Greece fails to receive admittance to CN after refusal of election monitoring and nuclear disarmament stipulations

The Council of Nations declined admittance to the nation of Greece following the Greek government’s refusal to adhere to certain stipulations set forth by the CN when negotiations for entry began.

Three months ago, the Grecorussian Empire split into the separate nations of Greece and the Russian Empire. While the Russian Empire did not require admission to the CN as it was formally recognized as the successor state to its predecessor, Greece was required to seek separate admittance to the CN. The CN in anticipation outlined a potential deal to allow the new nation’s accession to the world’s foremost diplomatic body, a plan in which Greece would be required to have free and fair elections, enforced through election monitoring by the CN, and an agreement to disarm any and all nuclear weapons. Greece declined both of these terms, stating that “it goes against our nation’s new sovereignty and it is detestable that we should have to submit to another oppressive regime after leaving one.” The CN issued no statement in response other than that the request for ascension had been categorically denied and that the nation would be free to join following the acceptance of the conditions.

The international community expressed dismay at Greece’s refusal to abide by the agreement offered by the CN. While part of this has to do with simple diplomatic matters, including trade agreements and other treaties that may be affected, the vast majority of the discontentment with the world’s newest nation is that it presents a nuclear risk that much of the world hoped to be rid of. Greece was ground zero for what has been considered the world’s most recent close call with nuclear disaster, as many remember from the Grecorussian Civil War. “Considering Greece’s inability to contain its nuclear arsenal and the new, unstable government that has formally taken hold there, Panem requests that all nuclear weapons be handed over to either CN authorities, Panem military units, or to one of our allies’ military units. A loss of nuclear material such as what happened during the previous conflict in Greece is not only unacceptable, but threatening to the foundation of peace,” said Secretary of State Jonathan Madison.

It is unclear if Greece will reconsider the terms, or if they will choose to go it alone in the international community. Should they not join the CN, the country will undoubtedly have trade woes, but also Greece will suffer in regards to international acceptance. The CN provides a major source of legitimacy for nations, with virtually every nation on the globe having membership. Not attaining membership would put Greece in dire straits diplomatically as it attempts to establish its presence and shake off the vibes of a potential dictatorship.


Grecorussian Empire formally dissolves into the Russian Empire and the Nation of Greece

The Grecorussian Empire has officially dissolved, according a document procured by foreign media. The document, passed by the Grecorussian legislature and signed by Emperor Alexander IV and President Rostislav Alexeieva, formally dissolves the Grecorussian Empire into two separate entities.

The first entity is that of the nation of Greece (or the Hellenic Republic), which comprises the area claimed by the rebel Greek government from the Grecorussian Civil War. The second entity is that of the Russian Empire, which comprises the remainder of the land of the Grecorussian Empire.

This move comes after many negotiations between the Greek rebels and the Grecorussian government, who the Greeks view as oppressive. The relinquishing of Greece is seen as a concession to the rebels to end a bloody conflict that had no end in sight, according to foreign policy analysts.

The new Russian Empire has already submitted documentation to the Council of Nations to be considered the successor state to the Grecorussian Empire, which is expected to be accepted by Secretary-General Trevor Patton. The government of the Russian Empire is expected to be a holdover from the Grecorussian government, with the government of Prime Minister Carolina Golubova, President Alexeieva, and Emperor Alexander IV expected to remain in their positions.

The fledgling Greek government has applied for membership to the Council of Nations, but has yet to formalize their government. According to the negotiations between Grecorussia and the rebels, a free Greece would require free and fair elections with international monitors. The CN echoed this sentiment when asked about potential negotiations, stating that such free and fair elections would be required to gain membership to the Council, along with the stipulation that Greece would need to be a non-nuclear state before joining. It is not certain if Greece intends to abide by either of these conditions.

The government of Panem has yet to comment on the recent developments, simply stating that the State Department is “watching the events in Greece and Russia closely and will update the public when more information is available.”

France elects president in second-round photo finish

The French presidential election has come to a historic photo finish as Serephin Favre and Antonin Dupond competed to become France’s next leader. The campaign was one of the harshest in history; Favre left nothing on the table, and Duford responding in kind.

Voters split almost evenly in the runoff on who should be the next president of France. This is largely due to Dupond’s appeal to centrists and former President Matthieu Sicard’s implicit endorsement of Duford in his concession speech. However, Favre has done much to contribute to her foe’s success; voters did not appreciate her negative campaigning.

