Democratic Republic of Faramount
Repubblica Democratica di Faramonte (Cristenese)
Motto: "L'Unità É Forza"
"Unity is Strength"
Map of Faramount
and largest city
|Ethnic groups |
|Fara (24.7%) |
|Independence from Limonaia|
|16 September 1902|
|176,419.8 km2 (68,116.1 sq mi)|
• 2017 estimate
• 2010 census
|187.9/km2 (486.7/sq mi)|
|GDP (PPP)||2017 estimate|
• Per capita
|GDP (nominal)||2017 estimate|
• Per capita
|Gini (2017)|| 59|
|HDI (2017)|| .4597|
|Currency||Faramontese Lira (FAF)|
|Time zone||UTC-4 (Colettian River Time)|
|Date format||dd/mm/yyyy (AD)|
The Democratic Republic of Faramount (Cristenese: Repubblica Democratica di Faramonte) is a de facto one party totalitarian dictatorship based around the Colette River Delta in Southeastern Alharu. The nation is covered in swamps and rainforests, which lie overwhelmingly within 50 meters (165 feet) of sea level. The capital and largest city is New Limone. The nation's population of 33 million people is incredibly diverse, featuring members of over forty indigenous ethnic groups, plus a substantial settler population from Limonaia. The national language is Cristenese; indigenous languages are strictly banned. Christianity is the dominant religion.
Humans settled the Colette River Delta tens of thousands of years ago, and have resided in the fertile area in growing numbers since that time. A patchwork of tribes, city-states, and kingdoms ruled the area until the thirteenth century, when Derthalen attempted an ill-fated colonization of the region. In the sixteenth century, Limonaia succeeded where Derthalen had failed, colonizing the region. The Limonaians had little interest in settling Faramount's swampy rainforests, and so imposed a system of indirect rule, relying upon the local Fara population to provide clay, slaves, and agriculture. A gold rush in 1873 brought Limonaian settlement, and an effort at direct rule, but this collapsed in 1902, when the Fara population revolted amidst the Limonaian Civil War. The Fara people created the Republic of Faramount, a unitary parliamentary constitutional republic dominated by the Faras and Limonaian settler population. This government ruled until the 1950s, when a socialist coalition of minority ethnic groups won control of the government. A Limonaian-backed coup d'état toppled the republic in 1963, establishing the Democratic Republic of Faramount, which was ruled by military junta. In 1984, Mateo Terrone, one of the junta members, seized complete power, founding a dictatorial regime that persists to date.
Faramount is amongst the least economically developed countries in the world. Over half the population lives in extreme poverty, and the country's standard of living is abysmal. Most Faramontese do not have access to clean water. The nation has immense income inequality with the nation's coastal urban areas, and particularly well-off areas of New Limone, barely resembling the rest of the country. Corruption is a fact of life in the dictatorship, which has an overwhelmingly extractive economy; nearly half the nation's GDP comes from foreign mining of petroleum, natural gas, and coal. The poor economic condition in the country is exacerbated by the high crime rate and two active insurgencies presently underway in the nation's interior.
- 1 History
- 2 Geography
- 3 Demographics
- 4 Government and politics
- 5 Economy
- 6 Culture
Humans settled the Colette River Delta tens of thousands of years ago, thriving amidst the fertile soil, plentiful wildlife, and warm climate. The population grew quickly, ultimately achieving a level of around three million by the early sixteenth century. These people belonged to several dozen ethnic groups, though as a result of campaigns by various ethnic governments, six groups became dominant by the 1200s. A number of different religious traditions emerged in this period, most featuring belief in a supreme creator, belief in spirits, veneration of the dead, use of magic, and use of traditional medicine.
A number of tribes, city-states, and small kingdoms governed various portions of Faramount during its early history. The only noteworthy political entity was the Fara Kingdom, which ruled much of the modern nation's South for a few centuries in the eighth and ninth centuries. The nation as it presently exists has no precedent prior to the arrival of Derthaler and later Limonaian traders. There were in fact few connections between the various ethnic groups that now makeup modern Faramount. Conflict was common amongst the numerous states that controlled the region. Knowledge of the history of the Colette River Delta before the thirteenth century is limited as local cultures primarily relied upon oral, not written, history.
Derthaler longships discovered the Colette River Basin in the early thirteenth century, and Derthaler explorers quickly recognized the agricultural potential of the area. The Holy Empire founded a number of trading posts along the river and its estuaries over the following decades, and by 1360, had decided to colonize the region. But the Derthalers struggled to establish a sizable foothold in Faramount as disease, particularly malaria, repeatedly stymied development efforts. Ultimately, the Derthalers founded just one major settlement, Faraberg, and its population had only reached 35,000 in 1450, of which only around 5,000 were Derthalers. Still, the Derthalers made their presence known throughout Faramount, and the nation's modern borders are largely drawn based on the sphere of influence that Derthalen established.
