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      Cyber Nations Forum Rules   07/03/2016

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Imperator Azenquor

Serene Republic of Vaule News Thread (v2.0)

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[b][u]VNN News: State of Emergency declared in former Marscurian Territory[/b][/u]



[i]“The Interim Council of the Marscurian Territory has declared a State of Emergency in the province after an attempt was made to assassinate Interim Leader Dr. Maximillian Reaver this morning. Dr. Reaver was addressing a meeting of economic and political stakeholders tasked with charting the future path of the former Marscurian Territory when a crazed individual leaped onto the stage and pointed a firearm at Dr. Reaver. It is understood that the firearm misfired, giving Dr. Reaver enough time to bludgeon the would-be assassin repeatedly with his cane.


By the time Dr. Reaver’s bodyguards intervened, the assailant was suffering from a mild concussion. The event was cut short and Dr. Reaver was escorted back to the capital under armed guard for an emergency meeting with the Interim Council. Security in the regional capital has been sharply increased since the incident and a full investigation has been launched. While attempts are made to determine the motives of the assassin and if he had any co-conspirators, the Interim Council decided to declare a State of Emergency in the former Marscurian Territory for the next 30 days as a purely precautionary measure. The Council has also decided to place the territory under a 6:00pm curfew for the next 14 days.


The Interim Council is urging the public to go about their daily lives as normal, but to be vigilant and understanding during this period. The Council also restated that it would continue with its mandate to improve security and the economic situation in the former Marscurian Territory and to serve until such time as power can be devolved to a local administration.


Our news team managed to catch up with Dr. Reaver as he was leaving the Interim Council meeting and questioned him about the situation in the province. Our reporter asked Dr. Reaver how long the state of emergency would be in place for, and if the government had identified the assassin. He responded by stating that the State of Emergency would be ‘reviewed on a day to day basis and would continue for as long as the Interim Council and the Vaulian government deemed it necessary to do so’. Dr. Reaver refused to answer our question about the identity of the assassin. When our reporter repeatedly asked Dr. Reaver for an answer he urged her to ‘stop being such an uppity peasant’ and suggested that she go ‘harvest some turnips’ or do something ‘otherwise constructive’.”[/i]-R. Porter

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[b][u]VNN News – Assassin identified as East Ingush separatist[/b][/u]


[i]“The assailant who attempted to assassinate Dr. Maximillian Reaver has been identified by police as a disgruntled East Ingush individual who did not reside in the former Marscurian territory. The individual, whose name is being withheld, is understood to have been a radical separatist who believed that the Vaulian government was about to merge the former Marscurian Territory into the East Ingush Autonomous Community. During questioning, the individual made several rambling statements to the police about Marscurians flooding across the border to partake in a ‘grand conspiracy’ to shift the demographic balance of the East Ingush province further away from separatism.


When asked by the authorities why he decided to attack Dr. Reaver, the individual claimed that Dr. Reaver is the ‘architect’ of the grand conspiracy and that his recent dual appointment as the Interim Head of the former Marscurian Territory and Interim Regional Governor of East Ingushetia are ‘clearly the first step towards a merger of the two territories’. Police officials will continue questioning the suspect for two days before he is expected to be formally charged. The authorities would not comment on the details of the plot or if the individual had other co-conspirators, but stressed that all necessary measures would be taken to bring the involved individuals to justice and to bring about a restoration of normality in the territory.


Dr. Reaver has so far declined to comment on the developments and has referred all questions to the police. Dr. Reaver’s office has confirmed that the interim leader’s schedule remains ‘mostly unchanged’ and stated that he would be heading to Zhukovgrad for consultations with HMORH the Imperator and would go to East Ingushetia to oversee the preparations for elections and the implementation of the Sakha Accords. Security around Dr. Reaver has been increased in light of the attempted assassination.


In other news, the Interim Council of the former Marscurian Territory has unanimously passed a measure to rename the Council the ‘Former Marscurian Territorial Council’ and to hold referenda and elections within 19 days. The Council would not confirm reports that the State of Emergency would be lifted to facilitate the elections.”[/i]-R. Porter

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[b][u]VNN News – Sakha agreement faces first test[/b][/u]


[i]“In the East Ingushetia Autonomous Community (EIAC), the first elections were held since the adoption of the Sakha Agreement to address inter-community tensions. The agreement seeks to balance the concerns of the nationalist and separatist blocs without undermining the territorial integrity of the state. The agreement is now being put to the test after results confirmed that the pro-separatist Ingush Liberal Party (ILP) has won a majority of the seats in the Regional Parliament. This election marks the first time that the Vaule National Movement – Patriotic Front (VNM-PF) has not been the majority party in the province.


Given the possibility of increased tension due to the results, both the Interim Governor Dr. Maximillian Reaver and the leaders of both political parties have issued statements calling for calm. The Guardians of the Peace of the Serene Republic – East Ingushetia Branch, has gone on heightened alert and has ordered a mandatory 8pm curfew in the province for the next five days. Additionally, His Most Orthodox Royal Highness the Imperator issued a statement in which he praised the peaceful conduct of the elections as being ‘a sign of the significant progress both communities have made’ and ‘the opportunity to begin a new era of inter-community cooperation for the benefit of the province and all of its people’.


