Khaokhett, Kngaok District
It was late in the night, and Kalama Gian was drafting up her acceptance speech.
She had been finally elected to the Minister’s Throne in Saphea Wat, the seat of power in Batengdei, or at least the seat of power the rest of Eurth saw. In truth, the whole system was designed around a bunch of ruthless, lazy oligarchs who monopolized a little too much of the economy to relinquish any real control. It was a sickening notion, even if she was considered harmless enough to be the Prime Minister.
Kalama had hopes to change that, however, and what she needed now was the goodwill of the people.
Almost as if in anticipation of her plans, there had been a laughably poor attempt at winning the election from the Bateng Rouge. They had ignored the notion of campaigning on anything other than maintaining a status quo, which was a terrible way to energize voters. It landed the Rouge in a coalition with the Liberal Democrats, of all parties, which was just salt in the wound.
It left a dirty taste in her mouth just thinking about it, so Kalama didn’t. Instead, she thought about how she would subvert the expectations of her position.
In truth, answer was simple, populism. More specifically, anti-corruption. If there was a cesspool worthy of being purged in Eurth, it was Batengdei. @Tagmatium Rules was another that came to mind, but that was beside the point. Voter turnouts had been declining, faith in the government was near nonexistent, and overall, the biggest reform in the last decade was Krusken’s RDI Act, which was laughably useless. No, Batengdei needed a stronger ruler capable of tackling the people’s problems like they had back in the founding days.
The current Batengdei was far too self-absorbed in itself to be of relevance, despite being so close to the spotlight. The means of victory in her hand, but Batengdei preferred to sit contently as the world moved by, horrendous. Kalama knew it was the destiny of Batengdei to lead the nations of Eurth, where they had been neglected for far too long. Now that she had the Minister’s Throne, the ancient ceremonial throne of the old dynasties of Batengdei, now she could lead her people.
Gian had known her destiny for a long time, to re-forge Batengdei in the shape of its former glory. To purge the oligarchs who stunted them for their own profits. A new revolution, perhaps? No, not yet, anyway.
The computer screen of her rough draft slowly burned into her eyes with a pure, white glow. It made the rest of the room seem darker by contrast. Regardless, she forced herself to step away from her desk and walk around the room to relax a bit. The duties of the Batengdeian Prime Minister were numerous, and she had been beset by a hundred bureaucrats with a hundred petty problems from the onset of her taking office. She just needed a little time to remind herself of the importance of her position.
It would take time to win over the population in Batengdei. Fortunately, she had enough control over the media to work unopposed. It would take a coalition of disgruntled workers to create the change necessary to transform Batengdei, this much Kalama knew.
Kalama Gian, Prime Minister Gian, spent the next ten minutes pacing anxiously around the room.
Sang Pithu, Tonle Khlang
It had been a terrible month for Hoja Korig, the leader of the Batengdei National Agricultural Company. The election coalition had been felled by a disgusting abomination of an electoral jape. The Bateng Rouge and Liberal Democratic Party? To make matters worse, the coalition began by passing a bill which flopped on its head and sank the economy with it. Production had slowed as workers suddenly were shifted around between foreign countries vying for a spot of the cheap land available. It was a nightmare. To make matters worse, the Khsaamer National Party jumped ship at the defeat, leaving the National Sovereign Party all alone in a sea of corruption.
They’d called twice for a recount, twice… or, three times? They would have kept going until the next election had they not been silenced by Kalama Gian herself. Who did she think she was, a dictator?
The radio on his desk which had been announcing the most recent rugby game now began playing some song. In Anglish, no less.
Hoja lurched forward and attempted to adjust the station, however he couldn’t quite convince his fingers to cooperate, so he instead he swept the damnable machine off his desk, then made for his case of wines.
Korig uncorked a new bottle of rice-wine and poured himself a glass. If his company was going to go under, he would race them to it. This would be the third bottle, and he had built up quite a tolerance. Admittedly, the company would likely survive. It was too much of an integral part of feeding the people. Korig’s ownership, however, that could change should the government rule his leadership as “unsatisfactory.” Krusken had been smart to leave him alone, Kalama on the other hand… she had a history of going after company owners who crossed her. Still, they couldn’t touch the mighty Hoja Korig if he wasn’t doing anything wrong, and as if he was… he was simply checking the quality of the rice-wine…
“Well, I had better check again, in case this bottle is not up to standard.”
Hoja raised the glass and cheered to the ceiling, “To us!”.
The wine tasted really quite great, especially with the numbness of inebriation. “How could I lose my position, when I mae’ the best damn wine in the country. Hell, I mae’ the only wine in the country. Who wans to go buy wine … anywhrer elsse…”
Hoja Korig was suddenly quite delighted to find the room was gently rocking; rocking him to sleep, most likely. So long as the rice-wine was good, there was nothing to worry about, really. . .
