MZs to vote on RCOR deadline extension

Seneschal Sir Cresti Siervicül has proposed a bill to amend the deadline of the Royal Commission on Organic Law Reform. The RCOR Extension Bill allows for the report to be published “no later than 1st August 2016, with the expectation that the Commission will continue to endeavour to complete its report by the 1st of July”.

The RCOR, a cross-party review of the entire constitution chaired by Justice Txec dal Nordselvă, is currently due to deliver its final report on 1 July, following two extensions of its original statuatory deadline by Prime Dictate. The pace of the RCOR’s work, and the reasons for its repeated breach if its deadline, have been the subject of controversy in the Ziu in recent weeks.

The original legislation establishing the RCOR, which was proposed by then Senator Miestrâ Schivâ in October 2015, foresaw that all members would be appointed by November 1 2015, and that the Commission would complete its review of the Organic Law on 1 February. The Royal representative was not in the end appointed until 29 November, and the report deadline was later extended twice by Prime Dictate, firstly to 1 April 2016, and then later to 1 July 2016.

This latest extension has raised disquiet among MZs, particularly as the FreeDems have publicly stated that they will oppose any constitutional anendments proposed until the Commission has completed its report. The opposition claim that this is in order to avoid contradictory or confusing changes to the existing Law that would cut across the RCOR’s eventual recommendations. As a united FreeDem caucus has a blocking minority in the Cosa this renders any proposed amendments moot.

According to FreeDem leader Miestrâ Schivâ, the responsibility for the delays falls squarely on the conservative party. The leader of the opposition has accused the RUMP, and its leader Sir Alexandreu Davinescu, of engaging in a pattern of “sabotage” in collusion with the King in order to frustrate efforts for reform. Speaking to ETT, Dama Schivâ claimed that she had expected the RUMP leader to “make a good faith effort to make it work…I was wrong”. The Chief of Staff had criticised the composition and remit of the RCOR, and had proposed a parallel, perpetual “Organic Law Standing Committee” of the Ziu to examine similar issues, and declined to become a member.

Sir Alexandreu told ETT that in his view the original conception of the RCOR was “flawed”, and that “I’m not sure that nine years would be enough for them, at this rate”, based on the “gargantuan” size of the task and the method adopted to work through the text. He claimed that despite the “radical nature” of some of the proposals that have emerged “there’s barely been any serious discussion or attempt to work through different ideas”. He stated that he did not understand how he could be held responsible for the delays in the RCOR’s work.

Speaking to ETT, ModRad MC Glüc da Dhi claimed that “if the parties can agree now [on amendments] I don’t think it’s necessary to wait for the commission report”. He also claimed that the Commission was “rushed through” and was “flawed from the beginning”, pointing to the composition of the membership and the requirement of a simple majority, rather than a 2/3 supermajority, to publish a report. The ModRad MC is the author of an as yet unClarked Sense of the Ziu calling on the Seneschal to refuse further extensions to the deadline. He claimed that criticism of RUMP “sandbagging”, with respect to the work of Sir Cresti on the RCOR, “hurts my brain”‘.

The Seneschal himself, who is a member of the RCOR and was proposed as chair until he had to decline due to other commitments, told ETT that he was sceptical a different remit or composition would have made much difference. He rejected Dama Schivâ’s claims of RUMP “sabotage”, arguing that the delay in the appointment of the Royal representative was a fraction of the extra time allowed by the extensions. He also claimed that the OLSC did not distract RCOR members from their work, and indeed may have helped owing to common members incorporating their work for the former into their submissions to the latter.

MZs call for end to RCOR delays

The Royal Commission on Organic Law Reform, which was established by the last government to examine the reform of the fundamental law of the Kingdom, is coming under increasing criticism for the delay in the submission of its final report.

The RCOR was originally established ny the 48th Cosa in order to remove the discussion of constitutional reform from the “cockpit” of the Ziu. Then-Senator Miestrâ Schivâ proposed the RCOR Act in order to procide a non-partisan forum for discussion on reform of the Law, in particular relocating some sections into ordinary statute law.

