Exactly one week from now, on 30 June 2019, members of the Liberal Party were due to go to the polls to vote on their next leader.
The election was scheduled to take place a little over a month after the resignation of the longest-serving chief the blue party has ever had, as well as former Prime Minister and the mastermind behind the party’s massive 2016 reform, Andrew Blackhorse. Blackhorse stood down following the Liberals’ embarrassing defeat in May’s general election, in which he was unable to secure a majority for his party and another mandate as Prime Minister.
But only one MP has expressed put forward his candidacy: Shounn Virny.
Virny expressed his intention to run for Liberal leader – and therefore leader of the opposition – in a series of tweets last Friday (21-6-2019), in which he claimed Sabia and Verona was in a situation of “decline”, and that the Democratic government did not have the solution to this situation.
There’s a bumpy road ahead of us. As @SabiaAndVerona approaches its 7th anniversary, we find ourselves in a situation of decline. Cerwyn & his Dems don’t have a solution for this. Valtirians need clear leadership to get ourselves back on track. I believe I can offer that.
— Shounn Virny MP (@ShounnVirny) June 21, 2019
Shounn Virny is widely known for having served as Prime Minister from 2015 to 2017, the turbulent years that followed the execution of the Haronos Plan and the establishment of Alios and the Southern Territories, all whilst leading a different party – the now defunct National Artists’ Guild. Following Virny’s fall from grace in 2017 – partly at the hands of Blackhorse and his Liberals – the former PM veered closer to his former rival and eventually joined the blue party when the Artists’ Guild disappeared from the map.
Virny and Blackhorse became much closer when the latter formed his own clique within the Liberal parliamentary bloc in opposition to Prime Minister Dargany. When Blackhorse commanded a putsch against his former protégée and seized the Liberal leadership (and the premiership in the process), Virny became Blackhorse’s new right hand as Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary, positions he held until the Democrats’ unquestioned victory at the last general election.
During his time under Blackhorse, Virny was a loyal ally and went to great lengths both in and outside of Parliament to promote Blackhorse’s vision for the New Frontier plan, his flagship project that earned him the leadership from Dargany in the first place.
Virny is a controversial figure in Sabia and Verona for his gaffe-prone personality, his purpoted affinity for power, and his multiple “incidents” while in office as Prime Minister. The most prominent of these “incidents”, the La Plata affair, effectively drove him out of office in 2017.