Candidate registration takes place between June 3rd - June 8th, Y109
With Harold Jordan having stepped down from the position of Elysium's General Secretary, the moon-city prepares to hold only the second election it has ever had for that role - what can we expect from the race, and who are the candidates?
- Sleve McDichael, for the Pandora Times
June 5th, Y109
Elysium's history with democracy has been fraught, to say the least. While the efforts of Anakin Skywalker to introduce democracy to the city he had then been in charge of led to a general election victory for Harold "Hal" Jordan, the resultant coup by Inilossum and subsequent establishment of open military rule plunged the city and its population into a nightmare. Even before that, however, tensions had been present; the existence of an enormous area ruled by criminal gangs that the Alliance sees no reason to govern, the infamous "Undercity," coupled with the dictatorial conditions of life in the comparatively comfortable Upper City have always led to visitors feeling oddly stifled by the otherwise beautiful architecture they find themselves surrounded with.
As of June 3rd, Elysium will once again attempt to begin going through the democratic process of selecting a new leader - and veteran moon-watchers will already be wondering what role the Alliance's much-feared bureaucracy will play in said process now that Jordan, a consistent democrat even according to his opponents, is not in the driver's seat to ensure fair process.
Nevertheless, the number of candidates who have already thrown their hats into the ring for the top job is quite impressive. As of writing, the Pandora Times has seen the following list of declared candidates so far, listed by name and political party affiliation:
While registration for candidates will be open for three more days, we can draw out some key themes from the candidate list already. As is usual, the Alliance is represented by several different candidates, due to the "party" being in reality a rather large big-tent organisation that contains many, often hostile, political factions. It's understood that Czeph and Amag Sul both come from the traditionalist wing of the Alliance, but have stood against each other due to some personal rivalry. These two will therefore be very much worth watching in the coming debates.
- Slaad Czeph - Alliance
- Vorkus Amag Sul - Alliance
- Tehenihauini - New Alliance
- Nihlus Arterius - Military First
- Matriarch Iridia - Democratic Coalition
- Xenephis - Alliance (Reform Faction)
- Moh Kohn - Red Star Front
- Angus McFife - Space Pirate Party
The New Alliance, a splinter from the Alliance proper that opposed Inilossum while nevertheless defending Elysium's pre-democratic form of government as being more stable than democracy has proven to be, has only managed to field one candidate this time. Similarly, the Reform Faction of the official Alliance, which was inspired by Secretary Jordan's restoration of democracy post-Civil War and wishes to carefully extend that experiment, has only fielded one candidate. Given that these factions were both touted as ones to watch, it is somewhat surprising that neither has managed to develop the organisational strength to challenge the grip of their rivals over the "Alliance" name - this perhaps indicates that neither was able to sufficiently capture enough of the diehards and bureaucratic staff to really develop their own strength.
Without a doubt the most positive aspect of Secretary Jordan's legacy as a reformer is the presence of several party candidates that are (at least on paper) independent of the family machinations discussed above. Despite this undoubted benefit, it is worrying that the candidate list contains Nihlus Arterius of Military First, a group that is rumoured to have been formed by Inilossum loyalists during the dying days of the former regime. Their candidate being linked to several Inilossum-era reprisal operations in Wider Space will do little to reassure those nervous about such rumours, though they are expected to do well amongst members of the Alliance Navy and no charge has ever been officially brought against any member of the party.
As for the Democratic Coalition, their candidate Iridia has made herself quite well known already amongst the citizens of the Upper City. Iridia's reputation as a pro-democracy campaigner during the days of military rule, as well as her arrest for such activity during the Civil War, will undoubtedly play well to a populace that is still wary of returning to the bad old days. While a former Alliance member, Iridia has since distanced herself from her old organisation and publicly advocates for a clean break from the past entirely. She is joined in this bracket by a rather unusual stablemate in Moh Kohn, the candidate of the Red Star Front, though on much else the two candidates differ considerably. While the RSF and Kohn are understood to be very popular in the small area of the Undercity known as the Free Elysian Commune, his messages of social struggle against what he perceives to be economic injustice seem unlikely to find much of a hearing in the Upper City, where such conditions as birthed his movement in the Undercity do not really exist.
Finally, there is the Space Pirate Party - and it would not, perhaps, be a truly democratic election without the strange representative of the outer Alliance worlds on the ballot. Aside from greater freedoms for these worlds and the opportunity to decide their own forms of government, it's not clear if the Space Pirate Party has any real uniting philosophy, and if it did it is extremely unlikely to be shared by the citizens of the Moon-City.
As there is still time for further surprises to arrive, the Pandora Times will keep our readers updated on the situation in the Elysian Secretarial Election - but in this writer's opinion, whatever happens the contest is likely to be a very closely-watched one indeed, given the history of the place and the nature of the candidates.