News Media of Istkalen
Nation: Economic reforms passed
The National Assembly recently approved all of the extraordinary measures passed by the Directory (formerly translated as the National Directorate) of the Republic of Istkalen during the period in which it was dissolved, before voting to end its own session, empowering the Directory with legislative powers until its next session, which is one year from now, or when it is deemed necessary either by the Directory or by a majority of members of the National Assembly.
These focused mostly on the rationalization of the economy, which was labeled as a collectivization. The measures did not actually create any significant change in the organization of work, apart from integrating the production of consumer goods into the system of "labor-solidarity," increasing this duty from 30 hours per week (2 hours on Monday-Friday, 10 hours on Saturday to Sunday) to 35 hours per week (7 hours on Monday-Friday, no prescribed work on Saturday-Sunday), while capping the maximum workweek at 38 hours, therefore permitting workers only 3 hours a week to engage in independent, "formal" economic activity (activity pursued within collectives or using collective resources). Previously, the maximum workweek was 84 hours.
Financial pay was also introduced for labor-solidarity, where previously it was reimbursed with access to services and products, although there remain assurances of the continued free provision of the services established by the Kerel government.
More importantly, the workers' associations were reorganized somewhat. Internal divisions within production collectives were established; production collectives were also organized, on a local basis, into more industry-specific "production syndicates," which were then organized into the workers' associations. Several additional workers' associations for industry were also established for the purpose of specialization. The purpose of all of this is simply to better organize production to facilitate economic coordination, decentralization, and planning, as well as to avoid what have been described as "the excesses of the previous system."
Social reforms were surprisingly minimal in nature, and were largely conservative in direction, solidifying the role of the labor-partnership in the system of work, but also removing older restrictions on it dating from the monarchial era, most notably the restriction on opposite-sex partnership, which existed solely because at the time it was passed, almost two centuries ago, the vast majority of people believed that such partnerships would inevitably become personal and inappropriate in nature, as well as because of the presence of a high degree of sex segregation in the workplace and between occupations, which no longer exists.
Approval was also given for the democratization of ordinary life, most importantly for the removal of government "representatives" from housing complexes, as well as for the partial deregulation of the organization of the associations and collectives in which it is organized, which were previously under a high level of state control, accomplished through the merger of these institutions with those of working life.
These reforms have already occurred, and therefore their passage was merely a formality. Yet many of the members of the Directory, including "liberal" members who, while whose ideology should have stopped them from supporting such measures, made statements praising the decision of the National Assembly.
Andres Kask, for example, the leader of the liberal Moderate Tendency of the Social Democrats, proclaimed: "The end of the previous system, defined by corvee and wage slavery, has finally come. Under a socialism of our style, working conditions, democracy, and production are greatly increased for the common prosperity of all. The last of the influence of the comprador regime has been swept away, and the people are truly liberated under a truly democratic system of life and of government."
Republic: Crisis over socialization
The project of socialization has been met with intense resistance from the population, and has not been enforced to a significant degree. The collectives and "production syndicates" that the Second Act on Socialization wills into existence have not yet been created; in effect the economy continues to function according to the system created by the first law on socialization from February, which the government had hitherto sought to implement since late November. The sole implemented provisions were the creation of additional workers' associations and the establishment of the Central Planning Board.
With over a month having gone by without any discernable progress, the Directory ordered representatives of the workers' associations, tasked with the implementation of the act, to appear before them for questioning as to why several of the most integral provisions of the Second Act on Socialization had not yet gone into actual effect. No representatives ever arrived to speak; the Directory then attempted to convince a number of legal authorities in Kirelesile to order their arrest, all of which refused, before turning to the Helétek, who would refuse before making an address to the public.
"Comrades," he said, "the cliques of old are trying again to seize power, to stop their elimination by the progressive forces of our nation, to stop our inexorable progress towards a true and full democracy and socialism of our style. Our common goal remains unchanged - to establish in Istkalen a government of workers' associations, against the bureaucracy and the old politicians, against the political establishment. They tremble in their boots at our determination, at our every success, and at every turn they try to subvert our movement for their own causes."