At the end of the election, however, voters selected a president, albeit by an extremely slim margin.

Antonin Dupond (Les Républicains): 50.04 percent
Serephin Favre (Nouvelle Française): 49.96 percent

Despite President Delacroix’s popularity, Favre was not elected as her successor. However, even in the final days of the runoff election, Delacroix distanced herself from her party’s nominee, condemning the partisan rancor that came from the campaigns. “The French people are looking for a leader that has more to offer than attacks on those of which whom they do not agree. I would advise both candidates of that,” said the President of France to reporters in Paris.

This is the first win for Les Républicains (or the Republicans, for our non-French speaking readers) in fifteen years. The last LR president, Manuel Dufort, left office with France reemerging as a world power with decent economic growth. However, in that election, voters opted not to elect the man who now is President-elect of France, instead picking Matthieu Sicard, a member of the French Senate, as Dufort’s successor. Sicard would go on to be defeated in a landslide of 67 percent to 33 percent by current President Delacroix due to a huge distrust of government and a failing economy.

However, in the years post-presidency, Sicard and Dupond became friends, taking pleasure in anything but politics. This ironically became the basis of the biggest shock in the modern era of French politics; despite the fact that the Socialist Party and the Republicans have zero views in common, while Nouvelle Française shares quite a few views with the Socialists, Sicard refused to endorse at all. Many said that he did little to help his friend Dupond. However, by engaging in a denial of any endorsement, Sicard saved himself from the Socialist masses while denying Favre the very thing she needed to be elected without issue, thus propelling his friend to the needed position to be elected as president. Now, the President-elect will join a very exclusive group of individuals that include his mentor and his friend. Only four past presidents of France are still alive today: Fabien Charpentier, the last president from En Marche! before the party disbanded; Manuel Dufort, the mentor of the President-elect under which he served as Prime Minister; Matthieu Sicard, his opponent turned friend; and of course Solange Delacroix, the current president who will leave office in two weeks as President-elect Dupond enters office.

There is much speculation as to who will become Prime Minister under the new President. While President-elect Dupond is a member of Les Républicains, he is known for his bipartisanship and may name a prime minister of a different party to bridge the gap caused by the election. The President-elect indicated that a choice would be made quickly were he elected, but there is no way to predict when that might be.

Some options include:

  • Adrienne Renaud (LR): Renaud is currently the minority leader in the National Assembly of France, leading LR through a period of tough opposition. She is undoubtedly qualified for the role, and a selection of Renaud would indicate that Dupond intends to further the goals set out for France by LR rather than pursuing a compromising approach.
  • Matthieu Sicard (Socialist): The new President could possibly reach far across the aisle and bring his former competitor and friend back into the government. Sicard is well versed in how to do the job, but would bring Socialist views to a LR administration.
  • Bastien Lebeau (NF): If the new President is looking to reach across to mend the country after a bruising battle, Lebeau would be a choice to look at. Lebeau is a member of the French Senate who has become one of the most prominent (and bipartisan) faces of NF since the party’s inception. A choice of Lebeau would indicate that the president wants to mend ties but also believes that he may not be able to win a parliamentary majority in a few months.

UPDATE: Serephin Favre conceded the election to the President-elect from the Louvre:

“Though it pains me that I will not be serving as France’s next president, we must look to our future, not to our past. It is not time for us to become discouraged by the words that have been said, nor is it time for us to mourn for what might have been. It is time for us to come together and support our new president. I have called President-elect Dupond and congratulated him on his election. I also used this phone call, however, to tell him what I have told you: it is time for us to move on and work together. In this call, I have urged the President-elect to move swiftly in naming a new prime minister, specifically one from a party that is not his own in order to mend fences. We are one France. We may not all be Republicans, but we should all have a say in this administration.”

UPDATE 2: The President-elect of the French Republic, Antonin Dupond, has taken the stage in front of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris in order to speak with the crowd that has assembled.

“What a night it has been! I am honored and humbled that you have elected me to serve as your next president. Ms. Favre called me earlier to concede this election and offer her support to our government. I am grateful for her support, and I promise to every single citizen of France that I will be a president for all people. We have come so far since the founding of this Republic, but our work is not yet complete. We must ensure that we have a working environment that is open to all. We must ensure that our economy remains sound. We must ensure that France rises back to being a major world leader, whether that be in our foreign policy, our infrastructure, or any other imaginable category. We must ensure that this country remains good as a whole- something that we can present to our children in good conscience for them to preserve in the same way. There is no nation like ours, no people like ours. We are France, and as a people, we deserve nothing short of greatness.