With the ILP holding a majority in the Regional Parliament, it is expected that party leader Mohammad Abdul Rashid will be named Regional Governor. Under the terms of the Sakha Agreement, former Governor Gen. Artim Bakiyev is expected to be named Deputy Regional Governor. The VNM-PF and the ILP will face a difficult task finding areas for cooperation in the new Regional Parliament, particularly since the Government has bluntly urged the new Regional Parliament not to ‘damage the unity brought about by the Sakha agreement by wading into controversial topics’.


The government also reminded local politicians that abiding by the agreement would bring financial rewards to the impoverished province. With the elections completed without incident or accusations of fraud, the government is expected to release NRR$37 million in funds to the Regional Government as early as tomorrow morning. The NRR$37 million cash grant is the first tranche of a multi-billion Ruble stimulus plan aimed at turning around the fortunes of the poorest province in the Serene Republic and one of the poorest provinces in the entire Greater Russian Empire.”[/i]

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VNN News: Final election results confirmed, Svatek to be named PM


"The Electoral Council (VEC) has confirmed the results of the recent Parliamentary elections and the defeat of the Vaulian Revolutionary Vanguard Party (VRV). According to the finalized results, voter turnout was estimated at 67.21% of eligible voters. The Party for Social Justice (PSJ) has emerged as the largest party in the new Parliament with 256 seats. The Union of Patriotic Right Forces (PRF) and the Slavic Unity Party (SUP) managed to win 129 seats each, while the VRV only managed to hold onto 137 seats.


While no party holds a majority in the 651 member Parliament, the PSJ will be given the first opportunity to form a coalition. PSJ party leader Bryon Svatek, who has repeatedly criticized the PRF, will likely attempt to form a coalition with the Slavic Unity Party (SUP). Such a coalition would hold a solid 59% majority in the legislature. Outgoing Prime Minister Pavel Rokossovsky has acknowledged defeat and vowed to ‘reflect on the failures of the VRV’ and on his leadership of the party. Mr. Rokossovsky congratulated Prime Minister-elect Svatek and wished him well shortly after the final results were announced.


In the Vancouver Territory, the Legislative Council elections has produced an inconclusive result with no single political party having a workable majority in the Council. The Liberal Party of Vancouver (LPV) which was the largest party in the outgoing council, has been reduced from 28 seats to 10. The Socialist Party of Vancouver is now the largest party in the council after winning 30 seats, a significant increase form the 15 they previously held. The Vaule Fenix Party-Vancouver Front (VFP-VF) has won 10 seats (up from 7). After HMORH the Imperator appointed the other 50 Members of the Legislative Council, the Socialists hold 44 of the 100 seats, the Liberals hold 20 seats and the remaining 36 seats are held by the Vaule Fenix Party.


After the confirmation of the results, the Socialists and the Liberals announced the formation of a Red-Blue coalition that would have 64 seats in the 100 member Legislative Council. Given the magnitude of the victory of the Red-Blue coalition, the Office of the Imperator has requested a shortlist of Socialist and Liberal party potential nominees for Regional Governor, sparking rumors that the incumbent Fenix Party Regional Governor will not be re-appointed. Under the Vancouver Charter, the Regional Governor is appointed by the Crown and must face a confidence vote in the Legislative Council."-R. Porter

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VNN News: 12th Cabinet wins confidence vote as Svatek named PM
“Prime Minister Bryon Svatek’s government easily won a confidence motion in Parliament this morning. The Prime Minister’s Party for Social Justice (PSJ) formed a workable majority by entering into a coalition with the Slavic Unity Party. The coalition holds 385 seats in the 651 member Parliament. Under the coalition agreement, the Slavic Unity Party’s Ivan Pavlov will become the Minister of Labor and Social Services, while all other portfolios will be held by PSJ members. Andrei Romanov has been named Technology Minister and Deputy Prime Minister in the new government.
With the new cabinet approved, and the new government appointed, Prime Minister Svatek used the opportunity to explain the key policy areas of his government going forward. The Prime Minister laid out an ambitious infrastructure development plan that would pump billions of Rubles into the Autonomous Communities in order to dramatically improve local infrastructure and service delivery. In his presentation the Prime Minister singled out the East Ingushetia Autonomous Community (EIAC), the Sakhalin Autonomous Community (SAC) and the Northern Territories (NT) as being areas of significant concern. Under the proposal, the financial cash injections would go to the Autonomous Communities in a series of annual payments conditioned on achieving government created targets.
The second phase of the Prime Minister’s development plan involves long overdue transport system expansions and a massive overhaul of the air transit system. According to the Prime Minister, the failure to allow competition in the regional air transit system in the country has allowed a system of ‘regional airline monopolies’ to exist in some parts of the country where airfares cease to be competitive and become ‘heavily exploitative’. While not mentioning any specific airlines, many citizens have singled out the regional carrier Vancouver Air as one of the so-called monopolies. Vancouver Air is the only airline that handles regional domestic flights into the Vancouver Territory. The airline charges almost twice as much for a flight from Esternaya, East Ingushetia to Vancouver than other airlines charge for multi-leg international flights.
The third phase, and perhaps the most ambitious, is to conduct a ‘war on government bureaucracy and financial inefficiency’. According to the Prime Minister, the government will begin holding local and municipal governments to account and will insist on more transparency at all levels. The government will also impose new measures aimed at reducing government waste. One possible measure being explored will see municipal authorities and regional governments being granted the authority to raise their own taxes. The proposal would shift away from the current system where citizens pay taxes to the government of the Serene Republic which then allocates funding to each municipal and regional authority.”-R. Porter