"The ongoing socialization was a national and democratic movement of the workers that was threatened by these reactionary forces. I do not want to admit this, I wish I did not have to say this, I wish I and the revolutionary forces in our government were not so weak - but we failed to protect our Democratic Revolution. We feared that they would destroy what we had accomplished, and therefore we compromised."
"But we see, now, that they have no power anymore. They tried with Ms. Malk's 'uprising,' and exhausted their forces. We have nothing to fear, no excuse, in the face of your determination, your unity, behind the Democratic Revolution. There will be no compromise from now on..."
The workers' associations used Rikkalek's speech as an opportunity to call for a constituent assembly, which they argue is overdue.
"The Helétek has made his position clear. Power must be transferred to the institutions established by the people," said Makketis Ikalsser, a dissident member of the Independent Workers' Faction and director of the Cultural Association who has since founded the new faction the "New Syndicalists." "There can be no waiting," he continued. "A constituent assembly must be held immediately so that democracy can quickly be established in our Istkalen."
They further underlined their opposition to the Second Act on Socialization. Ursula Korhonen, the director of the Agricultural Association, said that "there is no support for the law among the farmers of our country...it does not protect them, it only takes away, giving power to those we sought to remove. There is no issue with the socialization of the land, nor with the labor-duties; the issue is with the concept of the collectivization itself. We want to protect the sacred independence of the farmer, and we see this as taking away from that."
Similar sentiments were echoed by most other directors. However, all of the directors, as well as Rikkalek himself, have made it clear that they are not calling for an overthrow of the government; merely for legal reforms.
"The ongoing revolution is a social revolution, not political," said Kalju Ilves, the director of the Association of Engineers. "It can be accomplished through peaceful reform alone. What we call for is merely for a speeding up of the reform progress; the 'compromise' of the Second Act on Socialization clearly shows that we clearly can't afford to keep the remaining elements of aristocracy in our government. We can't be forced to adopt these deeply unpopular motions, to support them in public, anymore. Democratic change must happen immediately."
The speech was opposed by several on the left and the right.
"This is an act against the proletariat!" shouted Grete Reiner, the leader of the Independent Workers' Faction, earlier today. "This is a crime! Even this tiny step is rejected by the government of compradors! Look at it, comrades! Look at the futility of reform! The leader that the stupid uphold is a reactionary idiot who must be hanged!"
Ilest Kerel, who leads the Unity faction of the National Democrats, criticized the speech on very different lines.
"We need to have a government and economy managed by the competent," he said. "In the West, idiots can run the economy into the ground so long as they are convincing; if we were to reject this reform it would be the same here. The point of socialization is to allow the economy to come under the rational and scientific management of the best in a way that remains open to the input of the people. Rikkalek isn't unintelligent, he knows better, he knows what is needed to rule the country, I will concede that, but calls are completely populist in nature. They may sound good, but they are not the best path forwards for the country."
The National Assembly will likely convene again, beginning next week, to discuss the Act and other reforms.
Nation: Controversy over land measures
The retreat from socialization, led by Vistek Rikkalek and his new government, has been ongoing for a month. Alongside measures to phase out coal production and decrease fertilizer usage, the government has sought to return to the pre-war economy. A process of "desocialization" has begun, with land "returning" to private management, although not private ownership, and the craft and light industrial collectives being dismantled. The welfare state has been re-expanded, with most essentials now being provided through a network of public canteens, libraries, and central "stores" from which goods may be borrowed, without charge; there has been a corresponding drop in pay. However, these meaures have been complemented with a series of environmental measures, most controversially the creation of "land value taxes" levied on land users, which have the official purpose of aiding land restoration and reforestation efforts. There has also been, unusually, a direct nationalization of heavy industry, as well as non-urban land.