The Commission Act ran into immediate controversy, with ModRad MZs criticising what they claimed was the haste with which the bill had been introduced, and the RUMP claiming that it was an attempt to create a false consensus around Organic Law issues. Indeed RUMP leader Sir Alexandreu Davinescu was accused by Dama Miestrâ of attempting to short-circuit the Act by proposing a non-statuatory “Organic Law Standing Committee” to examine technical changes to the constitution, a charge denied by the former.

In the event, and after a certain number of modifications insisted upon by MZs, the legislation to establish the Commission was passed. The Act provided for nomination of Commissioners partly by political parties represented in the Ziu, as well as a royal nominee. The lack of a nominee for latter post became an important source for Dama Miestrâ’s conviction that the conservative party were deliberately delaying the work of the Commission in order to sabotage it.
Part of the difficulty was the date included in the Act for the Commission to submit its final report to the Ziu. Out of a desire to avoid a lingering discussion, the initial deadline for the report was in April, despite criticism that it was unrealistic to expect the Commission to examine the whole Organic Law in that time. Due to the abortive start of the Commission’s work thanks to the lack of royal and party political nominees, the RCOR had to have its deadline extended twice.

Patrick Woolley exits Cosa following two missed Clarks

HH Patrick Woolley, the Prince of Prospect (heir apparent to the throne) has exited the Cosa after missing two consecutive Clark votes, as announced by Secretary of State Marti-Pair Furxheir in his report on the May Clark. Prince Patrick, who is also a member of the Royal Commission on the Organic Law, had been assigned one seat by the RUMP following the 49th Cosa election.

According to the Organic Law, an MC who misses two consecutive Clark votes is deemed to have vacated his seat. Prince Patrick is the first MC of the 49th Cosa to lose his seats in this fashion. The RUMP has already reassigned the vacant seat to Bradley Holmes, who was himself among 4 MCs holding 31 seats who were stripped of their membership of the 48th Cosa due to inactivity.

Prince Patrick has not made any public statement since the Chancery announced the loss of his seat, and had not responded to a request for comment by ETT at the time of publication. His last posting on Wittenberg was an attempt to vote on the April Clark, to which S:reu Furxheir responded “sorry Parrick, you’re too late”.

RUMP leader Sir Alexandreu Davinescu told ETT that his party hoped the Prince of Prospect “would have time to be more active in Talossa this term”, but that “even though it didn’t work out, we don’t regret it”. He told ETT that he did not know the reason for Prince Patrick’s inactivity.

Distain and ModRad party leader Senator Lüc da Schir told ETT that “I’m sorry to see him go after only two Clarks, although I can’t see I didn’t saw it coming…as far as our Royal House is concerned this is really nothing new under the sun, so to speak”. The ModRad leader told ETT that “the House of Lupul has been going downhill for quite some time now”, and that this recent incident did not help the public perception of the monarchy.

The Distain also claimed that it was the already limited presence of Prince Patrick  in Talossan affairs that led his party to oppose the latter’s nomination to a government post in March. The ModRad leader declined to state which post was involved.  When asked about this claim,  Sir Alexandreu Davinescu told ETT that “I don’t want to talk about discussions on any particular person” and that the government “worked really hard to find possible candidates for a number of positions”. He did declare that he “was happy with the great work we’re doing” with the team that was finally recruited.

FreeDem deputy leader Dr Txec dal Nordselvă told ETT that “frankly, I’m not surprised at all to hear that Prince Patrick is out of the Cosa after having failed to vote” and declared that “it is obvious that the Prince is either too busy with non-Talossa life or he is like his father in that he only gets involved when it is important to him”. The FreeDem MC claimed that “the royal family never do anything for Talossa”, and that the Prince “should resign [from the RCOR] as he is not active”.

When asked for his reaction to the latter point, Senator da Schir stated that he agreed that the Prince should resign from the RCOR, although he stated that it was “not because he’s Patrick — as a matter of principle, any appointed/elected official with no time to do his job should step aside.” Sir Alexandreu however declined to comment on the affairs of the RCOR, on the grounds that he was not a member of the Commission himself.

The Commission itself has become increasingly controversial in recent days, with FreeDem leader Miestrâ Schivâ repeating accusations that the RUMP had sabotaged its operations, and the Seneschal declaring that he was planning on prioritising projects with more potential for success.

