After weeks of failed negotiations, the official Leader of the Opposition, Apollo Cerwyn, has publicly confirmed his party will not greenlight the government’s plan to expand the Kingdom’s territories. The “New Frontier plan”, so-called because it would have annexed land bordering the Abeldane territory of Batori, was the Liberal government’s flagship project to inaugurate the parliamentary trimester, but since it modifies the Kingdom’s territorial claims, it requires a two-thirds majority in Parliament to be passed, in accordance to article 20 of the new constitution. This means the government needs the opposition’s support to pass it.
Territorial expansion has been a key point of the Liberals’ agenda since the adoption of the New Valtirian Plan under Andrew Blackhorse’s reformist leadership, and even before that, the Sabian nationalists that made up a large part of the old Unity Party usually sought to expand the Sabia region’s territory to expand its influence.
The Democrats’ refusal to support the New Frontier plan comes as a major blow to Prime Minister Dargany, who has spent the last couple of weeks heading the negotiations with Cerwyn and the rest of the red bloc. Dargany is under intense pressure from her party to deliver on her campaign promises, after failing (for a second time) last month to strip Democratic MP Snø Jens-Galieri of his parliamentary immunity to go forth with an investigation started last year on misused campaign funds during the 2017 general election. While the stripping of Jens-Galieri’s immunity was widely understood to be a dead cause across the blocs, Dargany’s Justice Secretary Donnel Seaworth insisted on reinitiating the procedure.
In recent months, the Democrats have become increasingly unwilling to co-operate with the government, as a result of the Liberal bloc’s expansion with the inclusion of former Artist MPs Shounn Virny and Harmê Bertram. During the July and August sessions, the Democratic bloc refused to vote in favor of any of the Liberal bloc’s initiatives, though the government had not needed the Democrats’ support until now.
Prime Minister Dargany is yet to comment on the failure of the New Frontier negotiations, though the official version is that the Liberal bloc will continue to push for territorial expansion under the existing plan. While the Liberals may be open to meet the Democrats halfway, the red bloc appears to be unwilling to budge on this initiative – and indeed, in every other government initiative during this parliament’s term.