"Istkalen needs a constant and sustainable supply of agricultural and industrial goods," said Minister of Public Distribution Yasemin Demirkol, upon the announcement of the nationalizations. "Desocialization and nationalization of major agricultural and heavy-industrial enterprises is absolutely necessary to ensure this; the old, collective and democratic system caused serious inefficiencies resulting in economic disruption."
"We want a sustainable, liveable Istkalen, for us and for our children," said Minister of Environmental Protection Andres Kask on 1 July in defense of the tax. "We want to preserve the beauty of our country, its natural wealth. The new tax ensures that we have the funding necessary to ensure the continued richness and quality of the soil, to protect it from exhaustion and degradation."
The measures enjoy virtually no support among farmers; recent polling showed that 98% were opposed to nationalization and 96% to the tax.
"It's our land," said a man who wished to otherwise remain anonymous. "They can't just take it away and expect us to pay for it. It's an injustice, that's what it is!"
Such sentiments have been reflected by many a farmer.
In response, the socialist New Agrarians and conservative Christian Democrats (formerly the Patriotic Front - Moderate), launched a joint campaign demanding the end of the taxes and mass public consultations through which land would be returned from the state to either the farmers' associations - the preference of the Agrarian Union - or individuals - the preference of the Christian Democrats.
"The government has clearly identified, above all, the farmer as its enemy. It has assaulted his rights in a spectacular manner, took from him his livelihood and, insultingly, mockingly, forced him to pay for it all. This state of affairs is absolutely unacceptable. The farmer must have the right to his land, and the profit it brings him," said leader of the New Agrarians Ursula Korhonen at a rally. "We demand an immediate end to the land tax, and the return of land to the Farmers' Association and to those smallholders who were victimized by this crminal action."
Korhonen went on to call on farmers to rebel and to, in her own words, "turn the Government House into ash." She is currently leading a large convoy of several thousand on a march to Kirelesile.
"We view the land as almost sacred," said co-leader of the Christian Democrats Suzanne Cronenberg. "As a gift from God, for us to care for and steward. The state merely views it as something to wring as much value from as is possible, and even then perhaps also as a means of control - it is no coincidence, we believe, that the nationalized land is held almost entirely by we Germans of the Christian faith. Return the land to the farmers, we say! It is they who know, who have known, how to use it, how to sustain it, for so many hundreds of years; they who should and must be trusted with our common inheritance, above the ignorant and controlling state."
Cronenberg is now allegedly putting pressure on the so-called Pope Tabitha, whom she has close connections with, to threaten the government of Istkalen it if does not concede.
The Prime Minister is expected to make a statement later today.
The protests are at least partially spurred by ethnic concerns. In the 1960s, control over German-held land was transferred from religious elites based in the countryside to secular authorities in the cities, eventually establishing quasi-colonial relations between the two. Since then, particularly after the industrialization of the short communist era, ethnic Germans have increasingly become an under-class, providing cheap agricultural and industrial labor and goods and denied the same rights as ordinary citizens. The era of social democracy brought significant respite; but with the re-entry of conservatives into government there has been a return to past relations, and therefore the beginning of renewed conflict. Members of the right-wing Progressives in government want again to subjugate, to ensure a supply of cheap goods for export; the German interest Christian Democrats and the farmers' interest New Agrarians again want to fight for what they see as the civil rights of their constituents against a seemingly racist state.
