Category Archives: World

UK ELECTION: Tories win decreased majority, cement Felton’s leadership

The next general election in the United Kingdom is set to be primarily fought over the Felton government’s ties to the Republic of Panem as the Labour opposition leader Ulysses West has staked his campaign on the coalition agreement involving Panem and the UK in the Greek conflict.

Prime Minister Edith Felton’s Conservative Party will face off against Ulysses West’s Labour Party at the polls two weeks from today after a heated election campaign in which Felton has accused the Labour Party of participating in “the typical IANO fascism.” West has repeatedly invoked the United Kingdom’s coalition policy with the Panem government as a “terrible decision that has led to unprecedented chaos.”

In the face of this brutal campaign, the Tories have seen their support begin to lower in their final days. Eager to prevent what occurred in the past with the 2017 election campaign, Felton has avoided taking center-stage throughout the campaign, relying heavily on her cabinet. Nonetheless, the popularity of Felton and the record 489 seats out of 650 total seats that the party currently holds aren’t considered to be enough on their own, leading some to wonder if Felton may be on the verge of losing her majority. In that case, it’s likely that the Labour Party would be experiencing record support in the modern era and that other parties would likely either dip to record lows or detract from the Conservatives.

The results from the last election were as follows:

Conservatives: 489 seats

Labour: 114 seats

Liberal Democrats: 20 seats

DUP: 9 seats

Sinn Féin: 8 seats

Plaid Cymru: 3 seats

Greens: 1 seat

Other: 6 seats

UPDATE: We have officially received from the BBC their exit poll for the UK general election. The projection from the exit poll is as follows:

Conservatives: 347 seats (-142)

Labour: 148 seats (+34)

Liberal Democrats: 131 seats (+111)

DUP: 12 seats (+3)

Sinn Féin: 7 seats (-1)

Plaid Cymru: 3 seats (-)

Greens: 1 seat (-)

Other: 1 seat (-5)

Bad news for Edith Felton and the Conservatives today as the Prime Minister’s record-breaking majority will be majorly slimmed. Only time will tell if these results are accurate, but previous exit polls have shown to be mostly correct. However, this is still a working majority as 326 seats are needed to govern.

UPDATE 2: We can now confirm that Edith Felton, who is currently already the longest serving female prime minister in addition to being the longest serving Conservative prime minister, will go on to serve a fourth term as prime minister following the results of this election. If the Prime Minister completes this next five year term without facing a leadership spill, vote of no confidence, early election, or early resignation, she will become the second longest-serving prime minister in the United Kingdom’s history.

UPDATE 3: We can now deliver the final seat results for the election.

Conservatives: 355 seats (-134)

Liberal Democrats: 141 seats (+121)

Labour: 130 seats (+16)

DUP: 15 seats (+6)

Sinn Féin: 4 seats (-3)

Plaid Cymru: 3 seats (-)

Greens: 1 seat (-)

Other: 1 seat (-5)

To much surprise, the exit poll results were much farther off than expected. Rather than Ulysses West’s Labour Party becoming the main opposition to Prime Minister Felton’s government, the Liberal Democrats, led by leader Russell Chambers, will now serve as the formal opposition to the Conservative government. Furthermore, the Conservative tally was off by eight seats, as was the DUP total by four seats that were predicted to go to Sinn Féin.

These results, while a bit demoralizing for the Conservatives, were partially expected. It was considered unlikely that the Conservatives would keep such a large majority, but it wasn’t foreseen that the Tories would lose 134 seats. However, Edith Felton maintains her majority, ensuring what should be another five years of Conservative rule. However, the big winners of today are Labour and the LibDems. While many would argue that the two essentially prevented the other from winning, both put a major dent in the Tory majority. This is also the first time that the LibDems will serve as the official opposition, having the ability to form a shadow government as they see fit. This likely will not look well upon Ulysses West, who was seen as Labour’s shining star in an era in which Labour cannot seem to get a grip. However, West’s leadership might be saved due to the gains made this election.

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.”

DoD dismisses potential intervention in Greece, declares nukes to be “utmost concern”

The Department of Defense, via Secretary Jonathan Madison (Liberty-D4), dismissed the idea of a potential intervention in Greece.

