All but eight citizens of the Zatriarch of Matbaa have been stripped of their citizenship in a move by the Minister for Internal Affairs, Guido Zambelis. It is the first significant move by a government minister to address the ailing status of the micronation, which has been plagued by inactivity for most of this year, and has seen four different heads of state in as many months.
In June, former Zatriarch Sfeir VII proposed a mass purge of inactive government officials, while sparing their citizenship status, in order to open up government positions for the active population. The policy was never implemented due to his abdication and the micronation, under his successors, lacking tangible direction. The citizenship purge by Minister Zambelis is a hard-line version of the earlier proposal, with citizens now being stripped of their status.
In the recent Khanaushia vote for the adoption of the Sfeir Constitution, the Minister threatened to revoke the citizenship of any person who never voted (despite the poll being anonymous), though the vote was later suspended to allow for further debate over the new constitution. Despite this, the purge was ordered and the legality of the order is questionable as there are no provisions in the micronation’s current constitution for a minister to revoke citizenship, and no laws granting such authority to the Interior Ministry.
Meanwhile, the debate over the proposed Sfeir Constitution continues to hobble along in the Khanaushia, with little progress having been made since the adoption vote was suspended in mid-October.