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Referenda on the Autonomous Community Act


Imperator Azenquor
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[b][u]BCNA News: Autonomous Communities Referenda held[/b][/u]

[i]"The Parliament of the Serene Republic today approved new legislation to reform regional government administration. The Autonomous Communities Act seeks to dissolve the existing Autonomous Regions and instead replace them with the newly created political entity, the Autonomous Community. These Autonomous Communities will have wide ranging powers and responsibilities, and will also be more democratically accountable to the people of the region.

The legislation was introduced by the governing Party for Social Justice (PSJ) and received significant support from the United Vaulia and the New Nationalist Front (NNF). Prime Minister Svatek has hailed the legislation as part of the government’s reform agenda while calling for greater participation in politics at the local and regional level.

With the Autonomous Communities Act now law, regional referenda are being held to determine the fates of the existing Autonomous Regions, as required under the new act. Each Autonomous Region will be required to hold a referendum to decide if they wish to become an Autonomous Community or to surrender their autonomy to the central government. Additionally, each Autonomous Region shall be required to either hold an election, or hold a confidence vote in their current regional administrations.

Due to the protests in Yekaterina Square, in East Ingushetia, the referendum on the Autonomous Community Act will be delayed. In all other Autonomous Regions, the referenda shall continue as scheduled."[/i]-Reporter

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[quote]
[b][u]Autonomous Communities Act (2010)[/b][/u]

[b]Official Title:[/b] [i]Legislative Act to establish the Autonomous Community as a replacement for the Autonomous Region, to reform the Institutions of Regional Self Government such that they are more democratically accountable, to reform the Regional Executive Governors Act to provide for elected officials, to reform the Regional Government Act to provide an elected Council of Ministers and a more powerful Regional Legislature, to reform the existing devolution system to provide greater cultural, linguistic and political autonomy within the Serene Republic of Vaule.[/i]


[b]Article 1:[/b]
In the interests of promoting greater cultural and political autonomy within the Serene Republic, this legislation establishes a new political entity, the Autonomous Community. The Autonomous Community shall henceforth replace the Autonomous Region as a political entity.

[b]Article 2:[/b]
The Executive functions of Regional Government shall be exercised by a Council of Ministers led by a Prime Minister collectively referred to as the Executive. The Executive shall exercise all powers afforded to them by this act and by the Autonomous Region Act (2004), and any further powers devolved to it by an Act of Parliament.

[b]Article 3:[/b]
This act establishes the Regional Parliament as the Legislative branch of the Autonomous Community. The Regional Parliaments shall be directly elected by the people of the Autonomous Community and shall exercise all legislative powers previously granted to the Regional Legislatures, and any other powers devolved to them by an Act of Parliament.

[b]Article 4:[/b]
The Autonomous Communities shall have the linguistic freedom to declare as official, any language spoken by a significant percentage of inhabitants as an official language in the Autonomous Community. Autonomous Communities shall also be given powers to allow them to preserve the culture and history of their respective regions. The Autonomous Community shall also exercise powers regarding urban planning, policing, healthcare, development and administration.

[b]Article 5:[/b]
The Prime Minister of an Autonomous Community shall exercise the powers granted to the Regional Governors under the Autonomous Region Act, along with any other powers devolved to them by an Act of Parliament. The Prime Minister shall be elected by the people of the Autonomous Community and may be removed from office by an Act of Parliament, a recall vote, or a motion of no confidence approved by the Regional Parliament.

[b]Article 6:[/b]
For a region to become an Autonomous Community the following must occur:

-A referendum must be held in which the majority of the residents indicate their approval.
-An Act of Parliament, authorizing the formation of an Autonomous Community must be passed
-An election for Regional Government officials must take place within 30 days
-Imperial Assent must be granted.

[b]Article 7: [/b]
For a region which is currently an Autonomous Region, to become an Autonomous Community, the following must take place:

-A referendum in which the majority of those residing in the region indicate their support for the reform.
-A vote of confidence in the current Regional Government must be held.