May Clark: Budget and VoC pass, Prince Patrick loses Cosa seats

Secretary of State Marti-Pair Furxheir has announced the results of the 2nd Clark of the 49th Cosa. As expected, the coalition won both the Vote of Confidence and passed its Budget Bill, with only FreeDems opposing the government for the second Clark in a row. S:reu Furxheir also confirmed that the heir to the throne, Prince Patrick, has lost the RUMP Cosa seats he was granted, after failing to vote in two consecutive Clarks.

The Budget, the first by Finance Minister Sir Alexandreu Davinescu, provided funding for the long-awaited coin issue, as well as a new chain of office for the Seneschal and a legislative grant to BHAID [ETT: Inxheneu Crovâ is Administrator of BHAID]. While FreeDem leader Miestrâ Schivâ insisted that her party would vote against the Budget on principle, as in her view the duty of the opposition being to oppose, this was a point disputed by Senator Tresplet, who claimed to have judged the Bill “on its merits”.

Asked by ETT for his reaction to Senator Tresplet’s stand, FreeDem deputy leader Dr Txec dal Nordselvă stated that “Dien is our most conservative, pro-monarchist member, so he tends to blaze his own trail sometimes. I’m not concerned as our vote against it was never going to stop it”.

FreeDem entreaties to the centrist parties to end what they claim is the “farce” of the coalition would seem have had little effect. In the recent controversy over FreeDems claims that Seneschal Sir Crest Siervicül was a “puppet” of the Finance Minister, senior ModRad figures forcefully denied the charges, insisting that Sir Cresti was firmly in charge, and that the coalition was achieving its aims. In the Clark the coalition parties appear to have maintained their cohesion.

Among other bills on the Clark, the 2nd BHAID Disbursement Bill also passed with token opposition. The Bill donated the residual funds of TalossaAid as well as the proceeds of an election prediction competition to develoment in East Africa and to an international election monitoring organisation, respectively. Senator Lüc da Schir’s ambitious and long-gestating reform of provincial catchment areas also passed by substantial margins, despite reservations in certain provinces about the consequences for their future numbers.

Less fortunate was Senator da Lhiun’s bill condemning Turkish President Erdogan’s recent authoritarian turn, reflecting unease in the Ziu at “topical” legislation. Also going down to defeat was the sole Organic Law amendment on the Clark, FreeDem MC Chirbi Scherpa-Carreido’s “Resident Cunstaval” Bill which would have restricted the King’s power to appoint  a Crown representative to a province t residents of that province only. The bill fell victim both to conservative reticence but also the official FreeDem policy of waiting for the conclusion of the RCOR before voting in favour of any further constitutional reform.

May Clark: Tresplet breaks FreeDem ranks on Budget

FreeDem Senator Munditenens Tresplet has broken ranks with his party leadership on the 49th Cosa Budget. Declaring that he wished to judge the coalition Budget “on its merits…to see everyone has a fair chance” the Maricopa Senator and ephemeral FreeDem party leader has announced he will vote Për.

This contrasts with the forceful rejection of the Budget by FreeDem party leader Miestrâ Schivâ, who declared that in her view the duty of “HIS MAJESTY’S LOYAL OPPOSITION” was to oppose the fiscal centrepiece of the government. Speaking to ETT deputy leader Dr Txec dal Nordselvă further stated that his party will “oppose the budget and all government bills en masse as any real opposition would do in any other parliamentary system”.

However in his remarks in the Senäts voting thread, Senator Tresplet stated that he disagreed with this reasoning. Claiming not to find “anything necessarily disagreeable” in the bill, the FreeDem Senator declared that while he had “reservations” about the long-term viability of the government’s plans, that was “no reason to oppose the bill”. The Senator also claimed that the then opposition largely voted against the 48th Cosa Budget, but that despite this and the philosophy expressed by the majority of his colleagues, he intebded to vote Për  because “I’m judging this bill based primarily on merits, and my desire to see everyone have a fair chance”‘

There has yet been no public reaction from the FreeDem leadership to the Senator’s initiative, and Dr Nordselvă had not responded to a request for comment at the time of posting. Seneschal Sir Cresti Siervicül stated in the Cosa that he “appreciate[d]” the Senator’s stance on the Budget but that he disagreed with his comments on the RUMP votes on the 48th Cosa Budget, claiming that it was a constitutional issue, and not any blanket opposition to the bill, that led to the contrâ votes cast by himself and his party colleagues.