The Holy Empire slowly lost interest in Faramount in the late fifteenth century as it came to be known as a medical deathtrap for settlers. When the Age of Strife began in Derthalen, the empire quickly abandoned any interest in further activity in the Colette River Basin. Most of the Derthaler traders returned home over time, though a small Derthaler community still exists in New Limone. Perhaps more notably, the Imperial Truth gained significant traction in Faramount in the 14th and 15th century, though it would all but disappear following Limonaian colonization.
Limonaian explorers charted the river basin in the early sixteenth century, and several Limonaian city-states established trading posts over the next few decades. Learning from the mistakes of the Derthalers, the Limonaians avoided any attempt at settling the nation's swamps and rainforests. Instead, they sought to trade with local chieftains to obtain cocoa, nuts, clay, and most importantly before 1800, slaves. Limonaia established a system of indirect rule as a result, further building up the Fara Kingdom to achieve these ends with minimal presence. A royal Limonaian census in 1860 determined that just 50,000 Limonaians resided in Faramount, nearly all in the colonial capital of New Limone, or as it had previously been known, Faraberg.
The 1873-1884 gold rush fundamentally shifted the course of Faramontese history. The Limonaian regime suddenly viewed the backwater territory as a major priority, and implemented direct rule, toppling the puppet Fara Kingdom. More than a quarter million Limonaians scrambled to the territory during the eleven-year onrush, tripling the population of New Limone, doubling the population of New Sermerio, and founding Oroa. The Limonaian royal court by the 1890s was devising plans to implement settler colonialism in Faramount, and to this end, was increasingly reducing the authority and privileges of the once cherished Fara population.
Local Faran leaders resented this change in circumstance, and feared the next steps, having heard of the effects of Limonaian settler colonialism in other Limonaian colonies. Strong support for independence grew amongst the population, and the situation was boiling over in 1902, when the Limonaian Civil War broke out. The King of Limonaia recalled nearly all Limonaian troops from Faramount, leaving only a skeleton force in place, and relying upon native colonial troops. Those troops revolted in the fall of 1902 with covert Derthalen government backing, and after a pitched battle led to a standstill in the capital, the local Limonaian population agreed to cede control in return for certain political and economic guarantees. Seeking to end any foreign influence, the Farans made a similar deal with the Derthaler descendants. The Faran and Limonaian accord yielded the formation of the Republic of Faramount.
Republic of Faramount
The Faran and Limonaian communities dominated the political system of the Republic of Faramount from the very start. Under the agreement between the Farans and Limonaians, the colonial government oversaw the nation's first elections, which occurred in December 1902. The settler administration carefully designed the electoral system to benefit the Farans and Limonaians through gerrymandering, arduous voter registration requirements, poll taxes, literacy tests, and other forms of voter suppression. The Farans and Limonaians easily won a majority in the provisional assembly, and there drafted a constitution designed to ensure their political dominance for decades to come.
The Republic of Faramount thus represented merely a new iteration of Limonaia's prior system of indirect rule, benefitting only the Limonaians and Farans. Small Limonaian populations represented the interests of major Limonaian corporations, such as Igressi Oil, Bersagli Oil, Perotto Mining, and the Collete River Trade Company. These firms exploited Faramount for its petroleum, coal, and other natural resources, taking advantage of a lack of regulations. The sizable Fara population filled the ranks of the government, military, and police, protecting the interests of the Limonaians. The government, plush with funds from taxing Limonaian extraction, invested heavily in economic development within Faran lands. To many Faramontese, little changed following independence; the government seemed to continue to exist for the primary purpose of facilitating the drilling of oil, gas, and coal. Most of the population despised the national government, but divisions amongst Faramount's minority ethnic groups prevented any real change from occurring.
The Faramontese Socialist Party finally changed the political calculus in the 1940s, developing a non-ethnic message that resonated nationwide. The Socialists pledged to nationalize the foreign-owned oil, gas, and coal assets, so that the profits from Faramount's natural resources could be directed to economic development. The socialists won control of a third of the parliament in 1951, and in snap elections in 1953, took a majority. Their coalition was overwhelmingly constituted of minority ethnic groups; few Farans supported their cause. The socialists moved quickly to enact their agenda of nationalizing foreign petroleum operations, downsizing the Faran-majority army, reforming the Faran-dominated bureaucracy, and increasing healthcare, education, and social spending.
