnout of the election was slightly higher than expected, possibly due to the remarks made by the Marrakechian government yesterday, which in turn spurred political interest. The voter turnout of the election was 9.83% lower than the turnout of the recent national independence referendum.
The announcements made by the Marrakechian state media had seemingly crashed a last minute tidal wave over the election. The effect of the comments was most strongly felt in the Baggari region, which was originally a swing state contested by the United Party and the Sahrawi National Bloc. The comments made by the Marrakechia regime hurt the support of the United Party, which supports Marrakechian reunification, and swung the region into the hands of the Sahrawi National Bloc.
A small surprise in the election was the victory of the Sahrawi Liberal Alliance in the Northeast region. The Northeast was also considered to be a swing sate, and was fought over by the Sahrawi National Bloc and the Sahrawi Liberal Alliance. Haran al-Fazazi's enticing alternative to the two main political parties and vocal criticisms in the last few days of the election dramatically boosted his support, and despite only 9.6% of the popular vote, allowed his party to earn a seat in the National Council.
The new National Council will come into immediate power, as the transition of power from the Committee for Western Saharan Autonomy has since been completed. It is widely assumed that the first order of business will be for the new government to address further developments by the Marrakechian government. Since yesterday, the Marrakechian government has denied yesterday's reports and has branded them as "false". Marrakechian state news leader Ikram Ahiijn was then abruptly sacked and replaced from office due to the event. However, the Marrakechian state did reveal that security along the border has been indeed been increased. The Marrakechian government failed to confirmed if it recognises the indepdence of The Sahrawi Union.
Supreme Councillor Nadia Ali-Sayed addressed the latest reports out of Marrakechia before her victory, and stated that if she was to be come back into office, that she would approach the issue with even more caution, and would like to clear the air and host a summit with the Marrakechian King.
The Sahrawi Union still faces many challenges and obstacles, and the lives of over 30 million people rest on the shoulders of the new government. The upcoming days will prove to be difficult, however the bright future of the nation brings exciting prospect.
Article by Safwah al-Mutahida
The Sahara Summary
July 30th, 2014
First Sahrawi EU Councillor Appointed; Private Letter From EU Commissioner Published
LAAYOUNE ? Following yesterday's election, the new government of The Sahrawi Union has finally begun establishing a steady foundation for the nation's foreign relations. Under the Committee for Western Saharan Autonomy, the foreign affairs of the country was delegated to the foreign offices of Inquista and Red Croatia. With foreign relations now being transferred to the new government, The Sahrawi Union has began integrating it's self with the rest of the international community. Foreign embassies were opened in Laayoune, and a foreign office has been opened in Europolis. In a historic state of events, The Sahrawi Union has also appointed it's first representative to the European Union. Abdullah Azra, a prolific Sahrawi journalist known for his political criticism of the Polisario government, was appointed as the first European Councillor for The Sahrawi Union. Councillor Azra is well acquainted with foreign affairs, as he closely followed and critiqued the international affairs of the Sahara during the Polisario government, which resulted in his forced exile to Europolis. Azra worked and traveled across Europe before being allowed to return to the Western Sahara, where he was pardoned by Supreme Councillor Nadia Ali-Sayed. The Supreme Councillor has claimed that Abdullah Azra's publications have had a strong impact on her beliefs, and believes that Azra would be the perfect representative of The Sahrawi Union on the international stage.
The Sahrawi National Bloc has aligned it's self with the European National Party, a europarty devoted to nationalism, fascism and authoritarianism. The Sahrawi National Bloc is the only incumbent party within the ENP europarty, and therefore Councillor Azra will serve as the only representation of the ENP in the European Council. Abdullah Azra faces tremendous pressure, as he's not only the Sahrawi Union's first European Councillor, but he is expected to serve as both a member of The Sahrawi National Bloc and The European National Party.
While the new government of The Sahrawi Union is overwhelmed with confronting the international community, it makes significant progress despite massive doubts. Marrakechia has continued to threaten the nation and dispute it's existence, which the Sahrawi government has so far dismissed. Supreme Councillor Nadia Ali-Sayed has continued her "open door policy" towards Marrakechia, and has called for peaceful negotiations. The Sahrawi Union, also faces some doubt from it's official protectors, as the Archbishop of Inquista has called for the country to be "extra secure, and to tread on eggshells [when dealing with Marrakechia]". The Sahrawi Union has become heavily militarised since it's independence, in order to secure and maintain it's autonomy. The national military parade on the 27th of July marks the beginning of The Sahrawi Union's strong commitment to defense and security. The Sahrawi Union's military commitments have also caused some doubts of their own, as it was made apparent today.
