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Clas Markussen

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The Right Honourable

Clas Markussen

MP
Clement Mercier.jpg
Prime Minister of Ordennya
Assumed office
21 August 2019
PresidentJohan Olsson
DeputyJosephine Petersson
Preceded byHimself (as President of Ordennya)
President of Ordennya
In office
24 June 2019 – 21 August 2019
Vice PresidentJosephine Petersson
Preceded byMichel Fallow
Succeeded byJohan Olsson (as President of the Federation)
Himself (as Prime Minister)
Leader of the Opposition
In office
20 May 2019 – 24 June 2019
PresidentMichel Fallow
Preceded byNiamh Cooper
Succeeded byValdemar Söderberg
Leader of the Green Party
Assumed office
20 May 2019
DeputyLoke Mathiesen
Petra Berntsen
Preceded byNiamh Cooper
Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer
In office
10 October 2018 – 20 May 2019
LeaderNiamh Cooper
Preceded byBernard Valls
Succeeded byErica Öberg
Secretary of State
for Federal Affairs & Communities
In office
10 May 2018 – 18 August 2018
PresidentKen Turin
Niamh Cooper(Acting)
Preceded byLilly Carson (Devolution and Constitutional Reform)
Succeeded byLucan Saint-Meyer
Deputy Leader of the Green Party
In office
1 December 2016 – 20 May 2019
LeaderNiamh Cooper
Preceded byNiamh Cooper
Albert H. Montpelier
Succeeded byLoke Mathiesen
Petra Berntsen
Member of Parliament for
Perdrix
Assumed office
7 May 2015
Preceded byLiliana Surdu
Majority28,994 (49.6%)
Director of Communications
for the Leader of Opposition
In office
15 September 2005 – 10 May 2010
LeaderJean Oak
Preceded byMichel Vilod
Succeeded bySeumas Milne
Personal details
Born (1973-04-03) 3 April 1973 (age 46)
Perdrix, Vardland, Ordennya
Political partyGP (2012 - present)
Other political
affiliations
Independent (Before 2012)
Domestic partnerAisling Lavigne
Alma materUniversity of Osea

Clas Markussen (born April 4 1973) is an Ordennyan politician and journalist. He is currently serving as Prime Minister of Ordennya, Leader of the Green Party, and Member of Parliament for Perdrix. A former Cabinet Minister, he held positions in the 2015-2018 Coalition of Socialists & Democrats/Green Party coalition cabinet, first as Chief Secretary to the Treasury, and later as Secretary of State for Federal Affairs & Communities. An Independent before 2010, he served as Director of Communications to former Labour Party leader Jean Oak, while he was Leader of the Opposition. He resigned from this position shortly after the 2010 election, later joining the Green Party in 2012, becoming the Director of Strategy for the overall Green Party, and is credited as the architect of their 2015 election campaign, where the Greens tripled their seat count and vote share. Markussen himself was elected as an MP in the 2015 election, and was appointed to the cabinet alongside a number of his Green Party colleagues. He stood for election to the Deputy Leadership of the Green Party, after Niamh Cooper and Albert H. Montpelier both resigned to contest the Party leadership. As Markussen was the only candidate in the election, he won 173,991 to 4,822 votes to re-open nominations. As Deputy Leader, he continued his role as Director of Strategy for the Green Party during the 2018 snap election campaign, and, alongside the manifesto and campaign led by Niamh Cooper, is credited with the Greens reaching first place in an election for the first time in its history. In 2019, he was elected Leader of the Green Party, and took office as Leader of the Opposition, before leading the Green Party into the 2019 snap election, the second election in 8 months, in which the Greens emerged victorious.

Early life and education

Markussen was born in Perdrix, a town in Vardland, Ordennya, to Katrin Markussen (neé Thunberg), a care worker, and Harald Markussen, a shopkeeper. He has an older brother, Willem Markussen, a University lecturer on Economics at the University of Spálgleann in Caldia, and a younger sister, Lilliana Grimmson, who is a stage actor in Vastdal.

He attended Perdrix High School, before studying a BA in Multimedia Journalism and an MA in Business Journalism at the University of Osea. While at University, he was chair of the Osean Communist Society (despite not holding membership of any Party) for two years as an undergraduate, and was elected as President of the Student's Union after completing his Master's degree.