Yet the socialists made many enemies through these actions, and on 12 July 1963, those enemies seized control of the government in a violent military coup d'état. The Faran-majority Faramontese Army carried out the highly successful revolt, seizing key government facilities before dawn, and then carrying out a purge of socialist officials, defenders of the republican system, and other dissenters. The Limonaian and Derthalen governments covertly backed the coup, as did the Limonaian settler community. A military junta seized control of the country, suspending the constitution. Months later, they implemented a new constitution, forming the Democratic Republic of Faramount.
Democratic Republic of Faramount
The military junta largely restored the Faran-Limonaian power structure, essentially continuing the status quo. The new RDF faced a challenge only from the People's Republic of Faramount, a government-in-exile formed by surviving members of the socialist administration. Loyalists to this government-in-exile formed the United Revolutionary Forces of Faramount, and began a decades-long guerrilla war in the nation's East. This resistance movement, coupled with continually worsening corruption, hampered the regime's effort to develop Faran-majority areas.
A member of the junta (or, as it was formally known, the National Provisional Assembly), Colonel Mateo Terrone, instigated the next major change in Faramount's power structure. The leader of military intelligence, Terrone had played a key role in executing the coup, and by the early 1980s had come to dominate the regime. Ultimately, in 1984, Terrone effected what amounted to another military coup, having 68 of the 120 members of the National Provisional Assembly arrested and executed, and then carrying out a purge of his opponents.
President Terrone has overseen some major changes in the country since taking total power. Thanks to his policies, oil, gas, and coal production has skyrocketed, bolstering the nation's budget. At the same time, a major deregulation has been undertaken in New Limone, allowing that city to become vastly more economically prosperous than the rest of the nation. By and large, Faramount remains an incredibly poor country, but Terrone is believed to be one of the richest men on Eurth with a fortune in the billions.
Faramount is located in Southeast Alharu in the Colette River Basin on the Colette Bay by the Synthe Sea. The nation has a total area of approximately 176,419.8 km2 (68,116 sq mi), making it one of the largest states on Alharu. Its borders span for 2,317.8 km (1,440 mi). The nation lies between latitudes 4° and 8° N and between longitudes 56° and 51° W. Despite its name, Faramount is located almost entirely in the Colette River Basin, and the nation has few elevations higher than 500 meters above sea level. Similarly, contrarily to common sense, Faramount has a relatively low population density despite its location, the result of the poor development of much of its interior.
The nation has a tropical monsoon climate, typified by pronounced wet seasons. This climate is influenced by the tropical rainforest climate directly to the North of Faramount in central Alharu, where the Colette River originates. Faramount has a very small temperature range, with most areas of the country seeing a maximum variance of only 2 °C (ca. 36 °F °F) from the average temperature of approximately 27ºC (80.6ºF). Faramount lies almost entirely in the UTC-4 time zone, and by national law, the entire country uses this time zone, despite some areas falling just outside it. Faramount does not use daylight savings time.
The country experiences heavy and abundant rainfall, brought by storms that are usually convectional in nature due to the proximity to the equatorial belt. Annual rainfall is usually greater than 200 cm (79 in) with coastal areas commonly seeing annual rainfall well over 400 cm (157 in). Faramount experiences a double rainfall maxima characterized by two high rainfall peaks, with a short dry season and a longer dry season falling between and after each peak. The two rainy seasons last from early March through the end of July (peaking in June) and from early September to mid-October (peaking in late September). The two dry seasons last from October until early March (peaking between early December and late February) and for a few weeks in August.
Faramount has one of the most biodiverse environments on the planet, featuring a wide assortment of unique flora, fauna (especially freshwater fish and birds), and arable land. The river delta ecosystem is capable of supporting an incredible number of people, animals, and plants, explaining the relatively high population density in some areas. Yet human activities -- especially by the petroleum industry and mining industry -- threaten this environment to a substantial degree. Pollution and deforestation are major issues in Faramount.
Faramount's population has sharply increased over the last three decades, growing from an estimated 13.0 million in 1980 census to an estimated 33,146,200 in 2017. Independent experts in Limonaia are largely relied upon to provide these estimates, as the Faramontese government's own projections are considered widely unreliable due to corruption. Still, these estimates of population are likely to be low, given the difficulty faced in counting populations in underdeveloped, war-torn rural regions. Women account for approximately 49% of the population.
Faramount continues to undergo a baby boom at present with a population growth rate of approximately 2.4% in 2017. 42.3% of the population is between 0–14 years of age, while 57.5% is between 15 and 65. The nation's crude birth rate is significantly higher than its death and emigration rates, at 30.9 per 1000 people. The national government has been strongly advocating for the use of contraceptives since the early 2000s, but to little success; only around 30% of the population regularly uses any form of birth control. The country's total fertility rate is 5:1.
