In the first session of the 3rd Parliament, Noa Dargany was confirmed as the Kingdom’s new Prime Minister. Her government proposal was also approved, officially inaugurating the 9th government of Sabia and Verona. The new cabinet, composed of only six ministers, is the smallest government since Osez Kóvérsz’s national unity cabinet formed after the 2012 election. Four out of the six ministers hold two ministerial posts, marking a first in the Kingdom’s history.
The 3rd Parliament, which is the overall 9th legislature, had a busy day appointing a number of positions, such as the new three magistrates of the Supreme Court (and naming the Supreme Court’s new chief justice) and the Parliament’s member of the Electoral Commission. Additionally, the MPs held the first debate for the Liberals’ new military forces reform, authored by Prime Minister Dargany, who also holds the position of Secretary of Defence in her own cabinet.
Other laws required by the new Constitution will have to be debated in the coming days, as the speaker of Parliament, Donnel Seaworth, has approved three extraordinary meetings in the coming two weeks alone.
A new government
Dargany’s new government is full of familiar faces: nearly all of its members are seasoned northern politicians who came to the south in Haronos I and II. Not many of them are traditional Liberals, though; the new Deputy Prime Minister and Secretary for Commerce, Emmanuel Starlynn, was former PM Shounn Virny’s pick for President of the National Bank and had until not long ago been a supporter of the embattled former PM’s government. The new Secretary of Botany, Shâssel Marlaryen, was also a man of Virny and served a full term as his commerce secretary.
Perhaps an odd one out is the only other woman in the six-member cabinet, Simor de Jena. De Jena is relatively new to politics, having only joined in last March when she led the pro-reform campaign in the constitutional referendum. De Jena rose to prominence after being elected President of the Constitutional Assembly for the Liberals, which made up the largest assembly group. De Jena will also lead two ministries: the Arts Division and the Education Division.
Dargany’s cabinet is meticulous and borderline technocratic. The Commerce Division will, for the first time in years, be led by an actual economist (and banker). The newly formed Justice Division, which will take over the Home Division’s responsibilities and deal with the new judicial system’s relationship with the executive, will be headed by former Tribunal judge Dímeros Grenouille, who left the old judicial body last month to run for a seat in Parliament as a Liberal.
Liberal party leader Andrew Blackhorse, who announced his intention to resign from his position last week, placing Dargany in the spotlight, has also been given a handful of ministerial positions. The former PM candidate is now Secretary of Diplomacy (Minister of Foreign Affairs) and Secretary of Welfare.
Dargany’s cabinet picks say a lot about the sort of government she expects to lead. The focus on the economy (with a commerce secretary doubling as deputy PM, and the most recognized face in her party at the helm of the Kingdom’s welfare system) is evident. It’s also notable that none of her magic five were from the social caste that essentially put her in power: the native southerners who overwhelmingly vote blue. As previously mentioned, the only post-Haronos secretary is Simor de Jena, but the arts & education secretary does not accurately represent the loyal, Gonn-based demographic that has consistently supported the Liberals in every election since Haronos.
An all-star Supreme Court
The Parliament’s appointees for the Supreme Court, who will say their oaths before the King tomorrow, are also well-known names. Two-time Prime Minister Léon Galieri, former MP guild and minister Anton Schubert-Moss, and former Tribunal president Mei Xiongmao are the new magistrates of the chief court in the land. Galieri and Schubert-Moss were, of course, required to relinquish their party memberships. Galieri, former leader of the Left Alliance, was proposed by his party to serve as the president of the Supreme Court.
Schubert-Moss also counted with support from the Left, as he caucused with them in the Constitutional Assembly. While officially an Artist, Schubert-Moss has for some time been a vocal critic of his party and especially of former Prime Minister and Artist leader Shounn Virny.
Xiongmao, a law veteran, served as an attorney and politician before Haronos and became one of the five justices of the Tribunal of Sabia and Verona upon its creation following the adoption of the 2015 constitution, eventually becoming its chief justice. When the 2017 constitution scrapped the Tribunal in favor of a more complex judicial system, the panda bear was a natural choice for the position. Her nomination was backed unanimously by all parties.
Much work to be done
The coming weeks will be busy for the new Parliament. The twenty MPs are expected to pass at least ten “special laws” (that need two-thirds of Parliament in favor to pass) that the 2017 constitution requires to be in place. Laws on territorial borders, the distribution of the court system, the organization of the armed forces, the loss of citizenship, the powers of regional governors and regional councils, the King’s competences, public destitution of magistrates, and other issues will be discussed and will likely be the source of much debate in the legislature.
These laws will require support from beyond the Liberals’ comfort zone, and Dargany will need to prove she is capable of building alliances and reaching consensus among the three groups in Parliament. Luckily for her, this won’t be too much of a hard task. Virny has already pledged to collaborate with her and her liberals where the Artists can, referring to his parliamentary block as a “constructive opposition”. The new official Leader of the Opposition, Apollo Cerwyn of the Left, has not made any such statements, but his party has worked with the Liberals before – to push for constitutional reform.
Expectations are high and as Sabia and Verona welcomes its first new leader in a year and a half, all eyes are on Dargany and her new small team of secretaries to see where they take the Kingdom in the coming year. The Valtirian people have placed their trust on the Liberal party, giving it its best result since 2012. Now it’s time for the Liberals to show they can live up to their promises.