New international alliance born in Los Santos

Geneva, Alexandria; ABCC NEWS – The Alexandrian city of Los Santos was lit with activity yesterday as the heads of state and other diplomatic officials from the nations of Ashkenatza, Hamland and Stormark met with Alexandrian officials to sign the Declaration of Los Santos, cementing the alliance between all four nations, calling it the “Council of Free Nations”.

The alliance comes after several months of talks between all four nations first in Miramar and then in Los Santos, where they focused first on building a close and genuine partnership before formalizing the relationship in a treaty. All four nations had already built close ties between each other over the course of the last year, but it was not until yesterday’s events that the alliance was fully cemented in a common declaration of principles and values. Ashkenatza, Stormark and Alexandria have signed the declaration already, and are currently awaiting the signature of the Hammish delegation.

Imperial Assembly moves to choose First Consul

Geneva, Alexandria; ABCC News – The newly opened 3rd session of the Imperial Assembly has begun the process to select the nation’s First Consul after formally reconfirming Primo de Aguilar (I-SA) to a second term as Speaker earlier this week. The incoming Reynaud Government is facing a clear vote of confidence in an Assembly that is currently sharply divided, with the chamber’s Independents holding the balance of power. The composition of the Assembly (at time of press)holds a slight edge for Reynaud’s Social Democratic Rally (5), against Ciervo’s Mouvement Democrate (4). The decision weighs heavily over the Assembly’s two independents – Speaker Primo de Aguilar (I-SA) and Reinaldo da Silva (I-SM).

“The work da Silva took to block one of his own Government’s key legislative pieces in the Income Tax Bill might bring him to support Ciervo,” says Professor George Clouseau of the Institute of Political Studies in Valenciennes. The November 2012 election brought forth a very divided and scared electorate, says the Professor. “We have to understand that the deep political transformation that the Empire has endured after the traumatic events of the Bouvet assasinations has made voters nervous, and people are still making their minds up.”

The majority of the Alexandrian electorate gave a slight majority to the Social Democratic Rally in this election, but the election edge will be short lived. In three constituencies across the Empire, the votes are still being counted – Eisenstadt in Galatia, Guthrie in Luthoria and Fontainebleau in Baudrix. In Eisenstadt, Katrina Kaan is projected to win a strong victory on behalf of a regional socialist Galatian party, the Workers’ Party. In Guthrie, newcomer Eimhear Schneider is projected to deliver that seat to the Mouvement Democrate, and in Fontainebleau, Jean-Marie Toussaint is on track to do the same. These will tip the composition of the Assembly firmly towards the Movement Democrate for the forseeable future.

Imperial Assembly opens as political conventions come to close

The Emperor en route to the Palace of the Tuileries for the opening of the Imperial Assembly.

Geneva, Baudrix; ABCC News – After a brief delay brought upon by added security measures and sweeps after the Bouvet assassinations, the opening of the Imperial Assembly pushed forward today, with a speech from His Imperial Majesty calling on the Imperial Assembly to “work to find common ground, especially in policy questions that affect the Empire greatly”. The Emperor made special mention of the economy and threats from abroad as two issues that the Assembly had to deal with. The Speech from the Throne ended with a brief but direct appeal to the Alexandrian people: “Rise up to the occasion and face our challenges.”

With the Mouvement Democrate and the Social Democratic Rally bringing their conventions to a close, the battle for the Palace of Vranscia begins – the Mouvement Democrate has elected Juan Ciervo as its new Party Leader and nominee for First Consul. The Social Democratic Rally confirmed its choice of Jacques Reynaud as leader, as well as confirming its political platform.

Political party conventions called on eve of new session of Imperial Assembly

Geneva, Baudrix; ABCC NEWS – The Mouvement Democrate and the Social Democratic Rally have both formalized their efforts to call for their own respective party conventions in the eve of the opening of the 3rd Imperial Assembly. With the MoDems calling forth a convention to select a new leader to succeed the late First Consul Sebastien Dev, the Social Democratic Rally moved quickly to announce that they were convening their first National Council.

“Both parties are starting to dig in for what could potentially be a close re-election fight for First Consul Jacques Reynaud,” says Professor George Clouseau of the Institute of Political Studies in Valenciennes. “These conventions are a clear chance to show the Alexandrian people what each party stands for, an effort to convince Deputies to swing one way or the other.”

It is uncertain to many exactly how the conventions will unfold – the Empire’s democracy has not seen anything like this, but one thing is certain – both parties will be using this opportunity to sort out party business and rally support around their leaders.

Polls closing in important Flanders referendum

Voters queue at the polls in Bruswerp, Flanders.