Faramount has a population density of 187.9/sq km (486.6/sq mi), making it one of the more densely populated nations in the world. Approximately a third of the population reside in the more developed coast. Overall, 47% of Faramontese live in urban areas, but this statistic differs substantially from coast to inland. 62.2% of coastal Faramontese reside in an urban area, and 34.7% in an urban area with a population exceeding one million. By contrast, 38.8% of inland Faramontese live in an urban area, and there are no inland urban areas with a population exceeding one million. 69% of urbanites live in slums.
Cristenese is the national language and official language of Faramount. The government prohibits the use of other languages, except for foreign languages. Nonetheless, many traditional local languages are spoken, particularly in the countryside. Most Faramontese schools do not offer foreign language education for budgetary reasons, but in New Limone, schools commonly teach Anglish and Alemannic in addition to Cristenese. A substantial minority of the capital's residents are passive speakers of Anglish and Alemannic as a result, and a small portion of the population is fluent.
|All other||4.0 million||12.0%|
The Fara people are the largest ethnic group in Faramount, and dominate national politics, receiving blatant preference from the regime of President Mateo Terrone, a Faran. The Farans constitute approximately twenty-five percent of the national population and a sizable majority of the population of the more developed coast. The Farans developed a positive relationship with Derthalen and Limonaia during those nations' colonization of Faramount, and used that positive relationship to gain serious advantage over the other groups. The Farans orchestrated the 1902 revolution and the 1963 coup d'état that created the present government.
Seven other groups make up substantial portions of the population. The Tchebo people of Northeastern Faramount constitute just over 20% of Faramontese. Tchebo political leaders achieved outsized political prominence in the late 1950s and early 1960s, forming the multiethnic socialist coalition that was ultimately overthrown in 1963. The FFRU is largely comprised of Tchebos. The Yorans, Xuntans, and Tijos are the only other ethnic groups constituting more than five percent of the population. The descendants of Limonaian settlers also hold significant political influence in Faramount. This community constitutes less than a million people, and lives almost exclusively within proper New Limone. But Limonaian Faramontese are immensely influential, controlling a vastly disproportionate percentage of the nation's wealth.
Ethnic tension is a major issue in Faramount. The central government's limited control in many more rural areas results in these areas effectively being governed by local ethnic tribes, warlords, and strongmen. There is substantial animosity amongst these local ethnic leaders. Additionally, on a larger scale, much of the population resents the Fara people and their settler allies. Bigotry in Faramount has led at times to violence between ethnic groups, though the Terrone regime has clamped down hard whenever possible to prevent ethnic feuds from escalating out of control.
|Affiliation||% of the population|
|Other non-Christian faiths||5.5|
Limonaian Catholicism is the dominant religion in Faramount. Limonaian Catholics constitute nearly 90% of the population. The remaining population is divided between irreligion, other Christian faiths, and other faiths.
Faramontese are relatively dogmatic. Amongst Catholics of all ethnicities in Faramount, 42% attend church regularly, while 62% say religion plays an important role in their lives. One of the two major insurgent groups in Faramount is the Jesuit Army, a radical Christian group. The army is commonly regarded as a terrorist group due to its targeting of civilians, use of child soldiers, and general brutality.
The national government is formally a secular state that respects freedom of religion, but in reality, the government discriminates heavily against non-Catholics. Some exception is made for the irreligious population that has sprung up in recent years in Faramount's coastal regions. But other religious groups face significant persecution.
The basic Faramontese family unit, particularly in the country, is the extended family consisting of grandparents, their unmarried children, their married sons (and their families), and occasionally other related adults. The structure of the family is patriarchal and patrilineal; the senior male member usually makes all major decisions affecting family welfare, work division, land division, and the dealing with outsiders. Women spend their entire lives under male authority -- first that of their fathers, then of their husbands -- and are expected to devote themselves entirely to the activities of the home. Traditionally, each married couple receives a single room, though the high level of poverty in the nation sometimes makes this impossible. All members of the household raise children, passing onto them the concept and value of family solidarity. Faramount as no-fault divorce; divorcees and widowers usually return to live with their father's family.