Many of you have wondered, especially since Ms. Favre’s speech, who will join me in ensuring that France is the best that it can be. I can tell you tonight, actually, that I have not only made that choice, but that she has gladly accepted and is here tonight. My prime minister will be Adrienne Renaud, and she will serve with dignity and honor in a way that all of France will be proud of. While I know that many will be disappointed that I have not crossed party lines in the selection of my prime minister, I have more to announce. I have selected my three ministers of state as well. As minister of the Interior I intend to nominate Matthieu Sicard of the Socialist Party; as minister of ecology, sustainable development, and energy I intend to nominate Bastien Lebeau of Nouvelle Française; and as minister of justice, I intend to Philippe Villeneuve, an independent. All of these choices do not come from my party, rather coming from parties that may have differing views. We will, however, come together in order to form a government that will work for every single citizen of this great nation.

Again, I thank you for your vote and for your confidence. God bless this great nation of France.”

Tight French presidential election leaves left-wing voters with few options

Voters in the nation of France headed to the polls today in what is being considered the most volatile election since 2017 and possibly in the history of the French Republic.

France, unlike Panem, uses a popular vote system that employs a runoff if the top candidate does not reach the majority marker. This year, the only certain thing has been that France was to elect a new president; the outcome has been nothing that is easily predicted.

The race began last year with the announcement of former President Matthieu Sicard that he would seek to reclaim his former office. Sicard, a Socialist, lost by a large margin to outgoing President Solange Delacroix, who is not eligible for reelection to a third consecutive term. Before long, the entire slate of candidates had assembled itself, detailed further below. Only five qualified under France’s stringent standards.

  • Matthieu Sicard (Socialist Party): Sicard running is considered a major win for the embattled Socialist Party. Sicard is the only candidate polls well from the party, mainly due to the lack of talent due to the ascent of Nouvelle Française and Liberal Democracy, a far-left party that arose due to discontent with liberal options. However, Sicard left under a string of scandals, a terrible economy, and dwindling French influence due to his isolationist policies. His anti-Panem stance is widely unattractive as well, but could pick up steam with the Greek conflict.
  • Serephin Favre (Nouvelle Française): Favre was the chosen successor of President Delacroix. Serving as justice minister under Prime Minister Yannick Olivier, Favre emerged as the favorite following Olivier declining a run for the presidency. Favre is popular, but she currently does not reflect the popularity of Delacroix or Olivier. It currently appears that Favre remains the pollsters’ favorite to end up in a second round, but it would be a resounding defeat for the President should Favre be excluded from a second round. 
  • Antonin Dupond (Les Républicains): The Republicans, having not won the presidency since Manuel Dufort won two terms prior to Sicard’s presidency, is itching for a win after two straight losses and not making the runoff last election. As such, they have drafted former LR Prime Minister Antonin Dupond to run, a political heavyweight who ran to succeed Dufort but lost to Sicard. This could easily lead to a Sicard-Dupond runoff once again, and as Sicard knows, second time is the charm on some occasions.
  • Simone Perrault (Liberal Democracy): During the early days of this most recent French Republic, a party arose named Liberal Democracy. However, this is not that party- this one is much farther left. Simone Perrault has a very loyal following, one that she is struggling to compete with Sicard for- and if she can manage to get enough voters, she may be able to find herself in a position in the second round. However, like Tailler, Perrault’s extreme policies may be a bit too much to stomach for centrist and right-wing voters, who would flock to a more mainstream candidate.
  • Léonard Tailler (Reclaim France): The nationalists of France still remain after many years, despite repeated rejections by the voters of the Le Pen family and those nominated after them. However, with the polls the way they are, Tallier has a real shot at getting a place in the second round. However, that doesn’t mean he will end up in Elysee Palace. His far-right policies likely will alienate voters in a second round.

The main issues of the election have bounced around, with the Greek conflict, French-Panem relations, and infrastructure taking the largest roles. Likewise, polls have bounced around; when the candidates were confirmed, it appeared that Favre would make the runoff with no issue and the second spot was up for grabs. Now, it appears that Favre may barely eek out a spot in the runoff with the other four hot on her heels. Obviously, this race is far too close to call at this time.