Bruswerp, Flanders; ABCC Foreign Desk – Polls began to close today in the Second Democratc Republic of Flanders, where voters from across the nation are casting a ballot towards helping decide the future of their country. For the last several weeks, the Governments of Flanders and Alexandria have had ongoing negotiations regarding a possible integration of Flanders into the Alexandrian Empire, with debates raging in the Flemish Parliament weeks before the polls opened on October 27th.

Voters are currently deciding between two options – union with Alexandria (along with the adoption of the Articles of Accession to the Empire and its new constitution as the Free State of Flanders) or remain independent and instead adopt a new Constitution authored by Erwin Bertholdszn, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Flanders. The President of Flanders, Mateo Mattiassen, has served as the main proponent behind the union with Alexandria.

It is unclear as of yet which option will win the referendum – a poll conducted by the ABCC Foreign Desk shows the election being close with the spread between the options well within the margin of error. 51% of those surveyed support the Mattiassen Proposal, and 48% support the Bertholdszn Proposal. Margin of error for the poll was +/- 3 percentage points.

The law passed by the Flemish Parliament calling for the referendum specifies that it can only be legally binding if one of the options gains 70% of the vote. Despite the vote being close, a majority of the members of the Flemish Parliament have agreed to pass whichever proposal ends up winning the most votes.

Imperial Assembly dissolved, to return on Nov. 3rd

Deputies in the Imperial Assembly during the adjournment proceedings.

Geneva, Alexandria; ABCC News – The Imperial Assembly formally closed it doors last Saturday, after the Assembly reached its constitutional term of four months on October 27th. Speaker Primo de Aguilar brought the Assembly to adjournment on Friday and the Emperor formally dissolved the legislature on Sunday, calling for the 3rd Imperial Assembly to open next Saturday, November 3rd.

The new session of the Imperial Assembly will have to select a new Speaker and the First Consul of the Empire as its first and second order of business. After a strong performance as Speaker during the 2nd Imperial Assembly, Primo de Aguilar is predicted to skip the arduous confirmation debate that Jean Carmicheal suffered at the hands of Sebastian Dev and the MoDems, and win his re-election to the post easily. The real fight will come in the selection of the First Consul, where incumbent First Consul Jacques Reynaud may very well face a challenge from a slowly resurgent Mouvement Democrate in the Imperial Assembly.

Mouvement Democrate showing signs of life post-Dev

Members of the Mouvement Democrate meet in Chambery for a rally in rememberance of Sebastian Dev.

Geneva, Alexandria; ABCC News – Following the crippling blow that was the Dev assasination in Bouvet to the Mouvement Democrate, interim MoDem leader Pierre Guigou has assumed control of the party and initiated its process to call for a convention to elect a new leader for the party to lead them in the next Imperial Assembly. “We must call for a party convention as soon as we can, because we need the Movement Democrate to continue, and I will seek to continue it for the time being,” stated Guigou. Pierre Guigou is the Deputy representing the constituency of Las Cruces, San Martin, and he previously served as Second Consul during the first Dev Government, where he pushed for reforms for the national census and the citizenship naturalization process.

The Mouvement Democrate has shown some sign of revival with the addition of Juan Ciervo, a seasoned Alexandrian politician, to its ranks. Alejandro Castillo, currently serving as a member of the Reynaud Government for the culture portfolio, is also counted as a member of the party as well. No details as to what this “political convention” would be like are known yet, this is unprecedented in Alexandrian history. At the time of publication, the MoDems look on track to call the convention, with Ciervo seconding the motion to call it. It remains unclear to most who will succeed Dev to the post of Party Leader. “The bet is on Guigou or on Ciervo to step up and lead,” says Professor George Clouseau of the Institute of Political Studies in Valenciennes. “They both have a lot of experience on their corner and could lead the party.”

The Mouvement Democrate, however, faces an even greater challenge – declining numbers and support following the death of Sebastian Dev have put the party in a weakened position against the strong and rising support that the new Social Democratic Rally of incumbent Jacques Reynaud. “If the leader of the MoDems, whomever it is, challenges Reynaud for the Consularship, it may be an uphill climb. The Social Democratic Rally is poised to get a working majority in the next Imperial Assembly, and the MoDems could find themselves in the awkward position of being in the opposition for the first time,” stated Professor Clouseau. What gives the Mouvement Democrate a measure of both hope and concern are the amount of independents in the Assembly, a staple in Alexandrian politics. “Their only chance is to get the independents on board in the vote.” A colleague of Closeau’s Vanessa Gonzalez disagrees, stating that “Reynaud has a good team and has the support of a majority in the Assembly, and the Mo Dems are counting only on three votes, best case scenario. Castillo could possibly defect to the Social Democratic Rally in the next Assembly to stay on the Government, and we will see Alexandria’s first social democrat Government be elected in its own right.”