Based on the provisional results, no party is in a position to dominate the next Cosa. With alliances thus necessary, all the major parties are now engaged in behind the scenes talks to try and stitch together the indispensable Cosa majority that will persuade the King to nominate their candidate for Seneschal, with the ModRads finding themselves the indispensable element in almost all credible scenarios.
The FreeDems are certainly the largest party, and are in fact the only established party to gain seats. When asked if the results were in line with their expectations, Miestrâ Schivâ told ETT that they were “better than I feared, though not as good as I hoped”. She ascribed the gain in support to the FreeDem to the anti-coalition stance of the FreeDems, as well as their handling of the Canun revelations. She also claimed that she did not anticipate a swift agreement on a new government, claiming that the ModRads “have a difficult decision to make” and have “slow internal processes”, but refused to be drawn on the specifics of the negotiations.
A FreeDem source has however told ETT that identical approaches have been made to both ModRads and the RUMP. While refusing to be drawn on the content, it would seem that the FreeDems have continued their refusal of a traditional coalition, instead asking for support for a meritocratic “Cabinet of Talents” under FreeDem leadership. A source in the ModRad camp has however suggested the FreeDem approach was more an attempt to ascertain what demands the former had than a detailed proposal.
Since election night the FreeDems have been suggesting that the substantial swing towards them is, in the words of Senator C. Carlüs Xheraltescù in the Wittenberg Shoutbox, “indicative of the people’s will”. They are however 34 seats short of a majority, a fact that both the RUMP and the ModRads have been careful to point out in recent days.
Sir Alexandreu Davinescu told ETT that the RUMP’s performance was “a little worse than expected”, but ascribed this to the peculiar circumstances of the election. In the Shoutbox the RUMP leader has ascribed the mediocre performance of his party to the fallout of the Canun Case, which kept him from last-minute campaigning. He also rejected the notion that the FreeDems had a clear mandate for power on their terms, claiming that electors had in fact “voted all over the place”.
The RUMP leader told ETT that he could not say when an agreement could be reached, but that “there are several ongoing discussions between all the different parties, and I expect some of them will bear some fruit”. Indeed Sir Alexandreu posted on the ModRad party forum announcing he had contacted ModRad leader Senator Lüc da Schir “a few times” and was available to answer any questions from party members.
Attempts to contact both the ModRad leader and TNC leader Breneir Itravilatx were unsuccessful at the time of writing. However when seeking re-election as party leader in January of this year, Senator da Schir stated that a “lay-low crossbench term” would be his preferred option for the 49th Cosa, though he has subsequently reaffirmed the traditional ModRad policy of ruling out no government option before the end of the election.
For his part, the TNC leader has publicly reaffirmed his party’s insistence that they will not participate in government without “formal agreement for a majority-supported and stable coalition””.
A ModRad source has told ETT that the party had anticipated seat losses to both the FreeDems and the TNC, and that their primary concern at this point was figuring out how they could best advance their legislative goals. The source also confirmed that the party had received a coalition proposal from the RUMP, without revealing the details.
What is clear is that in the absence of a likely pre-election coalition, the King’s mediation will play a crucial role. Party leaders ETT has spoken to agree that they expect the King to contact each party leader individually to ascertain their views on the next government once the final election results are known.
According to the Organic Law “if no single party has a majority, the King shall appoint a Seneschál after consulting party leaders with the objective of finding a PM who can be sustained in subsequent Votes of Confidence by a majority of seats in the Cosâ.” The King has one month to announce the appointment of a Seneschal or the Cosa is automatically dissolved.