Yesterday, the Office of the Supreme Councillor received a message from the European Union's current Commissioner of Internal Affairs, Eric Pickles. Shortly after the message was received, it was openly published by the government. A transcript of the letter has been provided:
I would like to express concern over the recent military parade which took place prior to your national election.
I do believe that the military parade which took place yesterday could have influenced voters to change their votes as a result of a fear of reprisals should they vote incorrectly.
Can you provide both myself and the international community with reassurance that this was not the purpose of the parade and allow observers to observe the counting of votes so as to prevent claims of electoral fraud.
Please do get back in touch,
Rt Hon Sir Eric Pickles,
Commissioner for Internal Affairs
The letter apparently infuriated the Supreme Councillor, who has since described the Commissioner's proposal as "condescending, untrusting, and disrespectful towards the progress made by the country as well as an attack on the country's sovereignty". Many are unsure as to why the letter was so openly published, but government analysts believe it's an attempt by the government to prove that The Sahrawi Union is committed to begin handling it's own affairs and to begin paving it's own future.
Supreme Councillor Nadia Ali-Sayed has announced that she will make her first official state visit to Inquista, and will discuss the agreement of Inquista's protectorate over the country, as The Sahrawi Union shall remain as a dual protectorate of both Inquista and Red Croatia. Inquista has begun to withdraw all it's military forces from the country, and is widely expected to begin funding the country with money in order to further increase security.
Despite all this doubt and extra caution, The Sahrawi Union continues to make it's self at home within the international community and the new government looks forward to interacting with the member states of the European Union.
Article by Safwah al-Mutahida
The Sahara Summary
August 13th, 2014
Supreme Councillor Returns From Inquistan Negotations
LAAYOUNE ? Supreme Councillor Nadia Ali-Sayed has returned from her first official state visit after being elected into office. The Supreme Councillor took part in a week-long conference in the Inquistan city of Saint Dominico, where she met with Inquistan Archbishop Paul Craticus to discuss the terms of The Sahrawi Union remaining as a protectorate of Inquista and Red Croatia. The talks also included trade, defence and international incidents.
The week-long negotiations were fairly secretive, as it all took place behind gated doors where all press was unauthorised and unwelcome. No news or discussion points from the conference were released to the press until the negotiations concluded late last evening. Since last evening, a partial outline of the conference has been released to the public.
Inquista will continue to serve as a protector of The Sahrawi Union, along with Red Croatia. Any deceleration of war against The Sahrawi Union or any aggression to the nation will result in direct implications from it's protectors. Inquista will continue to protect The Sahrawi Union due to the lingering aggression of Marrakechia. It has become clear that the government of Marrakechia in unwelcoming to The Sahrawi Union, following series of statements made by their government slamming The Western Sahara government and refusing to open negotiations with the country. The Marrakechian state new service media also recently fabricated news stories of bombings supposedly occurring on the 4th of August in Laayoune. The reasoning of the fabricated stories are still unknown.
As the protector nation of The Sahrawi Union, Inquista has outlined a plan to increase massive funding to the nation's security and military forces. Inquista will pay The Sahrawi Union National Defence Forces $547 billion each month over a period of 3 months in order to massively bolster it's security. In return, The Sahrawi Union will begin producing and selling weapons for Inquista. The Sahrawi Union will join Halsberg and the Duxburian Union as a producer nation of arms and weapons. The amount of weapons being sold to Inquista is not known.
The Sahrawi Union will also cooperate with Inquistan forces in a new-found space program. Inquista already has its own highly developed space program, which includes military and commercial satellites, and will help advise and facilitate the development of a Sahrawi space program. Using Inquistan infrastructure, the Sahrawi Union aims to sends it's own military satellite into space in the coming months.
The Sahrawi Union has also finalised the creation of its navy and its air force, which has now been fully integrated into the national military. The military airports and harbours of the former Marrakechian Army have been undergoing immense renovations and upgrades, with many new bases and fortifications currently under construction. In addition with producing armed weaponry, The Sahrawi Union has also been producing it's own aircraft and ships which have been inducted into the new air force and navy.
