Only Tusana remains uncertain
Governor thanks President
Sunday, February 16, 302 AP
Web posted at 1715 UST.
Utania has a new President, after the UEC confirms that yesterday, challenger Governor Hope outpolled the President winning 22 electorates worth 84 electoral seats, over the President's 18, worth 69 electoral seats.
The Utanian Electoral Commission (UEC) has just released the results of the country's first Presidential run-off election between President Okarvits and Governor Hope, confirming the Governor's victory.
While there remains several seats where counting of votes is incomplete, not to mention thousands of postal votes from around the world outstanding, the UEC were definite in their announcement that Governor Hope had secured victory in the marginal seats of Vela Luka, Utan-Nystos and Utan Krysaror, and thus an 84-69 victory overall.
Late last night, with the results at 74-69 in the Governor's favour, the President needed to win three of the remaining four marginal seats to win re-election, and conceded defeat. Today's counting by the UEC confirmed his loss, ending the President's bid for re-election. Only four electoral seats in the electorate of Tusana, in the country's capital, still undecided.
The Governor's victory, therefore, represents the first direct-democratic transition of the Presidency.
Long road back
Governor Hope, just minutes ago, made his acceptance speech, some eighteen hours after the President conceded defeat when the result was still a little uncertain.
He thanked the President for commending him to the people, and admitted that with the President's leaving office, he had "big shoes to fill".
"I would like to thank the President for the past two and a half years of devoted dedication to this country and her people. Despite our differences, I have always had a strong respect for the President. He has maintained strong democratic traditions, and strengthened this country's institutions that have made, or will make, this transition possible.
"There is no doubt in my mind that my future leadership of this country has been made possible through the dedicated efforts of the President.
He also emphasised that, yes, he would live up to the faith the people have placed in him, and would lead the country for ALL Utanians.
For Governor Hope, this is an incredible turn of events. From Governor of a province in the Guwimithian Empire, to caretaker President of a newly independent state, only to be ousted in the September 300 parliamentary election.
On October 21st, 300ap, when he returned after his defeat -- having declined the opportunity to continue on as a federal MP -- to Lasanne state, to take over from his deputy as Governor once again, over a thousand supporters cheered him at the airport. That evening, Daniel O'Regan, the Lasanne state Secretary of the Conservative Party, told members at a party dinner that he would be starting the "President Hope campaign fund".
The Governor set about making himself more acceptable to Utani, pushing various measures in his own state that would appeal to Utani, as well as receiving a crash course in Utani -- which paid off by giving him the ability to make speeches to Utani voters in their own language.
He also struggled against the tide winning a second term as Governor, and then scoring the second-greatest victory of them all: against all odds, defeating both Thomas Kemp and Gov. Cryer in the Conservative and Cruisian-Democratic Presidential nomination race, when most gave him little chance of achieving it.
It has been a long road, almost two-and-a-half years long, but today Daniel O'Regan stood nearby, as Campaign Finance Manager, cheering the new President during his victory speech.
"This is a great day for Utanians," the Governor told supporters, still occupying Shecker's Hotel Pearl ballroom. "It marks the breaking of a new dawn, a new day in our history.
"While one door to our mutual future may have closed, my friends, another has now opened. We will see a new and bright future that will make the most of the gifts that we have, and turn this country's economy around.
"It will be a path of hard-work, and a path that will take a long while to travel, but I promise you, the rewards will be rich and we will all benefit together in the future prosperity we will all share.
"I will pledge to the people of Utania now: no one will be left behind, no one will be disadvantaged in this time of prosperity. From Luka to Agraam, Shecker to Navoomi, we will all see the fruits of this new dawn."
The room was electrified, as supporters, numbering in their hundreds, even thousands, filled the ballroom, balloons, streamers and confetti filling the air alongside the cheers and cries of joy.
Conversely, the ballroom of the Luxor Hotel in Utan Krysaror, where the President's entourage had settled the previous night, was deserted, clean-up crews and technicians having long ago removed any semblence of the increasingly sombre party the night before.
The President himself was reported to be in the so-called "Presidential Palace", beginning the task of cleaning it out.
Governor Hope also hinted that his deputy, Johnston Sheen, would once again take over the Governorship, just as he did while the Governor was caretaker President.
Today, Utania got a new President. He is inaugurated on Saturday, March 1st.
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