Nation: Polling 4/7 - 7/7
Party Preference (excluding 5% who did not answer)
Communists (far-left): 2,1%
New Agrarians (left-wing): 16,4%
Social Democrats (left-wing): 30,4%
Ecologists (center-right to right-wing): 14,6%
National Republicans (right-wing): 15,5%
Christian Democrats (right-wing): 10,3%
Progressives (far-right): 8,2%
Government Approval (excluding 22% who did not answer)
Approval of Public Figures
Ilmaras Kalessed (former leader of the Agrarian Union/New Agrarians, left-wing)
- approve: 82,3%
- disapprove: 7,7%
- no opinion: 10,0%
Kaisa Malk (ex-PM, co-leader of the National Republicans, right-wing)
- approve: 79,2%
- disapprove: 10,7%
- no opinion: 10,1%
Makketis Ikalsser (co-leader of the National Republicans, right-wing)
- approve: 79,0%
- disapprove: 10,4%
- no opinion: 10,6%
Irenet Isteresskemar (Foreign Minister and co-leader of the Ecologists, right-wing)
- approve: 63,2%
- disapprove: 5,4%
- no opinion: 31,4%
Kalju Ilves (Prime Minister and leader of the Social Democrats, left-wing)
- approve: 58,1%
- disapprove: 20,9%
- no opinion: 21,0%
Vistek Rikkalek (Héletek, far-left)
- approve: 56,2%
- disapprove: 30,4%
- no opinion: 13,4%
Ilisapit Ikrat (co-leader of the Communists, left-wing)
- approve: 54,3%
- disapprove: 41,7%
- no opinion: 4,0%
Andres Kask (Minister of Environmental Protection and co-leader of the Ecologists, center-right)
- approve: 51,2%
- disapprove: 46,3%
- no opinion: 2,5%
Ursula Korhonen (leader of the New Agrarians, left-wing)
- approve: 50,4%
- disapprove: 19,6%
- no opinion: 30,0%
Grete Reiner (co-leader of the Communists, far-left)
- approve: 42,8%
- disapprove: 47,2%
- no opinion: 10,0%
Suzanne Cronenberg (co-leader of the Christian Democrats, right-wing)
- approve: 39,2%
- disapprove: 50,7%
- no opinion: 10,1%
Yasemin Demirkol (Minister of Public Distribution, leader of the Progressives, far-right)
- approve: 20,1%
- disapprove: 73,4%
- no opinion: 6,5%
Liros Ikomar (former Head of State, center)
- approve: 15,2%
- disapprove: 82,8%
- no opinion: 2,0%
Ilest Kerel (former Head of State, Minister of Justice, far-right)
- approve: 9,2%
- disapprove: 89,8%
- no opinion: 1,0%
Mollet Afierme-Kendek (co-leader of the Christian Democrats, right-wing)
- approve: 8,1%
- disapprove: 71,9%
- no opinion: 20,0%
Nation: Kalessed leads New Agrarians to walk out of negotiations
Negotiations between the government and the New Agrarians over ongoing protests over measures on land use, since repealed, have failed, in spite of the party's former leadership having announced a tentative agreement just yesterday, primarily over the issue of authoritarianism.
"There can be no collaboration with a government which refuses democracy," stated Ilmaras Kalessed, the party's new leader, elected this morning following her loss in the very recent European Commission elections. "My predecessor made a very terrible mistake in accepting any agreement with this dictatorial regime. We New Agrarians must fight for the resignation of the usurpers of power, the election of a constituent assembly, and the establishment of a system of genuine popular power, for these are the only measures which will truly, in perpetuity, protect the farmer."
Kalessed further cited the participation of the "fanatical" Christian Democratic Party in the government, in spite of the fact that they only hold one minister without portfolio "There is no place," she stated, "for even a trace of religion in government. There must be an impermeable, impassable wall between the state and the church."
"So long as this government stands," she stated, "the farmer will not be at peace. The New Agrarians will not cooperate with the state on any matter until it accepts our demands."
The newly formed government, which had hoped for the inclusion of the New Agrarians, was mixed in terms of opinion on the subject.
"The non-cooperation of the New Agrarians will be the death of our republican project," stated Prime Minister Kalju Ilves (SDP). "Unity, above all, is necessary in this extraordinarily turbulent time. This type of behavior is simply dangerous and will lead to further factionalization."
"For her own power, Kalessed has decided to stand in the way of reform," said Minister of Development Kondres Uklertal (L). "She wants to - and very likely will - deny Istkaleners the peace and prosperity they have longed to satiate her ego. A better country can only be achieved if all set aside their personal desires for the good of the whole, and unfortunately, she has refused to do so."
Others held a radically different view.