There has since independence in the coastal regions, especially New Limone, been a move towards a smaller family united built around the nuclear family. In these regions, young men usually seek to establish their own households upon achieving adulthood, and then invite their future brides to live with them. This is not always possible -- particularly in the sizable slums of the coastal cities -- but it is becoming prevalent. In the last 2-3 decades, there have also been some advances in terms of women's rights, with some young women also getting their own homes upon achieving adulthood, and even obtaining employment, though usually only until married. Feminism is still very much only an emerging political movement in Faramount. Most women get married by their early twenties, and stop working upon doing so; women are less likely to complete all levels of education. The only public official of note that is a woman is Capital Area Inter-Municipal Council Chair Sophie Teroux, who won her post only because she was the daughter of the nation's dictator.
The Ministry of Welfare's Department of Health shares with municipal health authorities responsibility for providing publicly funded healthcare to all Faramontese. This healthcare system takes the form of locally-run hospitals, clinics, pharmacies, and other facilities, which receive funding and other support from the national government. The Terrone regime has severely and chronically underfunded healthcare, appropriating just $2 billion for medicine in 2017, the equivalent of around $60 per capita. Local governments sought to make up the distance, spending another $2.3 billion, or $70 per capita. Due to the healthcare system's reliance on local support, its quality varies substantial. Faramount's rural areas have some of the worst medical care in the world, while in New Limone, the health system is supported by $1.3 billion, or $525 per capita, in local funding.
A sizable private healthcare industry has arisen in Faramount due to the government's failures, effectively creating a two-tier healthcare system. The nation's best hospitals, clinics, and pharmacies are all privately run, with the biggest stand-outs being facilities located in New Limone. The private healthcare sector is allowed even in emergencies to refuse care to those that cannot afford it, and as a result, most Faramontese that can afford it -- and particularly Faramontese of foreign origin -- buy health insurance to ensure they can get care. A number of churches operate charitable healthcare facilities in Faramount, most notably the Catholic Church; these are commonly overwhelmed by patients seeking care that is slightly superior to that available from the state.
National health outcomes are extremely poor in Faramount, though it must be noted that vital statistics are vastly better along the coasts. Life expectancy nationally at birth is just 50.42 years; a Faramontese has a 39% chance of surviving to age 65. The infant mortality rate is 79 per 1,000 live births, and the under five mortality rate is 53.7 per 1,000 live births. The maternal mortality ratio is 626.8 per 100,000 live births, in part because only 59.4% of mothers have the assistance of a healthcare professional when giving birth. There are just .28 physicians per 1,000 population. HIV/AIDS is a major issue in Faramount; 14% of the population is infected with the disease, though rising contraceptive usage rates (30.3% in 2017) are helping combat the spread of the disease. The country struggles with other endemic diseases and infectious diseases as well, such as malaria and yellow fever. The smoking of tobacco is a major public health challenge in Faramount; well over half of Faramontese adults smoke. Half of the population suffers from malnutrition of some degree, and 38% of children face stunting.
The Ministry of Welfare's Department of Education shares with municipal education authorities responsibility for providing publicly funded preschool, primary education, secondary education, and tertiary education to all Faramontese. This educational system takes the form of locally-run schools, which receive funding and other support from the national government. The Terrone regime has severely and chronically underfunded education, appropriating just $700 million for medicine in 2017, the equivalent of around $65 per pupil. Local governments sought to make up the distance, spending another $1.5 billion, or $140 per pupil. Due to the educational system's reliance on local support, its quality varies substantial. Faramount's rural areas have some of the worst schools in the world, while in New Limone, the educational system is supported by $900 million, or $1,212 per pupil, in local funding.
The Faramontese public school system is generally underfunded, understaffed, and otherwise under-resourced. The average pupil to teacher ratio nationally is 40 in preprimary school, 66 in primary school, and 53 in secondary school. Just 28% of children nationally attend preprimary school, a number that rises to 92% for primary school, but falls to 43% for secondary school. Only 31% of Faramontese have completed secondary school, and only 9% will attend some kind of postsecondary school. The literacy rate in Faramount is just 56%, and in rural areas, is approximated at 36.8%. Men are more likely than women to be literate, by a nearly 12% margin.
Education in Faramount is organized around the Limonaian model. Students attend classes through most of the year, except for a three month summer vacation and a three-week Christmas break. School usually runs from 8:30AM to 4:30PM. Children ostensibly may optionally attend preschools or nurseries from ages 2-6, though most localities have shutdown their preschool and nursery programs due to poor funding. Children are mandated to attend primary school from ages 6-11, and then to attend lower secondary school from ages 11-14. Children may then attend upper secondary school from ages 15-19, though most Faramontese live in a municipality that has eliminated its upper secondary school due to underfunding. A child must pass a test to obtain entry to an upper secondary school, and must pass another examination each year to continue. Beginning at age 17, a student must select a speciality, electing to focus on vocational training, internship-based education, or education designed to prepare a pupil for a postsecondary program.