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[b][u]VNN News: North Sakhalin Autonomous Community (SAC) heads to the polls[/b][/u]
[i]“After several delays, citizens in North Sakhalin will head to the polls next week in order to vote for their Regional Government. The polls were due last year, but had to be postponed due to the absence of an updated voter roll for the Autonomous Community as a result of population displacement and other factors. The Vaulian Electoral Commission (VEC) conducted a person-by-person update of the list and completed its verification processes last month. The VEC lamented that it was unable to have the regional voters list finalized before the last national or federal elections, but stated that no citizens in Sakhalin who were eligible to do so had any issues voting in those elections.
Voters will be tasked with electing the 50 member Regional Parliament and the next Regional Governor of North Sakhalin. In the outgoing Regional Parliament, the Liberal Party of Sakhalin (LPS) held a majority with 26 seats while the Social Democratic Party – Sakhalin (SDP-S) held the remaining 24 seats. The LPS leader Ilyana Makarova, who became Regional Governor at the last election, is hoping to be re-elected for a second term in office. Regional Governor Makarova will face a strong challenge from the SDP-S leader Boris Pugachevski. Mr. Pugachevski has mounted a determined campaign portraying his party as the only political organization capable of improving the Sakhalin economy which has been in a deep slump for the past three years.”[/i]-R. Porter

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[b][u]VNN News: North Sakhalin votes, Max Reaver hands over duties in East Ingushetia[/b][/u]
[i]“The people of the North Sakhalin Autonomous Community (NSAC) went to the polls this morning to elect their Regional Parliament and to indirectly elect the next Regional Governor of the region. After a hard-fought, albeit brief political campaign it appears that incumbent Regional Governor Ilyana Makarova of the Liberal Party of Sakhalin (LPS) is on course to lose her re-election bid. Governor Makarova faced a strong challenge from Boris Pugachevski of the Social Democratic Party – Sakhalin (SDP-S) who campaigned on a platform of reducing corruption and spurring economic growth in the region.
While the official results of the election have not been announced by the Electoral Commission, we are able to estimate, from the 49.24% of the vote counted so far, that the Social Democratic Party-Sakhalin will win at least 24 seats. The Liberal Party of Sakhalin is predicted to win at least 16 seats, while the remaining 10 seats are too close to call at this time. If we factor in the voting patterns in the last four regional elections and make adjustments for voter turnout, we are predicting that the final result will see the Social Democratic Party-Sakhalin winning 27 seats to the Liberal Party’s 23.
Adding to the woes of the Liberal Party, party leader Ilyana Makarova almost failed to retain her seat in the Okha 1 constituency. The constituency, which has been a party stronghold for the Liberal Party since its inception, gave Governor Makarova a razor thin victory of 50.12% of the vote. This result is a sharp drop from the 86.50% the Governor won in the last election and the 98.27% in the election before that.
In other news, industrialist and VaulTech CEO Dr. Maximillian Reaver attended the formal swearing in of Mr. Mohammed Abdul Rashid as the next Regional Governor of the East Ingushetia Autonomous Community (EIAC) and General Artim Bakiyev as the Deputy Regional Governor. Dr. Reaver served as the Interim Head of the East Ingushetian Regional Administration while the current Regional Governor and his Deputy were negotiating the Sakha Accords. The Accords resulted in the creation of a consensus government that requires the support of both the Vaulian and Ingush communities in the province. Under the Accords, controversial Nationalist former Governor Artim Bakiyev will serve as Deputy Governor and Representative of the Vaulian community, while Mr. M.A. Rashid will serve as Governor and Representative of the Ingush community.
At the swearing in ceremony, Dr. Reaver gave a short speech in which he urged the new Regional Parliament to build bridges between the two communities and urged them not to allow political bickering to interfere with the primary duty of the Regional Government to better the lives of all citizens. Dr. Reaver also urged the Ingush Liberal Party to ‘explicitly and irreversibly distance’ itself from the ‘militant separatism’ which plagued its predecessor parties. Dr. Reaver also revealed that despite his tenure as Interim Head ending, he will remain ‘involved in the affairs of the region’ in his new capacity as Imperial Liaison to East Ingushetia.[/i]-R. Porter

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[b][u]VNN News: Sakhalin’s Makarova concedes after landslide loss, PM questioned over economic growth[/b][/u]


[i]“The final election results from the North Sakhalin regional elections have been released by the Electoral Council (VEC) this morning. While independently conducted exit polling by VNN suggested a strong victory for the opposition Social Democratic Party- Sakhalin (SDP-S), it appears that we significantly underestimated the magnitude of that party’s victory in our exit poll. We are in the process of examining our polling methodology and seeking to determine how such a significant underestimation took place.


According to our predicted exit poll, we estimated that the governing Liberal Party of Sakhalin would have definitely won 16 seats, and was very likely to win an additional 7 seats for a total of 23. We estimated that the Social Democrats would have definitely won 24 seats and were on course to win an additional 3 seats for a total of 27. Our calculations suggested that voter turnout was no higher than 67.2% in this election. The officially certified election results, however, suggested a much higher turnout of 89.24% of eligible voters and a much wider margin of victory for the SDP-S. The Social Democrats have managed to win a record-setting 37 seats in the 50 seat Regional Parliament, leaving the Liberals with only 13 seats. This result means that the Social Democratic Party-Sakhalin (SDP-S) will have a supermajority in the next Regional Parliament and that the SDP-S leader Boris Pugachevski will shortly be nominated to be the next Regional Governor of the Autonomous Community.