UPDATE: We can now officially report the final results of the first round of the French presidential election.

In a photo finish, Serephin Favre (NF) and Antonin Dupond (LR) will be heading to the runoff election in two weeks.

Serephin Favre (Nouvelle Française): 20.78 percent
Antonin Dupond (Les Républicains): 20.23 percent
Matthieu Sicard (Socialist Party): 20.18 percent
Léonard Tailler (Reclaim France): 19.83 percent
Simone Perrault (Liberal Democracy): 18.98 percent

Former President Sicard barely missed the runoff by .05 of a percentage point, something that he has claimed as a victory for his party. He declined to comment for this story, and also he has declined to seek a recount.

Above is a image of the first round by department. As shown, Favre was popular on the west coast, some of the area around Paris, Paris itself, and especially overseas. However, her new second-round opponent Dupond is especially popular in the center of the country. The biggest battle now is over the areas won by the other candidates. Tallier was the winner in the north and on around half of the east coast, much needed areas that may tend to swing towards Dupond. However, on the other hand, Favre could gain over the areas won by Perrault and Sicard, which encompass quite a bit of the country and may be able to deliver a win in the runoff. With that scenario occurring, a potential map for the second round may be akin to this:

Such a win would be around 60 percent for Favre and 40 percent for Dupond.

However, in the event that Dupond campaigns well and manages to appeal to the center of French politics, he may be able to secure some of NF’s and the Socialists’ supporters. In this scenario, this would be reflected like this:

As shown, Dupond would have managed to pick up most of the areas that barely broke for Perrault and some of those that voted for Sicard. This would be reflected more in a popular vote percentage of 51 percent for Favre and 49 percent for Dupond- a statistical dead heat.

In the event that Favre is not endorsed by Perrault, Sicard, or both, this could result in a win for Dupond, especially if he is endorsed by Sicard. It’s well known that while the Socialists and the Republicans have major ideological differences that Dupond is at least friendly with Sicard. Favre, on the other hand, has been trading barbs with Sicard the entire campaign, leading many to believe that Sicard may not endorse Favre for a second round. Likewise, Favre’s attacks on Perrault were harsh and sometimes personal; without Perrault’s endorsement, it’s anyone’s guess as to how the vote will break down. A map for this scenario is shown below.

In this particular popular vote scenario, it would be around 63 percent for Dupond and 37 percent for Favre. However, in the worst case scenario that Perrault does not endorse and Sicard decides to make a historic endorsement of Dupond, the popular vote would be around 71 percent for Dupond and 29 percent for Favre.

UPDATE 2: Former President Matthieu Sicard has chosen to withhold his endorsement, stating:

“While I wish the best to my good friend Antonin Dupond, I cannot endorse him as that would be a betrayal to the voters who voted for me. They would not support my decision as that does not reflect what they voted for. However, I cannot bring myself to support Serephin Favre either. While we share some viewpoints, I find that she went far beyond what was appropriate during this campaign, and I find her utterly unpresidential. I hope that the voters of France will elect a good president. However, in this matter, I must remain neutral.”

Simone Perrault, the candidate of Liberal Democracy, decided to endorse Serephin Favre despite the previous spat between the two.

“For all that is good and wonderful in this world, I implore every single voter in France to vote for Serephin Favre. While I much would have rathered me in that runoff, Serephin is the only candidate that will actually represent the people. Dupond is of the old guard, the one that set our rights back decades and spiraling us into crisis financially. We cannot afford to return to those days. Instead, we must bond together- compromise, do what you must. We cannot afford to let Serephin lose. What was said in the past. We must move forward together for a better France and for a better future for us and for our children.”

Amb. Steinbeck declines third run for presidency, endorses President Mellark

Ambassador to the Council of Nations Elizabeth Steinbeck, an independent, will not be running for president- this year.

In an interview with The Panem Free Press, Ambassador Steinbeck declined to run for a third time against her new boss. “I’m quite pleased with my position as Ambassador to the Council of Nations, and frankly, I’m actually quite pleased with President Mellark and his administration. So, no, I won’t be running for president this election, or for vice president either.” She joked, though, telling the reporters that “if any of you are searching for people to speculate about, go talk to Pauline.” Pauline Crystal, Steinbeck’s most recent running mate, is considering a run for president this year. No word has been given on that front, however.