The Sahrawi Union's military has come a long way - from virtual nonexistence, to becoming an omnipresent characteristics of it's current society. This is mostly due to the totalitarian policies of Supreme Councillor Nadia Ali-Sayed, whom views a well-developed military and all-consuming authoritarian government as the only solution to prevent The Sahrawi Union from being invaded by Marrakechia and other nations that dispute it's existence, and to also prevent terrorist organisations such as the Polisario Front from consuming the country. The military has also been vital in preventing further dissension of the divided ethnic groups in the country, and has successfully prevented possible rebellion.
Inquista has reiterated it's support of Ali-Sayed government, and for the existence of an independent Sahrawi state. Halsberg, Poland-Lithuania and the Imperial Prussian State have recently joined Inquista, Red Croatia, Rimroth, Icholasen and Marrakechia in recognising the independence of The Sahrawi Union.
Article by Safwah al-Mutahida
The Sahara Summary
September 21st, 2014
The Sahrawi Union To Become A "Fortress State"
LAAYOUNE ? According to the latest reports from the Supreme Councillor's office, it has been announced that The Sahrawi Union is busy undergoing a transformation process into a "fortress state". This announcement comes after the Sahrawi Union hammered out a whopping $1.641 trillion military trade deal deal with Inquista during its conference in mid-August. Under the terms of the deal, Inquista will supply the Sahrawi National Defense Forces with $547 billion each month over a course of 3 months. In return, Inquista will be supplied with an undisclosed amount of weapons and military vehicles being produced in the Sahara.
Under the National Reconstruction Plan, The Sahrawi Union already spends as much as 36.3% of the national budget on the military, and a further 27.4% on the police force. The $547 billion monthly payments virtually match the current spending of the government budget, and means that the military spending of the country will be tripled over the next 3 months. This massive spending means that The Sahrawi Union will spend the most money on it's military forces per capita in the European Union. As much as 1% of the total Sahrawi population is already enlisted in active military service.
The government has announced it will use the funds to further develop the new navy and air force, as well as provide greater funding to military research. However, most of the new funds will be allocated to developing the defensive capabilities of the country. Permanent artillery pieces, anti-aircraft guns and bunkers will be built throughout the country, and will be done so in large quantities. The government has sworn that it aims to make the Sahrawi Union "impenetrable", and has done so through devising and implementing expensive defensive measures. Security along the border has been heavily increased in particular. Towers, bunkers and various long-ranged guns can be seen undergoing construction all along the border, as well as throughout the country. Long-ranged rocket mortars are also under construction, most of which will most likely be pointed towards Marrakechia. Many new military check-points have also been set up across the nation.
However, the spending has not just been focused on the military. The government has also used some of the money on increasing civil security. Surveillance cameras and other listening devices have been installed into many public places, as the government attempts to crack down on crime and prevent "conspiracy against the government". This has caused some anxiety, as many gendarmes and police forces are already very omnipresent in most places in Sahrawi society as it is.
Sinan Dassouki, the Sahrawi Liberal Alliance Councillor of the Northeast, has denounced the government of not just becoming a fortress state, but that it has also become a "surveillance state". The Sahrawi Union is already very authoritarian in practice, and these new measures have caused mixed popular opinions. Some people disagree with the government's extreme focus on the military, which they describe as "excessive". The Sahrawi Liberal Alliance has called for the government to begin focusing on fostering social and economic development, and not the development of weapons.
Supreme Councillor Nadia Ali-Sayed has personally rebuked Councillor Dassouki's statement, noting that "The Sahrawi Union is under tremendous amount of threat - both externally and internally. Many foreign governments, Marrakechia in particular, are very aggressive towards our sovereignty and we need to be able to protect our independence. As always, I offer my hand in peace and invite amicable dialogue. However, we as a nation, cannot take risks. It is due to my iron grip that this country has underwent so many processes, such as referendums and democratic elections, without spilling any blood. I will not allow anyone, or anything, undermine the progress we make as a country."
In other news, it has also been announced that the government will begin to export the country's large reserves of oil and uranium abroad. Supreme Councillor Nadia Ali-Sayed will be meeting with Prussian officials in the coming days to work on a trade deal.
Article by Safwah al-Mutahida