Less than five minutes after the official results were announced, Liberal Party of Sakhalin (LPS) leader and Regional Governor Ilyana Makarova announced that she had conceded and congratulated Mr. Pugachevski on a ‘well-fought contest’. After leaving the post of Regional Governor, Mrs. Makarova is expected to remain at the helm of the Liberal party and lead the official Opposition. The Liberal Party has rubbished reports of disquiet within the party over Mrs. Makarova remaining at the helm of the party after such a major electoral defeat. On the other side, Mr. Pugachevski celebrated his historic victory at his campaign headquarters in Okha. The soon-to-be-appointed Regional Governor pledged to ‘respect the historic mandate’ handed to the Social Democrats and to ‘enact the necessary policies to bring renewed growth and development to the region’.


In other news, Prime Minister Bryon Svatek faced a barrage of questions in Parliament about the slow pace of economic growth in the Serene Republic since his government came to power. Opposition parties harshly criticized the Prime Minister’s proposal to provide an economic boost by reducing some business tax rates in order to incentivize expansion and re-investment projects. In his response to Parliament, Prime Minister Svatek acknowledged that the government had failed to meet its projected growth target of 2.5% of GDP last quarter, but stated that the government managed to achieve a growth rate of 1.2% over this period. The Prime Minister also confirmed that proposals to raise the minimum wage have been ‘temporarily shelved’ until the economy is ‘exhibiting sufficiently stable growth so as to cushion the fiscal impact of such an increase’. This decision was met with vocal protests from some of the Prime Minister’s own Party for Social Justice (PSJ) MPs.


The economic setbacks have had only a minor impact on the Prime Minister’s approval rating which moved from a high of 62% last month down to 54% this month. However, the public appears to be tiring of the Party for Social Justice (PSJ) itself with 68% of respondents disapproving of the way the party is handling affairs in government. This creates a rather unusual situation where the incumbent Prime Minister is more popular than his political party.[/i]-R. Porter

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VNN News: Prime Minister creates three new Policy Review Councils



“Vaulian Prime Minister Bryon Svatek took the unusual step of mandating the creation of three new Policy Review Councils (PRCs) to review government policy in several key areas and to report to the government within a six month period. According to the Prime Minister’s Office, the PRCs have been mandated to ‘conduct a thorough and careful review of all aspects of the government’s policy in their assigned areas’ and to ‘identify, and report on any areas where said policy can be changed in order to improve efficiency, service delivery and cost effectiveness’. Each PRC would then be required to submit an exhaustive report to the government outlining their findings and issuing reform recommendations.


According to the Prime Minister’s Office, each PRC will consist of independent technocrats and specialists in the relevant field in the hope that they can ‘overcome the internal inertia within the bureaucracy’ and to identify ‘new and innovative approaches’ to their areas of concern. These new approaches, the Prime Minister said, would be incorporated into a Structural Reform Bill that will be brought to Parliament before the end of this year. The government has vowed not to permit ‘partisan politics’ to undermine the recommendations of the PRCs and to adopt the recommendations ‘on schedule’ before the end of the current Parliament.


The Opposition Vaule Revolutionary Vanguard (VRV) Party has harshly criticized the proposed PRCs as a ‘spectacular waste of taxpayer funds’ and has blamed the governing Party for Social Justice (PSJ) of being ‘so absolutely devoid of ideas that it needs to use taxpayer funds to pay technocrats to come up with a governing plan’ and suggested that there is now an ideological gulf between the Prime Minister and his party. Despite this, VRV Leader Dr. Pavel Rokossovsky has said that his party would vote in favor of any reform which benefits the people of Vaule, regardless of if the reform originates from the government, the opposition, or from technocrats in a PRC. This decision, Dr. Rokossovsky said, should not be interpreted as supporting the PRCs, but as a pragmatic decision to support ‘essential national reforms’. Without key economic and social reforms, the VRV argues, the Serene Republic may soon find itself lagging behind the other Russian constituent nations.


The Union of Patriotic Right Forces (PRF) leadership has praised the government’s decision to appoint the PRCs and has warned that unless social, economic and bureaucratic reforms are enacted soon that the Serene Republic of Vaule is ‘on course to drop to the status of Marscurian Siberia and to potentially even become a decrepit, depressing, socialist wasteland’". -R. Porter

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VNN News: Recession predicted as economic growth slows sharply


“The economy of the Serene Republic appears to be poised to contract next year according to a new report from the National Statistics Bureau (NSB). The NSB has revealed that economic growth in the last quarter was only 0.9%, significantly below the government’s target of 2.3%. The agency noted that the decline in growth would ‘very likely’ continue for at least the next two years. If the NSB data is accurate, economic growth for this quarter will likely be non-existent as the economy is set to contract by 0.5%. Without significant action, the economy will likely contract by a further 1.3% over the course of the next fiscal year.