"My opinion on [Kalessed's] statements?" said Minister of Democratization Elspeth Oskon (L) at a press conference. "They doom her and the rest of her deranged political sect. The current government is the most committed to democratic change since her own in 1996. A new parliament, representing the regions and the vocations, is to convene tomorrow. Economic control is again democratic and organized according to the principles of self-organization. We are soon to make it even easier to present citizens' initiatives. Everyone can see this, and so everyone knows that what she is saying is nonsense and that all she wants is power for herself. The people will all leave her, and we will no longer have to worry about extremist cranks, and can continue reform peacefully, smoothly, and properly."
"She is blocking policy that the farmers she claims to defend want," said Minister of Agriculture Katherina Beck (NRP). "The land is being given back to them, and the land-value tax assessed only on personal holdings - their exact demands. She may talk of democracy all she wants, but it's immaterial. People in the end care about whether they have food on the table. We are giving them that, and she is now openly going around saying that she wants to take it away from them for the sake of pure ideology. Her words will have no backing, she will be nothing more than a ranting lunatic on the side of the street."
Several within her party, including the old leadership, strongly disagreed with the decision, and have since left for the Communist Party.
"The decisions of Ilmaras Kalessed are reckless," said former party leader Ursula Korhonen. "We fight for the dignity and prosperity of the farmer. This is most decidedly not that. She risks compromising farmers for the sake of unpopular liberal democracy - something which I, nor anyone else on the left of our party, can support. I am therefore resigining from the party, and invite all the likeminded to follow."
Mass resignations among the membership are expected; however, they will occur alongside a likely membership inflow, triggered by the re-entrance of Ilmaras Kalessed, Istkalen's most popular politician, into national politics. The final effect is therefore as of yet unknown, although it will in all probability allow the underwater Communist Party to recover from its current depths.
Nation: Maksile threatens secession
Merte Maksile, before the People's Committee of the German Self-Government
Merte Maksile, the acting head of the German Self-Government in the stead of Reszelport Jezebel-Swift, otherwise known as Pope Tabitha, has threatened the secession of the German Self-Administered Territory from the Republic of Istkalen. Historically and culturally distinct, the region has found itself in perpetual conflict with Kirelesile, long viewed as a colonial oppressor. While relations have improved significantly in recent years, particularly after the Reitzmic invasion which inadvertently permitted a fairly radical secularization of society in the region, the continued power of the ecclesiastical elite has continued to serve as a wedge. It now appears that things have at last come to a full boil.
According to Maksile's account of the events leading up to her threat, the central government, acting in violation of the Act for the Self-Government of Recognized National Minorities 2022, directly intervened in the German Self-Administered Territory in order to prevent the takeoff of several planes, fifty in all, belonging to the privately-owned "Angel Transportation Services." While the government itself cited national security concerns, as it did in February with a similar incident, Maksile claimed that these did not exist in this case; no threats had been made by any member of the German Self-Government, nor were there weapons being carried by any of the passengers of the fifty planes.
"It is unacceptable," Maksile concluded, "intolerable, and untenable that the Kirelesile oppressors continue their interference in our affairs. A pattern has clearly been established; if the central government refuses to make the necessary concessions, then secession will become an inevitability."
"This woman and her ilk are simply insane," said Interior Minister Liris Vesek (NRP) in response, whose ministry played a key role in obtaining the injunction against the takeoffs. "They did not obtain their positions through legal or democratic means, and continue their constant terror against the German minority as per the reports of the People's Committee for the region. These people have never acted with goodwill; everything they have done has been for the purpose of violence to force on as many people as possible their religious beliefs. This incident in particular was deeply suspicious. The takeoff of fifty planes, with over a thousand passengers, virtually all known to be religious extremists, in such quick succession implies an ulterior, malevolent motive. To protect the people of both Istkalen and of Europe as a whole, it was therefore necessary to prevent their departure, by any means available."
The People's Committee itself issued a harsh condemnation of Maksile's behavior, stating that her declaration was "without legal or material basis," characterizing it as a continuation of past oversteps on the part of church leadership, while at the same time reaffirming a committment to continued union with Istkalen.
