UPA (Utanian Press Agency)
Release: Monday, May 28th, 301 AP.

Prime Minister calls a snap election

After weeks of speculation, Prime Minister Eric Barth has finally called a snap election for six weeks time, July 7th, 301 AP.

In a live television telecast at 6pm, broadcast by all major television stations in Utania, the Prime Minister made the following (edited) speech.

"My fellow Utanians", he began. "As you know, the election last year in Utania has been poisoned by the poor population statistics held by the Electoral Commission last year. We have a situation with MPs representing a handful of constituents, and others representing millions. The principle of our electoral system was that one Member of the federal Parliament would represent about 300,000 Utanians. Furthermore, according to the Utanian Electoral Commission, based on their analysis of the January Census, there should 156 MPs representing the people of Utania, not the current 140. With such a significant skewing of the system compared with the real population figures, we are pressed to hold fresh and fair elections, new elections that will determine, once and for all, the wishes of the majority.

"I have spoken with the elected leaders of each of the represented political parties, and most are in agreement that this election must be recast. All have agreed that you, the Utanian people, have lost in the September election of last year, that there is people in Utania unrepresented. And finally, this very afternoon, we held an informal vote to determine whether the majority of MPs felt that a fresh election would clear the air and allow the voice of the people to be heard fairly and without misrepresentation.

"Of the 140 MPs currently in the Parliament, all bar 17 have voted for this fresh election." The Prime Minister inhaled visibly and focused on the camera. "To this end, I have informed the President, and the Director of the Utanian Electoral Commission, that on July 7th, 301AP, the United Democratic Republic of Utania will hold a fresh and fair general election for the Parliament, based on the revised electorate model proposed by the Electoral Commission based on the recent census."

The Prime Minister continued by saying that he hoped the people would understand why this was necessary, and that the short duration of the lead-up to the election would "ensure that minimal election campaigning would be entered in to". He also mentioned that this would immediately affect the Presidential campaigns, postponing them by another year, as the Presidential election will now be held in January 303 AP, not next year.

The majority of Utanians are supportive of the new election, understanding why this Parliament of only 140 could only live for nine months. In a recent poll, approval for a new election based on the revised boundaries was over 75%, and almost all major newspapers are similarly supportive.

"It's just what we have to do", said one Utani man who watched the broadcast from his barstool in the local bar. "We all knew the Guwimithians were cheating us of population, downplaying the number of Utani. Now, we have to correct that."

Another man adds: "In ten years, who'll notice the difference? It's birth pains of a new nation, that's all."

Still, not everyone supports it.

"So, politicians want another sixteen of their own to represent us? Baaah", he jibes. "They aren't looking out for us - it's all number one."

The twenty nine who objected to the fresh election include the Yannists, and some Conservatives, some Burovians and even some government MPs who say it is simply "a waste of resources".

Regardless of the minimal dissent, July 7th, Utania is going to the polls, again.

©UPA, 301 AP.

©Mike Ham, 2001. All rights reserved. No reproduction without, at least, tacit approval. ;-)