Madison stated, “The nation of Panem has no interest in meddling with the affairs of a sovereign nation or a contested region unless it directly affects Panem’s interests or if war crimes are committed. In those two cases, we can and should intervene, but as the war currently stands, it is not our battle to fight.”

This follows silence from the State Department on the same issues. However, it was widely expected that Panem would not intervene as it would anger the Grecorussian government, a key ally of Panem.

However, upon the topic of the Grecorussian nuclear stockpile, Secretary Madison took a much harsher tone. “In regards to any nuclear weapons in the region potentially falling into the hands of an enemy of Panem or of democratic society as a whole, this scenario would easily fall under the category of protecting Panem’s interests. We certainly would intervene in Greece under these circumstances, and the theft of nuclear weapons are of utmost concern to us here at Defense.”

Grecorussian Civil War continues into second week

The civil war in the Grecorussian Empire continued on into a second week, further destabilizing the boundary between Europe and Asia.

According to reports from the Grecorussian government, around 250 fatalities have been reported as a result of ongoing conflict. It is expected that this number will continue to rise as the civil war continues.

The State Department still is declining to answer questions regarding the conflict. Despite multiple requests for further statement by the State Department, the Department is refusing to comment on the legitimacy of the new Greek government, on potential intervention into the civil war, or what measures Panem and its allies will seek to take should the nuclear weapons of the Grecorussian Empire fall into the wrong hands.

Meanwhile, multiple governments have waded into the discussion of the legitimacy of Greece as an independent nation. The Grecorussian Empire has warned that recognition of Greece as an independent nation would put “severe strain” on relations between the Empire and other nations. Nonetheless, this has not prevented the governments of Ireland, Spain, the Oceanian Republic, and the Polish-Ukrainian Republic from recognizing Greece outright as an independent nation. Meanwhile, the Netherlands, Australia, and Scotland refused to acknowledge Greece as an independent nation. The United Kingdom, France, the Zealandic Republic, South Africa, Switzerland, and Panem have not issued a formal statement supporting or opposing Greece’s independence.

The Republic of Panem is currently put in an untenable situation due to recent foreign policy. The Grecorussian Empire is known to be a key ally to Panem, both in trade and by means of military assistance. Panem has multiple bases in the Grecorussian Empire dating back from World War IV, and any recognition of Greece would jeopardize the existence of those bases and with any agreements between the Empire and Panem. However, Greece held a democratic vote in which the citizens voted for independence. As Secretary Celine Oswald has said in the past, “Panem will fight for the citizens of the world to exercise their right to select their own government through democratic means.” As such, it has been the position of the Panem government for many years that democratically elected governments should be recognized, and in theory, Greece would be a prime example of one to recognize.

Grecorussian Empire descends into civil war as Greece secedes

The Grecorussian Empire has descended into a chaotic civil war as the territory of Greece has declared unilateral independence and secession from the Empire.

Greece, previously a territory within the Empire, has a long history in world politics. Known for the creation of arts and philosophy that is still used today, Greece remained an independent nation from as early as 2700 B.C. until the year 2042, when the nation became financially insolvent and in an act of desperation merged with the neighboring nation of Russia. This act was seen as an act of Russian aggression by the United States and was one of the catalysts for World War III.

Greece, now seeking independence, alleges that their region keeps their people from true representation in Grecorussian government and causes an unprecedented level of discrimination from Moscow, where the Grecorussian government is based. The Empire denies that Greece can leave the Empire in any form or fashion without express approval from the President and Tsar. President Alexeieva issued a statement today, stating that “Greece remains a region in our united Empire. Any uprising to the contrary will be quashed as it threatens the integrity of our very government.”

The civil war has already resulted in casualties. Around twenty to thirty soldiers died in the first day of war, with death tolls expected to rise as the conflict rages. The international community is particularly concerned as the Grecorussian Empire infamously refused to give up their nuclear weapons after World War III, much to the consternation of the IANO. These weapons were housed in the region of Greece, which is now ground zero for the fledgling civil war. There is much concern that these nuclear weapons could fall into the wrong hands or even be used between the two sides in the civil war. This has resulted in early deliberations on actions to be taken either preemptively by a coalition of nations or after the launch of a nuclear weapon.

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.”