Free State of Charlotte Island
Freistaat Charlotte Island,
Malo o le Charlotte Motu
|Anthem: In Lapaha|
|Status||Free State within a federal monarchy|
|Annexation into Werania||1884|
|• Type||Devolved parliamentary republic in a federal monarchy|
|• Minister-President||Matthias Iha|
|• Total||$1,438 million|
|• Per capita||$14,584|
|Official languages||Weranic, Tutuan|
|Ethnic groups||72.7% Tutuan|
Charlotte Island, officially known as the Free State of Charlotte Island (Weranian: Freistaat Charlotte Island; Tutuan: Malo o le Charlotte Motu) is a free state within the Weranian Confederation. Located in the Sublustrian Sea, it is governed as a special overseas territory within the Confederation whilst retaining the right to send representatives to the Bundestag.
One of the homes of the Tutuan people who settled on the island around 3,500 years ago. Coming into contact with Euclean missionaries in the 1840's it was colonised by Werania in 1887 during the Hoffmann Expedition where it was annexed into the Weranian colonial empire, being named as Charlotte Island in the same period over the traditional name of Tutua. Weranian colonisation entailed a dismantling of the existing tribal structures and the creation of a plantation economy focused around a small Weranian political and economic elite. This continued until the 1954 when Werania granted the island a degree of self-government, albeit under the dominance of the Weranian minority. In 1986 the island was transformed into a free state wherein universal suffrage was implemented. Since the granting of self-governance in 1954 Charlotte Island has seen large advances in urbanisation and development particularly in the regional capital Lapaha.
Charlotte Island is the smallest province in Werania with only 98,645 people. It is ethnically diverse with a majority of the population being Tutuan with substantial minorities of Weranians, Coian people (predominantly from Xiaodong) and a mixed population. Although the economy has traditionally relied on fishing since the 1970's tourism makes up the majority of the economy. The Charlotte Islander government has also in more recent years promoted the expansion of offshore mining. The largest single employer for the island however is the Weranian navy who maintain a large naval base on the island (the Ferdinand Hönigsmann Naval Base).
Government and Politics
Charlotte Island is a constituent state of the Weranian Confederation with the status of a dependent territory. Its citizens hold Weranian citizenship and can vote in federal elections in Werania (Volkstag, Herrstag and Euclean Parliament). The federal government is responsible for defence, international representation and certain fiscal affairs. This gives Charlotte Island a large degree of autonomy relative to other constituent states in Werania.
Charlotte Island is governed by a regional government (malo) that commands confidence from the democratically elected Legislative Assembly (Landtag; Fono). The Fono is made up of 23 members and is elected every four years under a system of first-past-the-post. The regional government is led by a minister-president (Palemia o le Malo) who comes from the largest party in the Fono.
There are three parties in the Fono - the United Party, Democratic Party and the Reform Alliance. The United Party is a conservative party that strongly supports the Weranian presence on the island and is generally the largest party with only two stints in opposition (1986-1994 and 2002-2014). The Democratic Party is a Sotirian democratic party that is in favour of greater autonomy. The Reform Alliance meanwhile is a socialist party that has been associated with pro-independence activism. The United Party largely retains the support of ethnic Weranians on the island whilst the Reform Alliance is supported by the Coian community. All parties have support from the Tutuan majority although the Democratic party is most strongly identified with them. The United Party is the only party that officially associates itself with a federal party, the National Consolidation Party.
Traditional forms of Charlotte Islander societal governance (faʻamatai) still are dominant in Tutuan communities, with tribal chiefs (Tama a 'Aiga) still holding a large amount of sway. There are two paramount chiefdom titles on the island, Taʻiato and Pumaleali'ela, that have traditionally exerted consensus-based governance for the Tutuan community.