If the vote of confidence is approved by the majority of the residents, then the existing Regional Government shall serve as the Government of the Autonomous Community.

If the vote of confidence is not approved, then an election for the government of the Autonomous Community must take place within 15 days.


[b]Article 8:[/b]
This legislative Act does not provide for, endorse, or contain any provisions which would permit the Regional Governments of any Autonomous Communities, or any agents acting on their behalf to declare sovereignty or independence or to take any action which undermines the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Serene Republic of Vaule. The Serene Republic of Vaule is a united and indissoluble nation.

[b]Article 9:[/b]
This act may be reformed by an Act of Parliament.
[/quote]

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[u][b]BCNA News: First returns reported[/b][/u]


[i]"As residents of the nation's autonomous regions continue to vote on the Autonomous Community Act, the first returns have been announced by the Vaulian Electoral Commission (VEC). Voting in the Novaya Zemlya Autonomous Region (NZAR) has officially ended, however there are several absentee ballots which have not yet been counted. According to the preliminary returns from the Novaya Zemlya region, voter turnout was estimated at 92% of which 76.9% have voted in favor of the Autonomous Community Act. It is expected that, with such a huge margin, the absentee votes are unlikely to change the outcome of the referendum in Novaya Zemlya.

In the Baikal Autonomous Region, voting is now proceeding smoothly after a few minor disruptions earlier in the day. The Electoral Commission is reporting that the voting in the region was disrupted by a series of short power cuts, during which the Commission was forced to switch to paper ballots. The changeover caused hour long delays in some locations, however all polling stations are reporting that voting is proceeding normally. The Yuktobania Autonomous Region also reported that the voting is proceeding normally.

Unless a major upset occurs, the Autonomous Community Act is likely to be approved by both the Yuktobania and Baikal regions."[/i]-Reporter

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[b][u]BCNA News: The voters have spoken![/b][/u]

“With all of the votes counted in the referenda on the Autonomous Community Act, the Vaulian Electoral Commission (VEC) has certified the results. In all three autonomous regions, voters approved the new law. In Yuktobania a majority of 65% voted in favor of the Act, while 35% voted against it. Turnout there was estimated at 85%, a record high. In the Baikal Autonomous Region, voters handily approved the Act with a massive 71% of eligible voters supporting the measure and 29% voting against it. Turnout in the Baikal region was estimated at 60%.

In the Novaya Zemlya Autonomous Region, where Regional Governor Kharkov voiced vocal support for the Act, the results were close enough that the VEC conducted a recount. According to the final results, 50.5% voted in favor of the Act, while 49.5% voted against it. The razor thin majority means that, while the Act was approved, there will likely be significant opposition to its implementation and to the transfer of additional powers to the regional governments.

With the Autonomous Comminuty Act approved by three of the four Autonomous Regions of the Serene Republic, the Parliament is likely to begin the process of implementation shortly. In the East Ingushetia Autonomous Region (EIAR), the only region to not yet hold a referendum, the Regional Governor has promised that a referendum will be held once the conditions in the region permit. Regional Governor Ourumov also rejected the notion that the referendum should include a choice of ‘independence’ for East Ingushetia and called East Ingush Independence campaigners ‘demented individuals’.

Prime Minister Svatek welcomed the approval of the Autonomous Communities Act by the voters and has vowed to implement the provisions of the Act as soon as possible. Some political analysts, however, question the wisdom of beginning such a massive reform process so close to the end of his term in office. In the next few weeks, the Prime Minister is obligated by the Constitution to seek an Imperial decree dissolving the Parliament in preparation for an election. Given that the government is made up of two coalition parties, which will shortly begin campaigning against each other, some suggest that the implementation of the Act should wait until after the election in order to prevent it from being used as a political football.”-Reporter

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