The candidates’ debate for the by-election to fill the Ibelin seat in the Imperial Parliament was overshadowed by a personal dispute between one of the candidates, John Carmichael, and the Alexandrian Prime Minister, Jose Frias. The dispute began shortly after a press release by the Prime Minister earlier in the campaign that characterized Carmichael as incompetent and unreliable, and a doomsday seer.
The Prime Minister’s comments, made largely in response to Carmichael’s claims of inadequacies in the micronation’s constitution as well as his performance as the former Lord High Justice, set off a quick response from Carmichael. Noting that the Prime Minister’s attacks against him were “libellous and hurtful,” Carmichael charged that Frias was “seeking to undermine me personally, not my politics … [in a] horrible and hateful campaign.”
Frias justified his harsh description of Carmichael noting that the criticisms are a response to what Carmichael “[says] about me, the Conservative Party, His Majesty’s Government, as well as the ridiculous contention that our Constitution is under fire.” Attempting to soften the tone of his condemnation of Carmichael’s judicial performance, Frias complimented him for working hard in the High Court, but criticized him of doing a poor job maintaining impartiality and interpreting laws. Carmichael dismissed the accusation, noting that sometimes the law “needed to be interpreted in a way that was not to the Government of the day’s liking.”
Frias’ pointed attacks towards the Carmichael and the Amelioration Party in the Ibelin by-election shows signs that, after being slaughtered in the July parliamentary elections, the Party may be recovering to a position that is causing worry in the Conservative ranks. Following the dismal performance of the Conservative-dominated Eighth Parliament, which was dissolved for inactivity after accomplishing nothing halfway into its term, as well as a lack of active leadership by his government, Frias will no doubt be on the defensive against for the remainder of his term in office.
Results of the Ibelin by-election are to be released later today, according to the State Electoral Commission.