Neither the Prime Minister nor either of the co-presidents have yet made a statement on the subject.
Republic: Polling 07/10 to 11/10
Social Democrats (left-wing, in government): 20,1%
National Republicans (syncretic, in government): 17,0%
Communists (far-left, in government): 16,2%
Greens (right-wing, NEW, in government): 13,1%
Ecologists (center-right, in government): 11,2%
New Agrarian (syncretic): 8,4%
New Union (syncretic, NEW, in government): 7,2%
Christian Democrats (right-wing to far-right, in government): 3,0%
Liberation (center, in government): 2,1%
Progress (far-right, in government): 1,5%
Pro-industrial bloc (National Republicans + Communists + New Union + Liberation): 42,5%
Anti-industrial bloc (Greens + Ecologists + New Agrarians + Christian Democrats): 35,7%
Non-aligned (Social Democrats + Progress): 21,6%
Preferred Prime Minister
Liris Vesek (Interior Minister, National Republican-Communist, syncretic): 34,5%
Írenet Isteresskemar (Foreign Minister, Greens-Ecologists, right-wing): 31,1%
Kalju Ilves (incumbent, Social Democrats, left-wing): 21,1%
Ilmaras Kalessed (New Agrarians, left-wing): 12,3%
Republic: Polling 01/11 to 03/11
Labor (NEW, united platform of National Republicans, Communists, syncretic, in government): 34,1% (+0,9)
Agrarian Union (NEW, united platform of Greens, Ecologists, New Agrarians, right-wing, in government): 28,5% (-4,2)
Social Democrats (left-wing): 24,2% (+4,1)
Union/Progress (united platform of the New Union, Progressives, far-right, in government): 7,7% (-1,0)
Liberation (center, in government): 2,7% (+0,6)
Christian Democrats (right-wing to far-right, in government): 1,2% (-1,8)
Preferred Prime Minister
Kalju Ilves (incumbent, Social Democrats, left-wing): 36,2% (+16,1)
Liris Vesek (Interior Minister, Labor, syncretic): 29,8% (-4,7)
Írenet Isteresskemar (Foreign Minister, Agrarian Union, right-wing): 27,1% (-4,0)
Eliise Sepp (Minister of Defense, Union/Progress, far-right): 6,5% (NEW)
In an effort to gain the upper hand and receive the first mandate to form a government by the presidency, several political parties, generally already united around a single prime ministerial candidate, have sought to reform old political coalitions, with the reformation of the united Communist Party in the form of the "Labor," of the Agrarian Union as as "confederation" of the Greens, Ecologists, and New Agrarians, and of the shortlived postwar "Union Party" in the form of the list "Union/Progress."
While their position is indeed likely to be strengthened, with the Union coalition, in spite of losses, likely to be more united and better represented, and both Labor and the Agrarian Union significantly more likely to receive the first mandate, most have seen losses as a direct result of union. The Agrarian Union in particular saw dramatic losses, likely a result of moderate voters previously supporting the Greens or Ecologists abandoning the coalition due to the inclusion of the radical New Agrarians, whose public image has seen a marked decline due to the extreme, often violent militancy of members, as well as the uncompromising rhetoric of its leader, Ilmaras Kalessed. Even the Labor coalition, which remained stable, appears to have seen a significant realignment of voters, with young voters deserting the party for the Social Democrats as blue-collar workers take the opposite direction.
The Social Democrats saw significant gains largely through the absorption of moderate voters, particularly from the Agrarian Union, but may have also been pulled up by their leader, current Prime Minister Kalju Ilves, who has seen a significant boost in popularity, in part because of his newly released reform agenda for taxes and welfare, expected to dramatically reduce financial burdens for the vast majority of people.