“Thanksh… mishter room. . .”
And with that, Korig fell into a pleasant stupor.
Her Lost Grip ~ Prologue
A Journey In Succession
“Some weeks ago, our leader of almost 20 years attended what our government has hailed as a successful party in Galahinda. It did show that we could and should be taken seriously despite being pipsqueak and fun size. However, that success comes without any sign of succession. In her walk in and out of the party, her excellency was alone. How does she expect us to ignore our future?”
--Excerpt from an Op-Ed in the Yulaa Spectator
Kera Eka Lam has been in power for almost twenty years. In a historic moment, she took over from one of Oyus’ most prominent figures in its history, Kera Yulaa. She had large shoes to fill. Lam since her ascension worked to see that the country would be taken seriously when the time came. Thus far, there was plenty of success seen despite some minor hiccups. Just this past year, the results were rather clear: Oyus had gotten its act together. There was an increasing wave of optimism. A positive outlook of the country as a more active participant in the international community. Faith in the government had never been higher since taking over from her predecessor. Yet, nothing is ever perfect, even in the idyllic paradise. There still came criticism. Criticism that was held high, too.
Merseca Square was the heart of the government. Many of the government’s principal high level offices lined the plaza, including Acona Palace. Lam wandered through the quiet halls of the executive residence. It had been her home, where she lived for much of her life. The structure was quite large, comparable in size to Eurth’s grandest of royal palaces. In contrast, it was much more modest: no elegant marble floors, no ornate light fixtures, not even walls with intricate designs. “It is a palace even a pauper could approve of, dear Eka.” Her predecessor, her mother, would tell her. At ascension, she honored this idea by committing to relegating herself in the residence to a small area just slightly larger than a 2 bedroom 2 bathroom middle-class apartment so that it could be toured by tourists and citizens alike.
Lam dipped herself into a warm bathtub, reclining against it her head staring up at the ceiling. The room was lit only by candlelight as she closed her eyes, sitting in silence. In times of great stress, bathing in welcoming warm waters were a go-to for the resilient leader. Now, more than ever, did she need one. Even though there had been plenty she had done in her tenure as Kera that required great strength and weighed heavily on her. Eka would try to begin to lose herself in her thoughts… Never have I ever needed this-”until now?” her thoughts went from her voice to a different familiar voice. Eka inhaled before opening her eyes and exhaling, her gaze finding a lit screen with a close aide on the other side of the call.
“Your Excellency, I have not seen you so weighed by something like this before. The last time you were noticeably-” Eka held up her hand nodding knowing where her aide was going to go, her hand making a gesture like that of a mouth talking. She had not been this noticeably bothered by circumstances since having to take on post relief efforts of one of the biggest tropical disturbances Oyus had ever seen. It was rare for her to be bothered even in the rougher stretches of her reign. Kera Yulaa had taught her well, “Oyus’ people are only as calm as their leader, young Eka.”
Eka faced the screen with dread, arms crossed. “I have done plenty for this country. My life is all about fighting for my countrywomen and countrymen. Can we not be pleased by that?” Kol Tala, her aide on the other side nodded. Tala was a break from her typical choice to tradition: female-personal assistants. In fact, Tala was the first man to ever take the position, out of pure luck he had gained it. Eka enjoyed how bold he was to apply for the post in the first place, growing fond of someone who would be a close adviser of sorts to her.
“Your work hasn’t gone unnoticed, they just don’t want it to go to waste over what will be an inevitable election to come if you decide to step down like your mother did. Besides, it would be an excuse to take time for yourself.” Eka couldn’t hold in her laughter at the suggestion that securing the future leadership of her country could be used as an excuse to get time for herself. She would question her assistant, and friend, how that could be.
“How? Why should I? Every woman here has the right to choose except me, because I have to?” Kol wouldn’t let her continue, interrupting as if he anticipated she would go down this route.
“Eka, nothing in the Constitution says you have to marry the opposite sex or even bear children. There is always another way. It can be your choice with no pain involved. Unless who you decide to adopt has a painful backstory.” Kol Tala would know what he was talking about as a former student of law, specializing in the Oyusard Constitution. It kept her silent as she truly considered that this matter could be quickly answered and alleviated. Indeed, she also had the right to choose, and there are no formal instructions of how or when. Leaving the handling of the process of lining up Oyus’ next leader to her own devices. It was without a doubt the best time to do it, too, with all the success beginning to show for itself.
Lam slipped back into the tub, more relaxed at the thought. “Ask Lili to meet in the morning. We have an important communique for the wurld.” Tala could be seen nodding as the screen flipped off while the Kera rested.