When pressed about her political future, she did not rule out running for higher office. “Honestly, I’m focused right now on making sure our country is well on the world stage. We are in such a crucial point in Panem’s history, and we can’t afford to slip away, even for a moment. But, looking down the line, I could see myself running again.” This left the door open for a third Steinbeck run, and based on her success in the previous election and the rise in her approval numbers, it makes a run possible.

Returning back to the current election, Steinbeck was asked if she planned to support the President in his run for reelection, and her views on a Crystal run since she was not running herself. “Well, in all honesty, if I were to advise Pauline on what to do, I’d tell her not to run. That being said, Pauline definitely might want to run for reasons that we may not agree upon, and that is fine. However, I can tell you right here and right now that I’m endorsing President Peeta Mellark for a second term as president of the Republic of Panem. That’s my final call on that unless something goes incredibly wrong and forces me to change my mind.”

President-elect Mellark announces Cabinet nominations

President-elect Peeta Mellark (Liberty Party-D12) has announced his picks for his Cabinet. The list is as follows:

Secretary of State: Celine Oswald (Liberty Party-District 13)

Secretary of Defense: Jonathan Madison (Liberty Party-District 4)

Secretary of the Interior: Amy Oaksmith (Liberty Party-District 7)

Secretary of the Treasury: Rosalie Descoteaux (Liberty Party-District 14)

Secretary of Intelligence: Dale Wilson (Liberty Party-District 4)

Attorney General (head of the Department of Justice): Alexandra West (Liberty Party-District 1)

Secretary of International Trade: Cynthia Garth (Liberty Party-District 5)

Secretary of Global Development: Effie Trinket (Liberty Party-Capitol)

Secretary of Commerce: Tyler Thompson (Liberty Party-District 5)

Secretary of Energy: Walter Singleton (Liberty Party-District 12)

Secretary of Communications: Beetee Latier (Liberty Party-District 3)

Secretary of Transportation: James Peliot (Liberty Party-District 5)

Secretary of Agriculture: Quake Jones (Liberty Party-District 11)

Secretary of Homeland Security: Haymitch Abernathy (Independent-District 12)

Secretary of Labor: Raphaël Maçon (Liberty Party-District 14)

Secretary of Health and Human Services: Bella Taylor (Liberty Party-District 2)

Secretary of Housing and Urban Development: Rosalie Underwood (Liberty Party-District 4)

In his picks for Cabinet-level positions that are not formally part of the Cabinet, President-elect Mellark selected the following:

National Security Advisor: Cecelia Paylor (Civic Party-District 8)

Ambassador to the Council of Nations: Elizabeth Steinbeck (Independent-District 8)

This Cabinet is the most partisan of any presidential Cabinet, with every member of the official Cabinet being a member of the Liberty Party sans Haymitch Abernathy, who is a family friend of President-elect Mellark. However, two opponents were incorporated into Cabinet-level positions, which prevents them from participating in the line of succession but allows their input in official Cabinet meetings. Also notable are the requested additions of three Cabinet departments: the Department of Labor, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

BREAKING: Sec.-Gen. Katniss Everdeen to not seek reelection

BREAKING: Secretary-General of the Council of Nations Katniss Everdeen has opted out of running for a second term as Secretary-General, The Panem Free Press reports. 

The Secretary-General’s office confirmed these reports today, stating the following:

“The Secretary-General has opted to not run for reelection to a second term to her office in the Council of Nations. Secretary-General Everdeen has always supported a free and open system of government and as such, she has decided to pass the mantle to another worthy leader.”

According to much more informal reports, Everdeen is forgoing reelection in order to return to Panem to run in the election of chair of the Liberty National Committee. Sources say that Everdeen is extremely displeased at the fracturing of the party and believes that the party needs unity in order to win its majority back this next year. Everdeen would likely face off against incumbent chair Vance Irsine in his campaign for a second term as chair, though Irsine since the election has been seen as highly vulnerable and will most likely be easily dispatched by the former president.

As for who will succeed Everdeen at the CN, all eyes have turned to Assistant Secretary-General Trevor Patton. Patton, the former governor of District 2, would ascend to the CN’s top post only two years after taking his new position as number two to Everdeen. However, while Patton will likely run and win the top position, other possibilities include Panem’s ambassador to the CN, Effie Trinket, and former interim  Sec.-Gen. Raphaël Maçon.