Caropsyne Constitutional Crisis of 2000
|Date||July 3–7, 2000|
|Location||Terese Polminese, Fornænda|
|Also known as||Siege of the Pontiana|
|Outcome||End of Maldian Government|
The Caropsyne Constitutional Crisis, better known as the Siege of the Pontiana, occurred between 3-7 July 2000 in Fornænda. This week-long event marks both a devastating and transformative moment in Caropsyne political history which continues to play an outsized influence on the nation to this day and the ongoing philosphical battle between the forces of Seranodan Socialism and Dormondism.
Its origins go back to 1993 with the election of Phodric Dormond as the first Premier after sixty years of Fostana Rule. Under his government, the Pontanore undertook an aggressive foreign policy that were antgonistic against countries whose foreign policy disagreed with that of the Pontanore's. Many of them were focused upon the Republic of Curiastan and her allies whom he would label as 'the Curian Bloc.' Dormond's Foreign Minister Miria Seranoda was very critical of his government's approach to foreign policy and would, in time, become a major player in the political transformation of the Pontanore. Haldric Maldian, Dormond's second-in-command, became Premier in the aftermath of the Great Oil Crisis of 1996 which resulted in Dormond's resignation.
Maldian, alongside his new Foreign Minister Garel Thormond, not continued the foreign policy of his predecessor but pursued even more hardline, isolationist, and nationalistic positions. In mid-1999, following the conclusion of one military conflict the Pontanore was engaged in, Maldian ordered the immediate ceasation of discussions with international parties. Health Minister Alza Permentanna was stunned by this and began to contemplate the unthinkable: taking down the Government. Seranoda had been in self-imposed political exile in Ardalia for around a year before she reappeared as the appointed Administrator-General of Euvodora. Though Seranoda had agreed to cease her public criticism of the government, she still maintain such opinions privately. Permentanna had built up a close relationship with her and confided in her in secret. Her ally, Defense Minister Goriath Moscana shared her concerns and with Permentanna's facilitation, Moscana would form a secret political friendship with her.
Together, they secretly reached out to the Fostana's Chair, Rolmand Roth, to meet with them. The four would meet in an undisclosed location in early April 2000 where Seranoda presented the group with the damning evidence confirming all of their suspicions concerning the level of influence the Damosca had over government policy and their nefarious actions in Jajiland, Curiastan, and elsewhere. With the four aligned, they conspired to bring down Maldian's Government. The Fostana would initiate their attack upon the Government but not until they felt there was sufficient support in the Pontiana. Over the next few weeks, Seranoda, Permentanna, and Moscana would quietly build up their support and feed information to their allies to foster greater criticism of the government's actions. As July started, everything was ready.
Fornænda in Crisis
3 July 2000 was an ordinary summer day until that afternoon at 1pm PST when legal figures worldwide were shocked to learn that in an unprecedented move, the Fostana had abandoned their proceedings mid-session, ejected all public spectators and ordered the Fostana Building sealed. At 2pm PST, the entire sixty-member body stormed out of its chambers and were marching upon the Pontiana Palace on Terese Polminese surrounded by heavy police protection. Led by their Chair and other officers, they had taken with them the working scroll of the Articles of State of the Caropsyne Pontanore. Its removal meant that the Fostana could not function nor could the Pontiana be officially seated. In a brief statement as they approached their counterparts in the lower house, said they were holding the scroll hostage until its demands were met.
The Fostana arrived at the Pontiana at 2:30pm PST and were permitted to enter the Palace by Miria Seranoda and Alza Permentanna. Seranoda joined the Chair and other officers and ascended the main marble staircase to the Premier's Suite while the other members of the Fostana remained downstairs with angry members of the Pontiana who joined the anti-Government movement. Premier Maldian arrived at the Pontiana ten minutes later and engaged in a heated argument with Seranoda and the Fostana Chairman in his suite. Over the next hour and a half, numerous members of Maldian's cabinet resigned and called for immediate elections.
At 5pm PST, the Fostana announced its demands: the resignation of Premier Maldian and elections be held with all due haste. They stated clearly that until their demands were met, the Fostana would remain in the Palace. The entire Pontanore Government was in total paralysis. Scuffles between politicians of opposing factions would break into the night - the police having to break into the Pontiana to break up the fights - each time in direct violation of the law.