Significant changes were observed in regards to prime ministerial preference, largely in favor of the incumbent due to the aforementioned new policy agenda, as well as the effective end of Ilmaras Kalessed's candidacy. Other candidates may have suffered from increased irrelevance, particularly Sepp and Isteresskemar, both of whom reached the zenith of their popularity at the beginning of the year and who, in a period of relative international peace, have become sidelined in conversations about policy. Liris Vesek, as the Minister of the Interior, however, suffered from the opposite; with increased domestic trouble, she has found herself thrust into the spotlight, her actions seen as increasingly "authoritarian" and "heavyhanded," particularly the significant centralization of administration that has occurred under her short tenure, and has therefore declined in popularity, especially in rural areas where centralization is deeply unpopular.
Republic: Election results
Seats allocated by proportional representation (250)
"Labor" - 8.430.333 votes, 35,6%, 92 seats
"Social Democrats" - 6.495.030 votes, 27,4%, 71 seats
"Agrarian Union" - 4.809.443 votes, 20,3%, 53 seats
"Union/Progress" - 1.992.929 votes, 8,4%, 21 seats
"Liberation" - 1.202.961 votes, 5,1%, 13 seats
"Christian Democrats" - 739.545 votes, 3,1%, 0 seats
Seats appointed by the workers' associations (125)
"Social Democrats" - 55 seats
"Agrarian Union" - 30 seats
"Labor" - 20 seats
"Liberation" - 10 seats
"Union/Progress" - 10 seats
Seats appointed by the regional people's committees (110)
"Agrarian Union" - 50 seats
"Union/Progress" - 25 seats
"Labor" - 20 seats
"Social Democrats" - 10 seats
"Liberation" - 5 seats
Seats appointed by the Presidency (10)
"Labor" - 5 seats
"Union/Progress" - 5 seats
"Labor" - 137 seats
"Social Democrats" - 136 seats
"Agrarian Union" - 133 seats
"Union/Progress" - 61 seats
"Liberation" - 28 seats
248 seats needed for majority.
Nation: The responsibilities of a future government
Kondres Uklertal and Yasemin Demirkol, Co-Presidents of the Republic
Istkalen has reached an important juncture in time with what is perhaps to be its first peaceful and democratic transition of power ever. It is vitally necessary that its traditions, of state, culture, and society alike, survive this change. Regardless of who is to form the government, the unique freedoms that the people of Istkalen have enjoyed for decades must be preserved.
The incoming government, in doing so, is tasked above all with the preservation of national harmony. A society divided is an unstable society, and an unstable society has not the strength to maintain these special rights, special customs, and special traditions; a functioning and ordered government, to fulfill its natural mandate of preserving national traditions, therefore must maintain the integrity and unity of society. It is necessary, then, for it to govern firstly with a broad mandate, including all political and social groups, to prevent exclusion to the maximum possible degree. This mandate must be further reflected in its actual acts of governance, which must not discriminate or exclude but instead be to the benefit of and with the agreement of all of the constituent groups that form the Istkalenic nation.
In doing so, however, it must also avoid causing significant disruptions. Sudden and great change can disrupt old social relations, often to the detriment of all involved. Reform is sometimes, if not often, necessary, but it must not be to the detriment of social cohesion. Any rightful government must thus commit itself not to great projects of the remaking of all society, but rather to gradual and consensual change, if there is to be change at all.
There are also a number of redlines where change must be avoided. Our society is fragile, and certain modifications would necessarily result in its collapse. It is particularly the question of the children that we have in mind. We insist that any and all governments of Istkalen have the sacred responsibility of ensuring that the next generation is raised according to our national tradition and is protected from malevolent foreign influence, influence which in many other countries has led to a predominance of greed and moral depravity. There can be no question of changing the system under which children are brought up and education, whether to promote certain new values or simply to modernize; to do is to compromise the very foundation of our society and to let in rot which has destroyed so many other countries.
We point also to the distribution of property as a similar matter. Its concentration is extraordinarily dangerous, a phenomenon which leads to corruption, both political and moral, as well as violent class struggle. For these reasons, a truly harmonious, rights-protecting society is impossible without the unique and equitable distribution of property that we and our ancestors have worked so hard to establish in Istkalen; it is thus the responsibility of any and all governments of our country to protect and maintain it at all costs, even of material prosperity.