The new figures come as a significant blow to the administration of Prime Minister Bryon Svatek, who is facing sharply declining public support and increasing criticism of his handling of the Vaulian economy. The Prime Minister has acknowledged that the government has missed its growth target, but has vowed to take ‘decisive action’ to reverse the decline in economic growth. Opposition leader Dr. Pavel Rokossovsky has blasted the government for its ‘significant fiscal mismanagement’ and accused the Prime Minister of ‘undermining confidence in the economy’ and ‘failing to have a clear fiscal policy’. The Opposition leader cautioned the public that the government’s failure to act would have a ‘lasting and damaging impact on the finances of tens of thousands of hardworking citizens’ and that the Party for Social Justice (PSJ) might attempt to ‘rely on its oft-used policy of increasing taxes to cover more central government expenditure’.


With legislative elections due in less than eight months, the Prime Minister is under significant pressure to present a workable solution to the country’s economic woes and not to take any deeply unpopular moves that could diminish the PSJ’s hopes of being re-elected. Dr. Rokossovsky and the Vaule Revolutionary Vanguard (VRV) party have stepped up their criticism as they seek to have the economy be the major issue in the upcoming election campaign.


In other news, the East Ingushetia Autonomous Community (EIAC) has recorded its first significant economic growth in more than a decade. According to government statistics, the economy in the Autonomous Community grew by 9.1% in the last six months and could potentially grow by double digit figures over the next six months. This economic growth is being linked to the stability in the province since the introduction of consensus government and the signing of the Sakha Accords. Despite this economic growth, East Ingushetia remains the poorest of the Autonomous Communities as a result of decades of inter-community violence and armed separatism which scared away investors and heavily damaged local infrastructure. If the local government is able to avoid factional fighting, all analysts suggest that the province could be on the brink of significant growth and development. In order to aid this process, the Vaulian government has set aside billions of Rubles of funds for infrastructure development and economic support for the province. These funds will be dispersed periodically as the local authorities meet certain fiscal, economic and social targets. The funds are overseen by His Excellency Dr. Maximillian Reaver, in his capacity as the Imperial Liaison of His Most Orthodox Royal Highness the Imperator.”-R.Porter

Edited by Imperator Azenquor

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[b][u]VNN News: Vaule celebrates Victory Day[/b][/u]


[i]“The Serene Republic of Vaule joined the other constituent states of the Greater Russian Empire in celebrating the anniversary of the Soviet Victory in the Great Patriotic War. Citizens across the Serene Republic paused for a moment of silence in honor of those Soviet soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice in order to turn the tide against fascism and to secure the independence of the Soviet peoples.


The Victory Day celebrations began with the laying of wreaths at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Sygh-Varthys and a religious ceremony presided over by the Patriarch of the Vaulian Orthodox Church. The ceremony was attended by Prime Minister Rokossovsky and his Defense Minister along with the Chief of Army Staff. The Vaulian Monarchy was represented by Her Serene Royal Highness Princess Natasha and Her Most Serene Royal Highness the Dowager Imperatrix. After the religious ceremony, the Crown Princess gave a moving speech highlighting the Vaulian contributions to the Great Patriotic War and the ‘lasting bond between peoples’ formed as a result of the common loss and sacrifice of all who rallied together to fight against tyranny.


Her Serene Royal Highness also urged the current generation to ‘never forget the blood which has been shed by so many in the hope of sustaining and maintaining freedom and sovereignty’. After the event, the Dowager Imperatrix hosted a dinner at the palace in honor of veterans of the conflict. Invitations were issued to all surviving veterans of the Great Patriotic War and their families.


The annual Victory Day celebrations ended with a large military parade and fireworks display in Revolution Square in Sygh-Varthys attended by several government officials and thousands of members of the public. At the start of the parade, an official message from His Most Orthodox Royal Highness the Imperator was read out by Her Serene Royal Highness the Crown Princess. HMORH the Imperator paid tribute to the Vaulians who fought alongside their Russian and Soviet comrades and to their determination to fight against seemingly insurmountable odds. The Imperator’s message also expressed his sincere regret at being unable to deliver the speech personally due to undisclosed circumstances.


While the speech was very well received by the cheering crowd, the failure of HMORH the Imperator to deliver the Victory Day speech in person has prompted speculation about the Imperator’s health. This year marks the first time that the current Imperator has not delivered the speech in person since ascending to the throne. When asked for clarification, a Palace spokesman would only say that ‘HMORH the Imperator is currently recuperating after an undisclosed medical procedure and was not able to attend the celebrations in person’.”[/i]-R. Porter

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[b][u]VNN News: Election date announced as PM addresses Party conference[/b][/u]



[i]“Prime Minister Bryon Svatek announced that Parliamentary elections in the Serene Republic will be held on the 15th of June this year. The Prime Minister made this announcement during his address to the Party for Social Justice (PSJ) party conference in the capital. The Prime Minister listed a number of achievements of his PSJ administration, though admitted that strong economic growth remained elusive. In his defense of the government’s economic policy, he pointed to the impact of the global economic slowdown on the Serene Republic as being the primary reason for the recession. For his next mandate, the Prime Minister promised to undertake ‘fiscal consolidation’ and to strengthen the ‘economic position’ of the country in order to return to a ‘path of sustainable economic growth’.


