The Brigadier of the Royal Aeronaval Service and MP for Gourê, Noa J. Dargany, has been chosen to replace Qiàn Àn as the second in command among the Liberals. Àn, who’s held the position since October 2015 and announced her resignation from the party’s leadership last friday, didn’t state a reason for her resignation, but stressed the decision was hers alone. Liberal leader Andrew Blackhorse released a statement today lamenting the departure of his “close friend and ally”, and welcoming Dargany to the Liberal leadership, describing the Brigadier as “trustworthy and experienced” and “committed to the Liberal values”.
Dargany is a seasoned military officer, who served as Admiral of the Sabioveronese Navy during its existence (2013-2015) and then as Brigadier of the Royal Aeronaval Service, after the Navy and the Air Force were merged by the 2015 Constitution. She was also the Unty Party’s Leader of the Opposition in the 4th Courts (2013-2014). Traditionally seen as one of the leading pro-military voices in the country, the appointment of Dargany as Deputy Leader of the Liberals has been seen by political commentators as an attempt to reiforce the pro-military view the party adopted with the New Valtirian Plan.
Dargany has become relevant in recent months for her calls to reform the Royal Aeronaval Service (which has been for the most part inactive since its formation last year), which have been echoed by Liberal MPs.
The Brigadier is not without controversy. She was a supporter of Hans Starlynn and his Righteous Faith League (OBL). The OBL was a neo-fascist Sabian separatist organization active for a short period in 2013 before it was banned by a Juclandian high court. Since then, Dargany has been apologetic of her involvement with the group, criticizing its beliefs and saying she “let it go too far” while she was with Starlynn. In 2014, Dargany confirmed she had been intimate with Starlynn, which had, in her words, “clouded her judgment”.
Some politicians, particularly the parliamentary wing of the Left Alliance, have criticized Blackhorse’s pick for Deputy, citing her involvement with the OBL and her position as a military leader, which she hasn’t renounced despite being an MP. Left MP and Home Secretary Paitevelê Gevras Drigy called Dargany a “far-right extremist” with “dangerous militaristic views” during a Parliament session last month, though the Brigadier defended herself saying she was “no more of a militarist than Boris Tovinski”, referring to Shounn Virny’s Intelligence Secretary and former Bleuberrist Army general.
Blackhorse has dismissed those who point out Dargany’s OBL past as “picky, petty critics“, and denounced the “shaming of former OBL supporters”. Most former OBL members and supporters have publicly regretted their participation in the League, often to responses of disbelief and public backlash. Since her departure from the OBL, Dargany has been supportive of measures to ban far-right organizations in the Kingdom, opposing many of Unity Ek. Bertrand Rivière’s policies she deemed “fascist in nature”, such as the former Unity Enkâkourak’s political marginalization of dissidents.