Former Prime Minister and founding leader of the National Artists’ Guild, Shounn Virny, has been returned to the party’s leadership following an uncontested election held earlier this month. Virny stood alone in the race for a position few would wish to assume: the former premier is inheriting a party in shambles, devoid of much credibility in the eyes of the Sabioveronese electorate. Polls consistently predict a massive defeat for the Artists in the upcoming May election, as the Democrats and the Liberals fight for the first place in a race that is increasingly becoming two-sided.
Virny has big plans for the party: at his inauguration speech, held in Kodesari, the former premier promised a number of reforms which include the complete overhaul of the party’s decision-making system, the Council of Elders and the vetha, and a new manifesto for the 2018 election, wielding the slogal kire gakirú virnik (“a new party with Virny”). The leader also advanced he was ruling out any form of coalition governments in the aftermath of the election, but he would not be opposed to working closely with either the Liberals or the Democrats in matters of legislation.
Virny will undoubtly face scrutiny as he returns to the public eye, following months of flying low and focusing on mere legislative work. Many blame Virny’s leadership of both the party and the nation for the Artists’ poor performance in the polls; the sheep’s premiership (the longest in Sabia and Verona’s history) accumulated a fair amount of controversies, including the La Plata incident and the botched campaign against constitutional reform. Many of the party’s most important figures have abandoned the ship in favor of either the Liberals or the Democrats, and the pink party went from receiving 60% of the vote in 2015, to just over 17% last year.
Even so, Virny remains outwardly optimistic. Following his election, the sheep tweeted: “We face daring challenges. sarabók needs reform now more than ever; the alternative is complete exclusion from the political system. It’s time to listen, be introspective and self-critical, and transform into a party for the modern SiV!”
Thank you to all those who supported me! We face daring challenges. sarabók needs reform now more than ever; the alternative is complete exclusion from the political system. It’s time to listen, be introspective and self-critical, and transform into a party for the modern SiV!
— Shounn Virny (@svirny) 6 de marzo de 2018