Students that graduate from an upper secondary program may, upon passing a national examination, gain entry to the University of Faramount system. The University of Faramount is a well-regarded public research university in New Limone that offers both undergraduate education and postgraduate education. Only the highest-scoring students can actually attend University of Faramount New Limone, however; most other students must attend one of the school's seven less prestigious satellite campuses. Two of those satellite campuses offer bachelor's degrees; the other five only offer associate's degrees. It is possible, but difficult, for a student to transfer from a satellite campus to the main campus, but only after showing extraordinary academic excellence during the student's first year of university.
Private schools and parochial schools are common at every level in Faramount, and generally, are academically superior to their public counterparts. A substantial portion of the child population -- around 13% -- attends private primary or secondary school. The most prestigious university in the nation, and the oldest university in the nation, is a Catholic institution in New Limone, the Vittorio Emanuele University, named for the first King of Limonaia. It is noteworthy for teaching classes in Anglish. There are four other private universities, all of which are located in the nation's coastal region. The most prestigious non-university private school is the Vittorio Emanuele School System, a preprimary, primary, lower secondary, and upper secondary school system operated by the teaching program of Vittorio Emanuele University.
Most of Faramount is considered dangerous due to militant activities, organized crime, and unorganized crime. Insurgent forces, national criminal organizations, and local gangs profit substantially through the illegal drug trade, human trafficking, kidnapping for ransom, and extortion. Police units face a high mortality rate and low morale, owing in large part to their own corruption. There were 22.9 murders per 100,000 persons in the Faramount in 2016 including 19.6 gun homicides per 100,000 persons. There were 18,530 violent and property crimes per 100,000 residents in 2016. Law enforcement efforts are compounded by the high degree of gun ownership amongst the population, even though civilian gun ownership is heavily restricted. The high level of crime, both organized and unorganized, even extends to the well-off nation's capital, though insurgent activities there are exceedingly unusual.
Faramount is a hotbed for international crime, in addition to its domestic criminal issues. The nation has developed a global reputation for being a major host of remote advance-fee scams, bank frauds, and confidence tricks, both by individuals and large organizations. Faramontese banks are often complicit in these activities, facilitating the efforts of fraudsters by giving them legitimacy. Commonly, a scammer will contact a victim, claiming he has money he needs to withdraw from a Faramontese bank, but cannot because he has been sanctioned by Faramount's brutal dictatorial regime. The scammer convinces the victim to exchange bank account information on the premise that money will be transferred to the victim, who will get to retain a portion of the funds. In reality, money is taken out instead, or alternately, large fees (which seem small in comparison with the imaginary wealth the victim awaits) are deducted. The national government established a special task force to combat these activities in 2003, but due to corruption, mismanagement, and under-resourcing, little progress has been made.
Faramount has a conservative criminal code. The government has prohibited abortion except where medically necessary, as well as gender change. The regime has also banned cigarettes, alcohol, recreational drugs, gambling, prostitution, and homosexuality, though these prohibitions are widely flouted, particularly with regard to tourists. Faramount is considered one of the best destinations for sex tourism with prostitutes of all ages and sexes usually being easily procurable for reasonable fees (by international standards). Violence against women is incredibly common in Faramount, despite the formation of a special task force in 2013 to combat this phenomenon. Female general mutilation regularly occurs throughout much of rural Faramount; over 15% of Faramontese women have been subjected to this tortuous procedure. The Terrone regime has strictly banned FGM, as has the People's Republic of Faramount, but in areas under the control of both governments, it still continues. Domestic violence, marital rape, and acquaintance rape also all commonly occur in the country, and are rarely prosecuted. Under Faramontese law, rape is defined based not on consent, but on resistance; a woman must be able to prove she sufficiently fought her attacker in order for a criminal or civil case to proceed.
Government and politics
The Democratic Republic of Faramount is a de jure unitary dominant-party presidential constitutional republic. Governance is regulated by the Constitution of Faramount, the nation's supreme legal document, which guarantees a separation of powers, a right to local governance, and extensive human rights. The unicameral Assembly of Faramount possesses the greatest power in the system, having the authority to enact legislation, amend the constitution, declare war, approve treaties, control spending and taxes, and impeach national officials. Assembly elections are held every two years with the assembly members elected via closed party-list proportional representation. The president is elected every six years in a national, first-past-the-post election with no term limits. The president appoints with assembly approval the members of the cabinet. A judicial council appoints the members of the nation's judiciary including its court of last resort, the Supreme Court of Faramount.