Speaking to ETT, Senator Tresplet reiterated that “I read the budget, it seemed fine to me, and I voted how I felt”. He also stated that “I don’t believe that it is necessary to vote it down without looking at the bill for its merits..honestly, it’s not like we’re probably ever going to get around to spending this money anyway, so what’s the point?”

The Senator claimed that the FreeDems had not discussed the Budget beyond the question of the propriety of Minister of Finance Sir Alexandreu Davinescu contacting individual MCs on their views on the bill. The Senator declared that he personally had received no such message, however, and that he had not discussed the Budget privately with the RUMP leader.

Senator Tresplet also told ETT that disagreed with the Seneschal’s assessment as to the motives of the RUMP opposition to the 48th Cosa Budget. He declared that “I would wager to say that most of the RUMP-ers who voted against it did so because they were either opposed to having Republicans in government or because they were following the rest of the crowd”.

Distain says Sir Cresti is not “puppet”, says plans on schedule

Distain Senator Lüc da Schir has rejected allegations that Seneschal Sir Cresti Siervicül is a “puppet”. The ModRad leader told ETT that Sir Cresti is leading the government and “makes all the important decisions”.

The Distain rejected recent claims by the FreeDems that RUMP leader and government Chief of Staff Sir Alexandreu Davinescu is the de facto leader of the Cabinet. Senator da Schir told ETT that Sir Alexandreu was aiding the Seneschal with “paperwork and coordinating projects”. He also claimed that in the absence of the Seneschal the coalition agreement provides for he, the Distain, to supervise the work of the government both internally and with respects to its public actions.

The Distain also pronounced himself satisfied with the progress of the government so far. Despite a delay due to legal issues, the crowd funding campaign for the issue of coinage is “being finalised and will be launched sometime in June”. He also told ETT that he was “confident” the Census would start in June as scheduled. He also commended the progress made by the Minister of Stuff, fellow ModRad Ian Plätschisch, in the website transition process.

FreeDems claim Seneschal is “puppet” of RUMP leader

In a comment on a recent article at ETT, FreeDem Deputy Leader Dr Txec dal Nordselvă has accused Sir Alexandreu Davinescu of working “the legitimate Seneschal as a puppet”, and called on the moderate parties to “end this unaccountable farce”.

The FreeDem MC, echoing suggestions made by a number of opposition figures in the past few weeks, claims that it is the RUMP leader and not Seneschal Sir Cresti Siervicül who is in fact directing the government. Sir Alexandreu serves as both Minister of Finance and “Chief of Staff”, and continues to be leader of the RUMP party. The newly created role of Chief of Staff in particular has elicited opposition scrutiny. Sir Alexandreu himself explained that the role was “basically a management or clerical position, keeping track of projects, deadlines, and the like.”

FreeDem criticism of the relative prominence of the Finance Minister compared to the Seneschal has grown since the formation of the coalition. In April FreeDem MZs criticised the Seneschal for failing to present the government’s Activities Report to the Ziu personally, allowing Sir Alexandreu to do it instead. However according to the Finance Minister he was simply facilitating Sir Cresti who was experiencing computer problems. In response to this incident, FreeDem Senator C. Carlüs Xheraltescú asked the Seneschal in a Terpelaziun “what it is you actually do in government?”

The Seneschal maintains that leaving aside his public actions the other work of the government has been “at his direction”. In May Sir Cresti revealed what he claimed was the reason for his low public profile earlier: the unexpectedly early birth of his second child. The Chief of Staff for his part insisted that the government’s plans are on schedule, and that the Seneschal is “keeping everything on track just fine!” ModRad Minister of Stuff Ian Plätschisch has also come to the defence of the Chief of Staff this weekend, claiming that due to his responsibility for “paperwork” the Chief of Staff publicises the work of the government, but that this “does not translate into having written all of it…or acting independently of the Seneschal”.

Dr dal Nordselvă and his FreeDem colleagues remain unconvinced, however. Speaking to ETT Dr dal Nordselvă claimed that they have “serious concerns that Sir Cresti is Seneschal in name only”, citing the latter’s frequent absences from Wittenberg and that “almost all of the governmental information has come directly” from the Chief of Staff. The FreeDem Deputy Leader also criticised the ModRads and TNC for “propping up” the government under the circumstances.