Opposition leader Dr. Pavel Rokossovsky has welcomed the announcement of the election date and has announced that his Vaule Revolutionary Vanguard (VRV) party is ready to go to the polls. Dr. Rokossovsky blasted the incumbent government for discarding the gains made by his administration and for ‘undertaking massive spending sprees with little to no practical return for the taxpayer’. He also expressed concern that the nation’s long term budget sustainability has also been threatened by the actions of the PSJ government. If given the opportunity to form the next government, Dr. Rokossovsky has pledged to reduce government spending in all areas except social services and to raise additional revenues in order to restore a primary surplus within the first year of a VRV administration. He also pledged to complete the reform of the public sector to reduce its overall size and the funds allocated to it in the budget.


Shortly after the Prime Minister’s party conference speech, a spokesperson for the Office of the Imperator released a statement confirming that a request was sent to HMORH the Imperator requesting a dissolution of the Parliament for a general election. According to the statement HMORH the Imperator agreed to the request and decreed that Parliament be dissolved.”[/i]- R. Porter

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[b][u]VNN News: Election campaign begins, rumors of VRV-PRF agreement[/b][/u]
[i]“The election campaign got underway today as the government and opposition launched a barrage of campaign ads criticizing each other’s policies. The Opposition Vaule Revolutionary Vanguard (VRV) party has focused its criticism on the failure of the government’s economic policy and its pledges of significant institutional reform. The governing Party for Social Justice (PSJ) has sought to rebuff criticisms of its tenure by pointing to the government’s record of maintaining social spending despite the economic worries facing the country. The PSJ is also claiming that the VRV economic plan would involve imposing significant austerity and higher taxes on the country.
Opposition leader Dr. Pavel Rokossovsky has reportedly scheduled a series of campaign stops all over the country as he seeks to bolster support for the VRV in what is likely to be a tough election. The VRV is also rumored to be in the process of negotiating an coalition with the nationalist Union of Patriotic Right Forces (PRF) party in an attempt to block a possible PSJ parliamentary majority. The rumors were denied by representatives of both parties, but were notably not denied by the party leaders themselves.
In other news, the economy of the Serene Republic grew by a lackluster 1.2% this quarter. This is significantly below the government’s ambitious growth target of 2.6%. The primary drivers of this economic growth were increases in agricultural production and manufacturing.”[/i]-R. Porter

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[b][u]VNN News: Building collapse in East Ingushetia; Max Reaver launches new company[/b][/u]
[i]“A building collapse in Itzukograd, East Ingushetia has left 10 people dead and more than 80 injured. According to reports from our local news affiliates, the six story building collapsed at 9:02 am this morning. The building reportedly housed an insurance company and a local newspaper. Emergency crews on the scene reported that most of the employees had not yet arrived for work and that a number of those injured in the collapse were hurt by falling debris. Neither the newspaper nor the insurance company were available for comment on the incident.
It is unclear at this time what circumstances led to the collapse of the building, but emergency services have theorized that structural damage may have played a crucial role. According to the file at the National Infrastructure Bureau office in the East Ingushetia regional capital, the building had received ‘moderate structural damage’ in an earthquake three years ago which prompted the agency to demand that the owners undertake repairs to the structure of the building. It is unclear whether or not these repairs were completed.
In other news, billionaire industrialist Dr. Maximillian Reaver has announced the formation of a new company focused entirely on space exploration and scientific research. At a hastily arranged press conference at his mansion in Ulan-Ude, Dr. Reaver announced the formation of Reaver Space Industries (RSI). According to Dr. Reaver, the company aims to put a space station in orbit in the next three years, and to begin preparations for colonizing other planets within a decade. The company is also expected to offer private space travel services to and from the space station when it is completed. 
Reaver Space Industries is expected to acquire and construct a number of factories across the Serene Republic in order to produce equipment in order to carry out its space projects. These factories, once in operation, are expected to provide more than 2,500 permanent jobs for skilled engineers, researchers and technicians.”[/i]

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VNN News: Voting begins in Parliamentary elections
“With little fanfare, citizens of the Serene Republic began voting in Parliamentary elections this morning. Today marks the end of an unusually harsh political campaign that pitted Prime Minister Bryon Svatek’s Party for Social Justice (PSJ) against Dr. Pavel Rokossovsky’s Vaule Revolutionary Vanguard (VRV) Party, with the Slavic Unity Party (SUP) and the Union of Patriotic Right Forces (PRF) reduced to mere spectators. The VRV mounted a campaign that focused on the economic failings of the PSJ led government and often referred to the ‘economic and social stability’ which marked the four years that the VRV formed the Vaulian government. Keen to avoid being tied to the floundering national economy, the governing PSJ mounted a campaign focused on the party’s successes at increasing the social safety net and reforming some of the heavily bureaucratic institutions of government.
The Vaule Electoral Commission (VEC) has confirmed that voting has been going smoothly at all locations in the Serene Republic including the Vancouver Territory. According to the VEC, voting began on time and there have been ‘no serious incidents’ that have affected the process thus far. The Commission also noted that voter turnout during the first four hours of the current election appears to be ‘significantly lower’ than in previous polls.
In other news, billionaire Dr. Maximillian Reaver officially opened the headquarters of Reaver Space Industries (RSI) with a ribbon cutting ceremony in the Baikal Autonomous Community today. Dr. Reaver praised the speed with which the headquarters was completed and urged the construction team to focus their energies on completing the launch facilities and the proposed RSI research station which are due to be completed later this year. Dr. Reaver also stated that RSI’s acquisition of factories is proceeding on schedule and will be completed in the next five months. RSI is also planning to construct a massive residential complex to house RSI staff. The residential complex has been tentatively named ‘Grand Reaverville 1A’. The building plans for ‘Grand Reaverville’ also include plans for a 70 ft statue of Dr. Reaver riding a polar bear on top of a 10 ft marble column.”