Career as a journalist

After leaving the University of Osea, Markussen became a reporter for the Vastdal Evening Standard, as a junior political reporter, mostly reporting on Vastdal City Council proceedings. After three years, Markussen was promoted to Chief Political Correspondent, heading up the Standard's Parliamentary reporting team.

In this capacity, he was part of the team who reported on the 2000 Parliamentary expenses scandal, which had major political implications in the run up to the 2000 snap election.

Because of his work on that story, Markussen was then hired by Dagens Nyheter as their Political Editor in 2003, the youngest person hired for the role, at 30. After two years as Political Editor of Dagens Nyheter, Markussen was employed by the Labour Party in 2005, as Director of Communications to then-Leader of the Opposition and Labour Party leader, Jean Oak.

Working for the Labour Party

Markussen's appointment as Director of Communications by Jean Oak raised some eyebrows, as he had never been a member of the Labour Party, and did not join the Labour Party in the five years he served in the role. Oak, however, was keen for the Labour Party to take a new approach following its loss of 66 seats in the 2005 election, which also saw the election of a majority Conservative government.

In his time as Director of Communications, Markussen oversaw new co-ordination and rebuttal systems which revitalised Labour's communications machine, once both feared and respected, restoring it as the model for modern communications in politics and business. Despite his generally quite calm, unassuming manner, he did sometimes come over as somewhat cold, calculating, and unrelenting when it came to dealing with particularly hostile media outlets.

As a result, Labour saw its fortunes reverse in the polls as people began to see them as more competent and media-savvy, closing their gap with the Conservatives for much of the 2005-2010 parliament.

When the Labour Party merged with the Democratic Party to form the Coalition of Socialists & Democrats, a move which he partly co-ordinated, he remained in his position as Director of Communications, and was also tasked with coming up with the new Party's election strategy for the 2010 election. He worked hard to win support from the national media for the Labour Party, particularly from the newspapers that for many years had been anti-Labour, such as his old paper, the Vastdal Evening Standard.

In the 2010 election, the CSD, which went into the election with 240 MPs from the former Labour and Democratic Parties, gained 22 seats, going up to 262 seats. The Conservatives also lost their majority, falling short by 3 seats.

While the CSD had been expected to do better, Markussen's handling of the campaign was applauded by many political pundits, who suggested that without him as Director of Communications, the Party would have increased their losses from 2005. When Jean Oak announced his resignation as leader on 10 May 2010, Markussen also announced his resignation as Director of Communications, to return to journalism.

Return to journalism

In the summer of 2010, the Ordennyan Broadcasting Corporation announced that when Parliament returned from summer recess in September, Markussen would join the political talk show Daily Politics, as a regular commentator.

He also took up a position at the Vastdal School of Public Administration as a lecturer on the M.Sc Political Communications course, serving in the role for two years.

Entering politics with the Green Party

In January 2012, Green Party leader Rune Nyström approached Markussen to ask him to come on board as the Green Party's Director of Strategy. Reluctant to re-enter the political fray at first, he accepted, on the condition he be given full autonomy when it came to devising the Party's strategy for the 2014 Euclean parliament election and 2015 general election, which Nyström accepted.

At first, Markussen remained an Independent during his employ with the Green Party, but after observing the parliamentary performances of Nyström and Niamh Cooper, as well as other MPs, he made the decision to formally join the Green Party, the first time he'd ever been a member of the political party.

Additionally, he was selected to contest his hometown constituency of Perdrix, a safe Conservative seat, following the death of the previous candidate, Gandalf Apell, who had stood for the Green Party in Perdrix for 20 years.

In the 2015 general election, Markussen's co-ordination of the Green Party's campaign led to the Party gaining the most from the collapse in the Conservative vote, jumping from 27 seats to 72 seats, with all gains being from the Conservatives in seats where the Coalition of Socialists & Democrats stood down their candidates, tripling the Party's vote share, and leapfrogging the Liberal Party for them to become the main third Party. In addition, Markussen managed to win election in his home seat of Perdrix, winning the seat off of the Conservative candidate with a slim majority of 102.

In the aftermath of the 2015 election, a coalition government was formed between the KSD and the Greens, with Markussen joining the cabinet as Chief Secretary to the Treasury, deputising for Kenneth Svensson, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, with responsibility for the implementation of key Green Party economic policies.

As a Cabinet Minister

Chief Secretary to the Treasury

To be added