"With all these shitty Fulgistani cigs coming in, you'd think the Libs would be a touch more interested in closing off trade lines. At least, certain trade lines."
Hoja Korig chuckled richly before politely puffing on his cigar, continuing:
"The polls are coming for party support on BLNN, and I think we know where it's going."
"What are you implying?"
Across Korig's polished mahogany desk, Boyar Askosow looked confused.
"I still don't understand the purpose of your invitation: are you here to gloat? The Kozak's aren't shifting their support and, frankly, I had no intention of winning the parliament anyway. All I need is my interests - the Kozaki interests - to keep being served, and our current government does a fine job at that. Have you seen the legislation? We barely even have to care about your national government at this rate and we are quite capable of running ourselves."
Korig drew again from his cigar and let out a slow cloud.
"This isn't about bragging. I may be the most influential man in this whole damn country, but that doesn't change the situation of the Sovereigns."
"The Sovereigns? Oh yes, they're winning alright: winning until the BRP and the LDP form a coalition. You know full well no amount of your patronage could get the Sovereign's out of that hole."
Korig chuckled again.
"Boyar, you humor me - puff - but listen, I want a change in management. Krusken has made all this and that, yes? But he has been doing me a disservice, one which has put me at odds with the current government. You understand! The market reforms, the shipping! It's trampling all my hard work! Look at these!"
Hoja Korig took a handful of Fulgistanti cigarettes from a crate by his desk. He frantically unraveled one and presented it to Dmitrov Askosow.
"The damn things! I took one trip to Khenkhourt earlier this month, and the damn place had more of this than the national! It's a f*cking disgrace is what it is! If we keep letting the Bulgen Rouge and the f*cking Libs trade around, we'll go under!"
"I think you mean you'll go under. Your National Agricultural Company is going to be affected, sure, but I can't imagine Kozakstal will suddenly implode if the Bulgen Rouge wins again."
Askosow looked bemused at the visible distress on Korig's face but still wondered what the purpose of the meeting was. There was obviously more to this conversation than Korig complaining about Bulgenstazi trade. Hoja Korig dropped the cigarettes back in their crate and started again:
"The problem for you, Boyar, is your people. Do you think the new legislation exempts you from the National Agricultural Company? It doesn't, and even if it did, any attempt at a nationalized industry would flounder in the face of our own. Kozakstal doesn't have a port, there's no benefitting from trade, either! But wait, there's more to this than just industry: your precious Kozak culture. Do you think those foreigners in Fulgistan care about the Kozak? Because I can tell you right now, the most they could care about is if the Kozaki purchase their goods over mine. The foreigners, you see, will crush your culture if it means they can squeeze another drop of trade. What we need is protectionism, and I don't see it coming from the Rouge or the Liberals. Protectionism will protect my money, your money, and your culture."
Boyar Askosow's smugness quickly dissolved. Hoja Korig was right, there wasn't much keeping Kozakstal from being overtaken by foreign goods, and the Okrug wouldn't see any of the profit from trade goods, unlike national goods. Perhaps the Boyar had been blinded by success to where he forgot the economic fragility of his Okrug; no independence could save the Kozaki from an economic crisis. Still, what did Korig want?
Hoja Korig could sense victory in by Askosow's change in demeanor.
"Boyar, what I would like you to do is pursue a coalition with the National Sovereign Party. It certainly wouldn't be hard, they want as much support as they can get, and your party is just what they need. Besides, there may be more perks to this coalition than just having your party in the majority in Zalensk..."
Hoja Korig reached into his desk and drew a stack of papers. Askosow read:
Kozakstal Oil Reappropriation Act
"You couldn't! The National Oil Company -"
"The National Oil Company bows to the government! This would be entirely possible, given enough support. I'm sure if you and your little party jumped through the National Sovereign Party's hoops, they would be happy to lend you their support on such legislation..."
Boyar Askosow rose from his chair smiling.
"Excellent chat, Mister Korig. I'm hoping I can convince my associates to work with your party - erm - the National Sovereign Party, yes. You may not hear it from me first, but I will update you if we were to form such a coalition. Thank you for inviting me, and my apologies if I was to have come off strong at first. I look forward to future ventures with you."
Hoja Korig smiled to himself, yes, this would be how the National Sovereign Party, Hoja's National Sovereign Party, would finally get their Prime Minister.
Hey! This is the precursor to the future Bulgenstazi 2019 elections! It seems tensions are mounting as the country approaches July 16, election day! I will try to post semi-regularly with some exciting political intrigue! How will Hoja Korig, controller of the National Agricultural Company, secure the victory of the National Sovereign Party? How will the Bulgen Rouge Party and the Liberal Democratic Party react? This thread is currently a closed RP, but if there are groups which seek to meaningfully impact one side or another, please, let me know and I can make a full OOC Post. Thank you!