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[b][u]VNN News: Polls close amid very low turnout[/b][/u]



[i] “The polls have closed in the Serene Republic as voters have finished electing representatives to serve in the Parliament of the Serene Republic. According to statistics released by the VEC, this election had significantly low turnout across most of the country. Overall turnout was approximately 41.2% of eligible voters. The highest voter turnouts were in the Vancouver Territory which had 99.8% of eligible voters turn out to the polls, and the East Ingushetia Autonomous Community which had 98.62% of eligible voters go to the polls. On the other end of the spectrum, the lowest voter turnouts were in the North Sakhalin Autonomous Community (SAC) which had only 3% of eligible voters go to the polls and in the Severnaya Zemlya region which had less than 1% of eligible voters go to the polls.


With the polls now closed, the Electoral Council has begun the task of tabulating the results of the vote and determining which political party, if any, has won a majority in the 651 member Parliament. Given the low voter turnout, the final vote count is likely to be completed in a few hours and should be certified rapidly. In the interim, an independently commissioned exit poll appears to predict that the Opposition Vaule Revolutionary Vanguard (VRV) Party of Dr. Pavel Rokossovsky may be on course to be the largest party in Parliament but will be 15 seats short of an absolute majority. The Party for Social Justice (PSJ) is predicted to be 36 seats short of a majority, while the Union of Patriotic Right Forces (PRF) will likely be in the position of kingmaker.”[/i] – R. Porter

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VNN News: Shock election result, PRF fizzles


“The Vaulian Electoral Council (VEC) has certified the results of the legislative election in record time due to the overall low voter turnout. According to the official results, voter turnout was 40.6% of eligible voters, a new record low. Initial exit poll results predicted that the Vaule Revolutionary Vanguard (VRV) party would win 311 seats and that the governing Party for Social Justice (PSJ) would win 290 seats leaving the right wing Union of Patriotic Right Forces (PRF) in the position of kingmaker with the remaining 50 seats. However the official results show that the VRV and the PSJ each won 325 seats and are each one seat short of a majority in Parliament. The remaining seat was won by Rinald Kanic, leader of the PRF.



-Parliamentary election results (Red-PSJ, Yellow-VRV, Purple-PRF)


After the results were announced, Prime Minister Bryon Svatek (Party for Social Justice (PSJ)) stated that he remains Prime Minister and that he is prepared to lead a minority government if the VRV and PRF are unable to agree to a formal coalition. The Prime Minister has also requested that the VEC conduct a full recount of all ballots cast in four seats where the VRV candidate won by less than 50 votes. On the other side of the political spectrum, Opposition Leader Dr. Pavel Rokossovsky (Vaule Revolutionary Vanguard (VRV)) has announced that he has begun talks with Mr. Kanic (Union of Patriotic Right Forces (PRF)) aimed at forming a coalition government. In Dr. Rokossovsky’s announcement he also stated that, if such a coalition could not be formed, that the VRV would be prepared to form a minority government. Both party leaders also vehemently denied a report claiming that a contingency plan, in which the VRV and PSJ would form a broad unity government that would be led by a non-partisan technocrat, was also being discussed.


The Office of the Imperator has not yet issued a formal response to the election results. We understand that the VEC has sent the official notification of the results to the Palace, but that no public statement has been issued since then. According to an Imperial Spokesperson, the Imperator has already contacted both Mr. Svatek and Dr. Rokossovsky and discussed the formation of the next government, however no further details were forthcoming.”-R. Porter

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[b][u]VNN News: Coalition formed, Max Reaver unveils new mega-project[/b][/u]



[i]“The Opposition Vaule Revolutionary Vanguard (VRV) party leader Dr. Pavel Rokossovsky has announced that it has formally signed a coalition agreement with the Union of Patriotic Right Forces (PRF) leader Rinald Kanic. According to the announcement, the VRV has identified ‘areas of mutual cooperation’ with the PRF which will be acted upon during the current Parliamnetary term. The VRV acknowledges, however, that significant differences remain between the party and the PRF regarding the national budget, but has stated that the VRV is confident that it will be able to pass a budget even if the PRF objects.


Under the terms of the coalition agreement, Dr. Rokossovsky will become Prime Minister and lead a cabinet almost entirely made up of VRV officials while Mr. Kanic (who is the PRF’s sole representative in Parliament) will be named Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister. The VRV also pledges to brief Mr. Kanic on all National Security matters by appointing him to the National Defense Council (NDC). The PRF also released a statement in which it acknowledged the ‘important opportunity’ that the coalition agreement presents and pledged to aid in ‘responsible governance’ and to ‘bolster national sentiment’ across the Serene Republic.


With the coalition agreement in force, Dr. Rokossovsky easily won a confidence vote in Parliament with 326 MPs voting in favor with 325 voting against. Outgoing Prime Minister Bryon Svatek of the Party for Social Justice (PSJ) acknowledged defeat in a tersely worded statement, but pledged to do everything possible to hold the new government to account. The PSJ leader also expressed some concern that the government of the Serene Republic would be required to rely on the support of a ‘right-wing nationalist’ party in order to govern the country and suggested that the coalition agreement would not last for the full Parliamentary term.