The final redline we will explicitly mention is of the integrity of the controlling institutions of state, particularly the Councils of Censors and Examination. These bodies found themselves on millenia-old traditions, and play an essential role in ensuring the continuity and stability of the Istkalenic government, of which the whole of our society is predicated on. Without them, our country would have long been lost. Their abolition, already proposed by "modernizers" and "Westernizers" would be an extraordinary and profound disaster that would surely lead to a spiral to final death, with escalating radicalism and rashness stoking the embers of conflict, disorder, and collapse. The security of the position of these two councils in particular thus must be guaranteed by any possible incoming government.
The preservation of this country, and thus of its core institutions, is paramount, the utmost responsibility of anyone who seeks to lead our country. We will not permit any government which threatens this, whether through the degradation of our institutions or the suppression of our way of life, to come even a millimeter near power.
Republic: National Republicans to form independent group in parliament, seek negotiations with Social Democrats to form government
co-leader of the National Republican Party, Makketis Íkalsser, speaking to reporters regarding the formation of the National Republican parliamentary group
The National Republican Party is to form a parliamentary group separate from the Communists, effectively breaking apart the "Labor" alliance.
"It is our responsibility to those who voted for us to uphold our values," said party co-leader Makketis Íkalsser on the subject at a press conference. "We cannot do so in cooperation with the Communist Party, which is diametrically opposed to many of our core aims. Yes, we did indeed cooperate with them for electoral purposes. We will openly and proudly admit to it. But never did we endorse their ideas. We very consistently maintained an independent course in rhetoric and policy. With the elections over, there is no longer any reason for any type of coalition. In parliament, as we did during the campaign, we will remain separate from the Communists, promoting our own course and our own vision."
115 of the 137 members of parliament elected for the Labor alliance are to be members of the National Republican group, an imbalance caused directly by an agreement between the National Republican and Communist parties to allocate seats disproportionately in favor of the former in exchange for major policy concessions, particularly on social and cultural issues, to the latter.
"Too bad," said Íkalsser when pressed on the subject. "We have the upper hand; why would we bother to listen to them now? They should have realized this long ago."
The other co-leader of the party, Eliise Raadik, further stated that the party intended to negotiate, from its new position, with the Social Democrats to form a government.
"We want to keep the workers' pockets full, their independence firm, and their dignity preserved. While we may disagree with the Social Democrats, we view a government with them as the best path forwards for these aims so close to our hearts. We will go to the negotiating table with them, and come out, surely, with an agreement to govern for all Istkaleners."
She further suggested that the party would be willing to compromise on the issues of housing, education, and healthcare, among others, but would be unyielding on what it has established as its core issues - namely, opposition to the incorporation of businesses, which it has viewed as a path to excessive centralization of power, the preservation of indecency laws, which it sees as integral to maintain "the health of the nation," and the maintenance of the current, expansive welfare state, which provides housing, food, childcare, and transportation, among other things, at no cost to all workers - all of which, notably, the Social Democratic Party finds itself opposed to.
The prime ministerial candidate of the coalition, Liris Vesek, expressed dismay at the decision, and announced her intention to resign from the National Republican Party.
"This is a gross violation of trust, and the complete destruction of the image of our party," she wrote in a public statement released today. "It is shocking and unacceptable. To maintain my position in such an organization, of liars and cheats, is beyond untenable. It is tantamount, in fact, to evil."
In response to the announcement, the interim leader of the Communist Party, Marianne Séguy, announced her intention to withdraw from the impending leadership elections.
"I sought to lead the resurrection of the party. I fear I have led it instead to its grave," she said at a press conference earlier today. "The agreement with the National Republicans was clearly unwise. Had we not made it, we might have seen the full recovery of our party. But because of it, we are reduced to virtually nothing. That I agreed to it leads me to no longer believe in my capacity to lead the party. I will maintain my position until the upcoming leadership elections, at which point I will resign from all party functions."