Yet in reality, Faramount is a single party totalitarian dictatorship. A military junta seized control of the country in a coup d'etat in 1963, ending democratic rule. In 1986, a leading member of the junta, Matteo Terrone, centeralized all power beneath him, declaring himself president. Terrone's National Unity Party controls every seat in the Assembly, the executive, the judiciary, and all local governments. Elections are dominated by electoral fraud with ballots being filled out in advance and government reports of turnout generally being severely discredited. The state entirely disregards human rights, commonly convicting dissidents of treason, jailing native Faramontese and deporting individuals of foreign heritage. The government also regularly intervenes in the economy, directly controlling many of the nation's largest corporations. Corruption is a major issue. Faramontese have little access to news through sources other than the nominally independent, but actually state run, Faramount Public Media conglomerate. Patronage is the basis of most government appointments, and as a result, the civil service is rife with corruption, mismanagement, and incompetence.
Budget and finance
|Education and science||1.8%||$2.1|
|Welfare and social policy||0.5%||$0.7|
|Internal security and other law enforcement||0.7%||$0.9|
Both the national government and local governments in Faramount impose taxes, raise revenues, make expenditures, and accrue debt. The Terrone regime's budget is in fact nearly matched by the total municipal spending in Faramount. Some localities in Faramount -- particularly New Limone -- have large budgets, extensive programming, and sizable bureaucracies. Generally speaking, however, localities make only limited expenditures, merely supplementing national programs. Altogether, Faramontese local governments and the national government raised $16.6 billion, or 13.6% of GDP, in 2017. The Faramontese state including municipalities spent $17.5 billion, or 14.3% of GDP, during the same year.
The national government raised $8.5 billion in taxes in 2017, equal to 6.9% of GDP. Various taxes on petroleum production and other mining accounted for over 75% of all national revenue in 2017. The government relies on a complex, mostly regressive system of income taxes, inheritance taxes, and value added taxes to raise the remainder of its revenue. Tax rates are incredibly high in Faramount with most taxpayers theoretically owing more than 75% of their income to the federal government, but few pay anywhere near this amount because of numerous tax breaks designed to benefit specific groups, spotty enforcement, and widespread corruption in enforcement.
The national government spent approximately $8.7 billion in 2017, equating to 7.0% of GDP. The Democratic Republic prioritized military and internal security spending, appropriating a combined $1.9 billion (1.6% of GDP and 22% of all national government spending) to the Faramontese Armed Forces and Faramontese Security Forces. The government also committed significant funds towards public healthcare ($2.0 billion; 1.6% of GDP) and public education ($0.7 billion; 0.5% of GDP). National debt service represented the third largest public expenditure, a total of $2.1 billion (1.7% of GDP). The national government had accrued $23.8 billion in debt by 2017, equal to approximately 19.5% of GDP. The Terrone regime ran a $200 million deficit in that year, equal to 1.6% of GDP.
Law enforcement and justice
The Ministry of Justice is responsible in Faramount for law enforcement, prosecution, national security, intelligence, and internal security. The Justice Ministry employs nearly 175,000 employees, including over 100,000 sworn officers. The Faramontese National Police are the largest component of the ministry, having some 75,000 officers responsible for general policing, criminal investigation, counter-terrorism, counter-insurgency, border patrol, and the protection of government buildings and officials. The 12,500 officer Penitentiary Police serve as the nation's prison guards, and also possess responsibility for prisoner transport, fugitive apprehension, and courthouse security. The 5,000 officer National Intelligence Service is also under the supervision of the Justice Ministry; the NIS is principally the nation's intelligence service, but its broad authority over counterintelligence has led critics to label it the nation's secret police. The 9,500 officer Maritime Police serve as the nation's coast guard, and also act in support of the National Police's riverine operations. The Ministry of Justice had a budget of $1.1 billion, or 0.6% of GDP, in 2017.
Municipal police, private police, and private security companies augment the work of the Faramontese Security Forces, which struggle against underfunding, corruption, low morale, and a high mortality rate. There are approximately 60,000 local, company, campus, and other private police across the country. New Limone maintains the largest police department, comprised of approximately 2,500 sworn officers. Most other mid and large sized cities have their own forces as well, as does ever major corporation in the country. Even rural areas usually seek to commission private officers, given the unreliability of the national police. Oversight of these local and private forces is spotty at best, and corruption amongst them is particularly high. Municipal prosecutors and private prosecutors can and often do prosecute misdemeanor offences and civil infractions, receiving a portion of the fines paid by the offender.