By the morning of 4 July, the crisis remained unresolved. The Pontiana's Executive Committee, led by Meldreth Garmond, convened at 10am PST to discuss the upper chamber's demands. In her capacity as Administrator-General of Euvodora, Seranoda submitted a resolution calling for immediate elections to be held. The Pontanore would remain in suspense for four more days as the committee debated and reviewed the evidence she had compiled showing the enormous links between the Dormondist political grouping and military and Damosca figures and the later's high level of influence over government policy.
The Executive Committee would pass the resolution which would initiate immediate elections at 9am PST on 7 July.
The Damosca Strikes
The plan had always been to remove Maldian without bloodshed but some members, including Moscana, had sneaked weapons into the Palace just in case. Chaos unfolded by mid-morning when smoke was seen billowing from the Pontiana Palace. No one outside the Palace knew what was going on other than to speculate that was something very wrong going on. It wouldn't be until late-afternoon that the true extent of the horror would become known to the wider world.
Shortly after the Pontiana Executive Committee had passed the resolution, many smoke grenades had gone off, engulfing the building in smoke. The Damosca (the Pontanore's intelligence service) had decided to take matters into their own hands to keep Maldian in power by force with the intention of forcing the Executive Committee to the overturn their decision then dissolve the Pontiana. Led by General Pholomir Zarmal, agents managed to secretly get into the basement of the Palace by way of the sewer system. Under the cover of the smoke, the Damosca proceeded to storm the building, attacking members of both the Pontiana and Fostana.
Zarmal ordered his men to find and kill Miria Seranoda and her compatriots. She was found by the Damosca but was saved Fostana Chair Roth. Permentanna had been captured and tied to a chair, beaten repeatively into denouncing her ally. When the first gunshots could be heard, Moscana reached for his pistol and rushed to defend the Executive Committee. Taking up a defensive position by flipping over a front office desk, he held the line, killing five Damosca agents who had managed to get into the office suite.
By 1pm PST, it became clear to the Damosca that they had failed in their effort to keep Maldian in power. Those who managed to flee did so through the sewers from hence they came while others were killed or arrested by arriving loyal Casmara agents. General Zarmal managed to evade capture and went into hiding. Throughout the Damosca's assault, Premier Maldian was in his office. He emerged after the sounds of guns ceased and look upon what had happened in horror. He saw hundreds of bullet holes, injured members of the Pontiana of every political party, and some dead.
Haldric Maldian, having witnessed the violence, returned to his office. He picked up his fountain pen and wrote a note simply stating that he regreted the violence and deep shame at the chaos that had be brought upon the country. Maldian then proceeded to commit suicide by hanging himself from a light fitting on the ceiling. Casmara agents would not discover his death until 3:30pm PST, his dead body draped in the flag of the Pontanore.
The Casmara defines the death toll during the Siege of the Pontiana at 67 with 108 injured including Miria Seranoda, Rolmand Roth, and Professor Gethman Tormian. Despite being heavily beaten by Damosca agents, Alza Permentanna would make a full recovery.
Foreign Minister Thormond and Interior Minister Dortmond went into hiding. Both have outstanding warrants for their arrest for their involvement in arranging the attempted coup and conspiracy with the Damosca.
Caropsyne democracy had survived. The Pontiana Executive Committee officially called for elections to be held three weeks later. During the intervening period, a civil administration made up both the Pontiana Executive Committee and the officers of the Fostana would maintain caretaker responsibilities.
Miria Seranoda would run as an independent candidate in the snap election. Her platform was centered on combating corruption and continuing the fight against Dormondist elements in the government and military. She vowed to voters that she would restore liberalism and civil society to the Pontanore. Her main opponent would be Olimand Kossroth. He had been hastly proclaimed leader of the Moderate Party following Maldian's suicide. He criticed Seranoda as being hypocritical and opportunistic in having previously supported both the Dormond and Maldian governments, before undermining them so to seize power. Due to the policies of the first two Premiers, the Moderate Party's credibility had been virtually destroyed. Seranoda soundly beat Kossroth at the polls on 30 July and assumed the Premiership the following day.
Her first act as Premier would be the official dissolution of the Damosca and their subsequent designation as a terrorist organization. Together with Moscana, she would begin a two-year long purge of Dormondists throughout the military and government. To fill the void left by the now-banned organization, the Casmara and Sadriana would take over responsibilities related to intelligence and special operations.
The former Premier is survived by his wife, Soria, and their four children.
The events of 3-7 July 2000 fundamentally changed the Pontanore forever.