In other news, billionaire VaulTech CEO Dr. Maximillian Reaver has announced a proposal to construct a massive new city on the Severnaya Zemlya island chain. The proposed city, which will be named ‘Mir’ is projected to cost NRR $13.2 Billion to construct and will take several years to complete. According to Dr. Reaver, the city will be constructed on the three main islands of the Severnaya Zemyla chain and will be linked by underwater tunnels to each other and to the mainland. This project, which will be fully funded by the company and by Dr. Reaver, is expected to begin once the Land Division of the Interior Ministry completes a detailed feasibility study and decides whether or not to grant the necessary permits for the project to go ahead. Environmentalists have expressed concern that any construction on the island chain would negatively impact the existing habitats in the region.”[/i] – R. Porter

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[b][u]VNN News: Coalition gov’t drafts National Education Policy, Imperator reopens National History Archive[/b][/u]
[i]“The coalition government has reached its first stumbling block over proposed reforms to the National Education Policy. The Vaule Revolutionary Vanguard (VRV) party has endorsed a proposal to introduce a mandatory national core curriculum for all schools in the Serene Republic and to re-establish nationwide standardized tests for all students in the country. Under the new curriculum, all students will be required to take three nationwide standardized tests before graduation and will be required to attain advanced proficiency in a non-national language. The proposal has faced significant opposition from Dr. Rinald Kanic, the leader of the Union of Patriotic Right Forces (PRF) who holds the balance of power in the Parliament. According to Dr. Kanic, the PRF cannot support an initiative that would require students to study ‘any language other than Vaulian or Russian’ and expressed concern that the initiative would ‘damage national identity by promoting the Buryat and Altai languages at the expense of Vaulian’.
The Opposition Party for Social Justice (PSJ) has so far avoided revealing whether or not it would support the government’s proposed education policy reforms if it is brought to Parliament for a vote. The loss of such a crucial policy vote less than two months into the new Parliament could spell trouble for the coalition government.
In other news, His Most Orthodox Royal Highness the Imperator attended a ceremony marking the reopening of the newly restored Vaulian National History Archive and Museum. The archives were damaged in a fire three years ago and restored at a cost of more than NRR$ 3.1 Million. The restoration of the facility was undertaken by the National History Institute (NHI) which worked painstakingly to repair the structural damage and to salvage historic documents which were damaged in the fire. As a key part of the restoration project, all historic documents stored in the National History Archive have been digitized to ensure the preservation of the documents from any future disaster."[/i] -R. Porter

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[b][u]VNN News: Parliament wades into abortion controversy, Sakha Agreement reaches milestone[/b][/u]
[i]“The Vaulian Parliament today started a three day debate on the topic of abortion at the request of Prime Minister Pavel Rokossovsky. The Prime Minister initiated the debate after he informed Parliament that the governing coalition would shortly introduce legislation amending the ban on abortions in the Serene Republic. To howls of outrage from some of his own Vaule Revolutionary Vanguard (VRV) MPs the Prime Minister announced that the amendments would permit medical staff to perform the controversial procedure only in cases where the life of the mother was determined to be in significant danger. The Prime Minister stressed that the amendments would not be used to legalize or encourage the procedure in any other circumstances.
In an unusual display of cross-party support, Opposition leader and Party for Social Justice MP Bryon Svatek endorsed the proposed amendment to the abortion ban and pledged the support of his party’s MPs to ensure the passage of the law. On the government side, the junior coalition partner, Union of Patriotic Right Forces (PRF) MP Dr. Rinald Kanic harshly denounced the measure as ‘an act against God and all of Orthodox Christendom’ and vowed to vote against the amendments in order to ‘protect the most beautiful and most sacred of God’s gifts to humanity’. The amendments, Dr. Kanic argued, would ‘open the floodgates of social degradation and moral decay’ and would ‘undermine the standing of the noble Serene Republic within the Greater Russian Empire’.
In other news, the first cross-community government of the East Ingushetia Autonomous Community (EIAC) has now been in place for two years. The government was created under the terms of the Sakha Agreement in order to form a government that included both the Ingush and the Vaulian communities in the decision making processes in the province. In an address to the Regional Parliament, Governor M.A. Rashid of the Ingush Liberal Party (ILP) urged the citizens of the province to ‘celebrate the historic achievements made under the Sakha Agreement’ and to be assured that the government would do its utmost to ensure that neither party would deviate from the core tenets of the agreement. Deputy Regional Governor General Artim Bakiyev, of the Vaule National Movement- Patriotic Front (VNM-PF) also issued a statement praising the agreement which he called ‘the foundation-stone upon which the future of East Ingushetia is built’ and urging citizens to celebrate the ‘end of separatism’ in the province.
While both political parties have praised the agreement and pledged to abide by it, there have continued to be some tensions between the Vaulian and Ingush communities. Some accuse the Ingush Liberal Party (ILP) of unfairly distributing resources in the province to benefit their community while neglecting much needed development in other areas. Despite the tensions, however, the agreement remains in force and does not appear to be in any immediate danger. In a move aimed at maintaining the stability in the province, the government of the Serene Republic has pledged to continue disbursing NRR$1.3 Billion in development assistance to the Regional Government for the next four years. The original development assistance program was scheduled to end this year.[/i]

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