by Max Barry

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The Republic of
Authoritarian Democracy

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President Cam Garám

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Introduction
Camilo "Cam" Garám (born on February 9, 1991) is a Cabocorellian politician who is currently President of Cabo Corelli, following his victory in the 2019 presidential election.

Cam is the youngest son of Nicodemo Garám, who was President of Cabo Corelli from 1977 until his death in 2019. During much of his father's presidency, Cam displayed very little interest in politics. In 2017, however, President Nicodemo Garám surprisingly appointed him as Secretary of State for Tourism, and two years later, following the latter's death, Cam emerged as the presidential candidate of the Cabocorellian People's Party (Partido Popular de Cabo Corelli - PPCC). According to official results, he won the election with 43% of the vote.

Early life and political career

Garám was born in Ciudad del Cabo Corelli as the son of President Nicodemo Alberto Garám and Emmeline Cotterell. He was raised in the Presidential Palace and educated by private tutors.

After studying hospitality management in Monaco, he pursued an acting career in London, England, before in 2017, his father appointed him to the government as Secretary of State for Tourism.

Succession

President Nicodemo Garám died at a French hospital on 12 July 2019. Cam Garám appeared on television that night to call for calm and unity.

It was widely considered likely that Cam would emerge as the new ruler. Some press reports predicted a power struggle, given the well-known rivalry between Garám and his sister Anna-Emmeline, who was Special Counsel to the President. Commentators questioned whether there was sufficient support for Cam Garám within the PPCC leadership, highlighting his young age, his lack of experience, and arguing that many Cabocorellians "see him as a shallow socialite who spends fortunes on booze, make-up and shoes, not particularly bright and with the appearance of a dandy."

Garám was one of ten candidates who submitted applications to become the PPCC's candidate in the early presidential election, scheduled for 1 September 2019. On 16 July, the party leadership announced it had chosen Garám by consensus as the PPCC candidate. Two weeks later, Garám's sister Anna-Emmeline, who was among the other candidates, abruptly retired from public life.

A few days after the election on 1 September 2019, it was announced that he had won the election with 43% of the vote, and that result was promptly confirmed by the Constitutional Court. The opposition rejected the official results, and riots broke out in Cabo Corelli's capital. In response to allegations of fraud, the Constitutional Court conducted a recount before again declaring Garám with winner with 42.79% of the vote on 15 October 2019; he was then sworn in as President on 18 October.

Policies as president

Aware of widespread doubts around his own qualifications, Garám retained many of his late father's most senior advisors in his cabinet to guarantee stability, while also appointing a half-dozen of international experts on change management and economic development. The first two months of his rule did not involve a lot of new policies; rather, he sought to consolidate his power by visiting key constituencies and reaching out to potential allies. According to reports on these conversations, Garám's primary concern was how to guarantee political stability while also managing long overdue reforms toward a more open society. These rumors appeared to be substantiated when, during his 2019 Christmas address to the nation, Garám announced his first major presidential decree, called the Declaration on Crystal Clear Governance, which seeks to increase government transparency. Restrictions on press freedom (imposed by Nicodemo Garám in the early 1980s) were lifted and various government reports detailing the data behind domestic policy were made publicly available, allowing the citizens to discuss and criticize them openly. In his address, Garám also announced new legal protections for government whistleblowers, intellectual property reform, and steps to eradicate government corruption.

In January, the new press freedom resulted in popular petitions to reduce the restrictions on what political parties can participate in elections. Although Cabo Corelli officially is a multi-party state, aspiring political parties are subjected to a 'constitutional test' by a political court before being allowed to submit election candidates. According to government representatives, the presidents' administration is investigating possibilities, but as of November 2020, an official decision remains to be made.

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