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Powder Keg: Slow Burning Crisis in The East Pacific Threatens to Explode
Questionable behavior by the Delegate and his political allies threatens to unravel the fabric of TEP's democracy.
By Cormac Skollvaldr
1 INFINITE LOOP - Just two weeks after Fedele won a third consecutive term as Delegate of The East Pacific, the evolving crisis in the East threatened to erupt into open hostility between the Delegate and the few remaining members of the Magisterium, TEP's legislature. The latest incident involved Fedele's reaction to questions posed to Aleister, an applicant to the Magisterium. Aleister, who is also known as Lamb Stone, previously served as Khan of the condemned raider region Lone Wolves United and led a LWU-backed coup d'etat against the Sinker region Lazarus in 2018. The questions raised in TEP have been related to Aleister's leadership of that coup, known as the Khanate, and Aleister's fitness to be a member of TEP's legislature in light of the controversy surrounding him. In response to these questions, Fedele called the Magisterium a "brood of vipers" and said in reference to TEP's legislature that "'cowardice' and 'hypocrisy' are not words easily avoided at the moment." This eruption of demagogic outrage prompted former Delegate Bachtendekuppen, a Magister and one of the Viziers tasked with ensuring TEP's regional security, to refer to the Delegate's remarks as "wholly inappropriate and insulting" and to demand an apology. It should be noted that despite the questioning, Aleister's admission to the Magisterium is currently passing by a vote of 3-1. A separate vote on the admission of Libertanny, who has faced similarly tough questions, is currently tied at 2-2, and thus his admission to the Magisterium will fail if nothing changes.
It's worth noting that while the questions posed to Aleister and Libertanny were in fact posed by Magisters, the Magisters posing these questions are high-ranking ministers of Fedele's own executive government. Tim Stark is the Commissioner of the East Pacific Police Service (EPPS) and Marrabuk is TEP's Minister of Foreign Affairs, both serving at the pleasure of the Delegate. A high-ranking government official of a prominent region allied to The East Pacific, who spoke to the Miniluv Messenger on the condition of anonymity, wondered whether Fedele's own government had coordinated this tempest to deliberately provoke a showdown between the executive, legislative, and security branches of TEP's government following earlier disputes between Fedele and individual Viziers.
This new development, and the resulting domestic and foreign concern, is occurring against the backdrop of an ongoing, slow motion crisis in The East Pacific.
As of this writing, The East Pacific has dropped to being the sixth largest region in the world, behind three of the other Feeders as well as Sinker regions Balder and the Rejected Realms -- though the latter's population has reportedly been partially inflated by an individual's deliberately placed puppets. This dramatic decline in TEP's population has apparently been fueled by Fedele's months long policy of purging "marsupials" from TEP. "Marsupials," according to the Delegate's policy, are nations that fly the NationStates default flag and don't apply for citizenship or join the World Assembly, i.e., nations the Delegate has deemed useless to TEP. Such precipitous population declines are usually reserved for autocratic Feeders the Pacific and the West Pacific, which historically have much stricter requirements for residents and much more illiberal enforcement mechanisms than their democratic counterparts. Several individuals who have been actively making contributions to TEP's government and community, such as the previously mentioned Magisterium applicant Libertanny, as well as former Vizier Elfine, have also been driven out of TEP because of severe disputes with Fedele and his ministers.
Aside from the drop in overall regional population, the Magisterium, TEP's legislature, is currently being kept afloat only by a six person skeleton crew. While Fedele has placed the blame on Magisters and their recent questioning of the two aforementioned applicants, the truth is that the Magisterium has been underpopulated for months, which appears to have resulted from stricter admission policies backed by the Delegate. Specifically, many have pointed to the requirement that Magisters must maintain WA nations in TEP as a major obstacle to maintaining a populated and active legislature. Despite such concerns, Provost Davelands, with Fedele's backing, recently proposed even stricter requirements. When other Magisters objected to such strict requirements, he offered a "compromise" that would eliminate some of the new requirements. Notably, however, his proposed "compromise" measure would still require Magisterium applicants to "join and contribute to an Executive ministry, service or agency, including EPSA, evidenced by recognition of contribution by an Executive Minister or the Delegate" -- leaving ultimate discretion over who is admitted to the Magisterium to the Delegate.
Fedele's rise and subsequent consolidation of power in TEP has been accompanied by an uptick in foreign involvement, particularly by LWU members and the Rahl family. The Rahl family was created by Minineenee, Biyah, Dalimbar, and Neo Kervoskia, who were responsible for the 2008 Empire coup of TEP. Fedele, who is also known as Scardino, is himself the original LWU Founder as well as a Rahl. Davelands, a former Delegate of TWP, is a high-ranking member of the Rahl family who has been extremely active in carrying out Fedele's vision for TEP. Aleister, and until recently Funkadelia, who was involved in LWU and facilitated the Khanate as outgoing Delegate of Lazarus at the time, have been entrusted with Border Control by Fedele with no apparent explanation. The recent Delegate election saw votes cast for Fedele by Rahl family members Halo, Badger, Davelands, Minineenee, Dalimbar, Ark, and Greyghost, as well as LWU members Aleister and Funkadelia. Elindra Kshrlmnt, the Archempress of Unknown, and North East Somerset, the King of Balder, also cast votes for Fedele in the Delegate election. Several such votes were invalidated for no longer meeting citizenship requirements. The rise in participation by the Rahls as well as foreign raiders and imperialists has alarmed many observers from other prominent regions, who have spoken openly of concerns that an Empire-Raider-Imperialist axis is carrying out the slow motion subversion of TEP. Many of these same forces, particularly Balder, supported the LWU-backed Khanate in Lazarus in 2018. TWP under Davelands' Delegacy at the time attempted to install Minineenee as Delegate of Lazarus following the collapse of the Khanate at the hands of Imkiville.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article stated that both Balder and TWP supported the LWU-backed Khanate in Lazarus in 2018, but TWP did not support the Khanate, only returning to Lazarus to support Minineenee's bid for the Delegacy after the Khanate collapsed. The Miniluv Messenger regrets the error.