ABELDEN (DM) – In what is, to be hoped, the denouement of a rollercoaster election cycle, Thomas Merrell was announced the winner of the Abeldane Vorsitzender election, carrying 52.72% of the vote over two rounds, in an election with higher turnout than its predecessor.
In his victory speech, Vorsitzender-elect Thomas Merrell announced he would do “my utmost during my term to rectify the issues we are facing. I will endeavor to install a government in which all sides of the table have the opportunity to participate, so that we may move forward as one.” He cited “obsolete institutions” and “a constitution in need of reform” as key planks of his governing platform following his election.
Stellvertreter-elect Patrick Renwick, who won handily in the previous election which was annulled, won again this time by an even greater margin, winning forty votes representing 71.42% of the electorate.
The Vorsitzender, Artemis Langford, who was re-elected to her seat in the Reichsversammlung, gave Vorsitzender-elect Merrell her congratulations and announced her “look[ing] forward to helping the new incoming administration and would like to offer the new Vorsitzender-elect and official conversation on the transition process and any documents from my administration that needs to be overturned to the new”.
Stellvertreter candidate and serial campaigner Michael Brazeau of the National Federalists remarked that he would not be running again, calling the result the “worst possible election there was”. He later retracted it, maintaining he would “run again… it will be a fight to the finish and I am prepared to make a run for the ages”. He later clarified he would be running to succeed Mr. Merrell as Vorsitzender in April, maintaining that he had to run or else “the never Brazeau people will win”.
Vorsitzender-elect Merrell must now form a government. He and Stellvertreter-elect Patrick Renwick of the Abeldane National Independence Party (or ANIP) are automatically included, along with their parties, giving them a baseline of nine seats to work with. This alone gives them a majority of the seats in the Reichsversammlung, a sufficient number of MPs with which to pass legislative business, though a small enough majority that the opposition – which, assuming no further additions to the cabinet are made, and none have so far been publicly confirmed, will consist of the Abeldane Social Ecology and National Federalist parties – can outnumber the government on days where fewer MPs are able to appear if they strategise sufficiently.
The incoming administration have already submitted their first bill for the next term: the Repeal Act, a bill repealing Vorsitzender Langford’s flagship CulturalEd program, which was plagued from launch by poor public outreach and little uptake among the Abeldane populace.
Authorities, meanwhile, are continuing to investigate the election fraud which was perpetuated against the nation in the original run of the election, which was ordered re-run by the Emperor and the head of the Reichswahlkommission, Tarik Karjasari, earlier this week.
Artemis Langford, head of the Abeldane Intelligence Agency and lame-duck Vorsitzender, remarked that an “independent investigation” would be carried out of the election results and that the perpetrators would be apprehended as soon as possible, though the future of this investigation remains in-doubt as the incoming Merrell administration approaches, along with potentially a new leader of the AIA. When queried for comment, Director Langford gave the following statement:
The Abeldane Intelligence Agency, has indeed done a further investigation into the matter, and we have identified a possible selection of suspects, from His Imperial Majesty’s home state, Alenshka, as the RWK has stated. Who those individuals are it is, I cannot say. Though the Agency is very close and doing everything we can to make this investigation find those responsible and the exact cause.
Artemis Langford, Vorsitzender/Director of the AIA
The AIA maintained that no determination has been made as to when the investigation would be completed. The investigations continue.