49th Cosa: Party leaders vote in May Clark

On 4th May, RUMP leader Sir Alexandreu Davinescu MC revealed his Clark votes. Unsurprisingly supporting the Budget, the Minister of Finance did however vote contrâ on D:na Schepa-Carreido’s Resident Cunstaval Amendment, claiming that it “didn’t make sense”, given the primary and largely ceremonial role of the Cunstavals is to act as “the voice of the Throne in the provinces”. He suggested that a better route would be to allow provinces to remove Cunstavals who act inproperly or who neglect their duties.

Sir Alexandreu abstained on both Making the Bosphorous Great Again Bill and on the Provincial Catchment Area Reform Bill, explaining that while in the latter case he disagreed with its impact on his home province of Maritiimi-Maxhestic he wished to acknowledge the work put into the proposal by its sponsors.

Finally, the Cabinet Chief of Staff stated that he was voting për on the BHAID Disbursement (II) Bill and on the VoC, declaring with respect to the latter that the coalition is “getting things done, and it’s a welcome change”.

In addition to her contrâ on the Budget and the VoC, FreeDem leader Dama Miestrâ Schivâ MC also voted against her party colleague Chirbi Scherpa-Carreido’s Resident Cunstaval Amendment. She explained that the latter proposal was “against the party policy here that we will not be proposing or voting for any OrgLaw amendments until the RCOR [Royal Commission on Organic Law Reform] has finished its work”.

As reported by ETT, the FreeDem leader also opposed the VoC, declaring that as far as the Budget and VoC were concerned those interested in her reasons should see “four words: HER MAJESTY’S LOYAL OPPOSITION”.

The FreeDem leader however voted për on the BHAID Disbursement (II)Bill as well as the Provincial Area Catchment Reform Bill proposed by Senator Lüc da Schir.

The FreeDem leader also announced that she would abstain on Senator da Lhiun’s proposed condemnation of Turkish president Erdogan. She claimed this was due to being “suspicious” of using Ziu legislation to make topical political statements, as well as feeling that there were worthier targets for such treatment than the “humourless authoritarianism” of the AKP government, such as Russian president Vladimir Putin.

In other Clark news, following complaints from Republican leader Col. Maximo Carbonel, Secretary of State Marti-Pair Furxheir has apologised for inadvertantly leaving a bill proposed by the former off of the May Clark. Col. Carbonel’s bill deals with the procedure for the  dissolution of the Ziu at the end of its term. S:reu Furxheir ascribed this to a technical problem due to how the Republican leader had published his text in the Call for Bills.

49th Cosa: Davinescu denies pressuring opposition MZs on Budget

Cabinet Chief of Staff and Minister of Finance Sir Alexandreu Davinescu has denied he attempted to put opposition MZs under pressure to justify their votes on the Budget, which was published in the May Clark.

Sir Alexandreu was responding to an accusation made by FreeDem leader Dama Miestrâ Schivâ, who claimed the RUMP leader had sent a “snarky message” to FreeDem Deputy Leader Dr Txec dal Nordselvă regarding his vote on the 49th Cosa Budget. Dama Schivâ claimed that expecting the opposition in a parliamentary democracy to justify their votes against government bills was not “conducive to democracy”. In common with other FreeDem MCs, Dama Schivă voted both against the Budget and confidence in the government, explaining that those interested in the reason should see “four words: HIS MAJESTY’S LOYAL OPPOSITION”.

Sir Alexandreu claimed that he sent “polite” messages to certain opposition MCs. He stated that wished to know whether the individuals involved had a specific issue with the details of the Budget, or if it was “a matter of principle”. The Minister, quoting what he claimed was his message to Dr dal Nordselvă, asked the latter “..why did you vote against the budget and the VoC? …Is there something you’re looking for…that we could better provide?”

Rejecting the criticism as “nastiness and bitterness” Sir Alexandreu declared that his curiousity on the question was satisfied, claiming that “if the biggest complaint that the [FreeDems have] is just that they’re not in charge, we’re in good shape”.

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