The Faramontese court system is incredibly corrupt. The nation theoretically has an independent judiciary with the power of judicial review, but judges are usually appointed as part of a patronage system, and owe loyalty to the Terrone government not the law. When the courts do operate as designed, they use a civil law legal system, featuring an inquisitorial system, bench trials, and extensive codes of law. Most commonly, courts render decisions in favor of the government without question, particularly in criminal cases, and in private disputes, judges sell their judgments to the highest bidder. The legal profession in Faramount is barely regulated, with the only requirement to practice law being the possession of a bachelor's degree in law.
The Faramontese government regularly engages in torture, extrajudicial killings, and other cruel and unusual treatment of prisoners, despite the nation's constitution strictly prohibiting these activities. The Faramontese Constitution bans capital punishment except in cases of espionage, treason, war crimes, and crimes against humanity; in practice, the death penalty is regularly used. Tourists and Faramontese of Limonaian and Dertahler heritage are generally exempt from these severe penalties, instead facing only deportation if convicted of a serious offence. Faramount has a sizable prison population. There were approximately 156,782 incarcerated persons in Faramount in 2017, the equivalent of a half percent of the population. The incarceration rate was 473 per 100,000. Private prisons housed over ninety percent of prisoners in 2017 including all convicts incarcerated for a period exceeding one year.
The Faramontese Army, Naval Army, and Air Army collectively form the Faramontese Armed Forces, which are under the command of President Matteo Terrone. Since 1963, military service has been voluntary. In 2017, the Faramontese military had approximately 23,880 personnel on active-duty and 14,619 personnel on reserve duty, plus 19,550 civilians in support roles in the Ministry of Defense. Faramount spent $1.3 billion, or 1.1% of its GDP, on the armed forces in 2017.
The Faramontese Army is the national ground defence force, numbering 14,070 active duty personnel and 7,035 reserve personnel in 2017. The Faramontese Army is noteworthy for containing its own close air support assets. The Faramontese Naval Army is a brown water navy responsible for providing riverine combat support to the army, engaging in river-based military transport, and defending the nation from foreign attack. The Naval Army has 5,590 active duty personnel, along with 3,792 reservists who are responsible for naval defense. The Faramontese Air Army is responsible for military transport and air defense. The Air Army's 4,220 active duty personnel operate military transport aircraft and a single squadron of air superiority aircraft, while its 3,792 reservists operate air defense missile batteries.
The Faramontese Armed Forces are amongst the most active in Alharu, having been engaged in an ongoing conflict against the Fulgistani-backed socialist FFRU in Eastern Faramount since 1963. Additionally, the military from time to time assists the Faramontese Security Forces in combating other insurgent and resistance groups, most notably Deus Vult, a radical Christian terrorist organization. Faramount's military is considered relatively competent, and it is widely viewed as the most honest, reliable, and effective institution in greater Faramount.
Faramount is a small power with limited international influence and little involvement in global affairs. The nation has no foreign aid program, no foreign military bases, and no active foreign engagements. Faramount has only a single diplomatic mission in each nation with which it has relations; it has no secondary missions operating at this time. Faramount is actively locked in an effective state of war with Fulgistan. The Fulgistani state recognizes the People's Republic of Faramount, a Faramontese government-in-exile, as Faramount's legitimate governing authority. The Fulgistani regime actively funds the RPF, and its armed wing, the FFRU, which is engaged in a major guerrilla warfare campaign against Faramontese forces in Eastern Faramount.
|Nominal GDP||$122.5 (2017)|
|Real GDP growth||2.7% (Q1 2018, annualized)|
|CPI inflation||6.4% (June 2018)|
|Employment-to-population ratio||58% (August 2015)|
|Unemployment||18.4% (June 2018)|
|Labor force participation rate||68.3% (June 2018)|
|Total public debt||$26.4 billion (Q4 2017 national and local)|
Faramount is a developing country whose mixed market economy has made major gains in recent years despite severe corruption, crime, and political instability. The nation's gross domestic product is estimated to be $122.5 billion, while its purchasing power parity GDP is approximated at $269.7 billion. This translates to a nominal GDP per capita of $3,696 and a PPP GDP per capita of $8,135. The oil industry, natural gas, and mining drive much of the economy; these sectors accounted for 27.1% of GDP in 2017. A major campaign of deregulation, infrastructure investment, and anti-corruption activity has also allowed for substantial growth in the Metropolitan New Limone Area. The GDP of this "capital region" accounts for 31.7% of the national GDP in 2017. The Faramontese economy grew by 2.3% in 2017, and appears on track to grow by a greater proportion in 2018.
Income inequality is a major issue in Faramount. The wealthiest tenth of a percent of Faramontese have a greater household net worth than the least wealthy fifty percent of Faramontese. The nominal annual gross national income per capita for rural Faramount is less than $450; most Faramontese in the countryside rely upon substinence agriculture, or work in foreign-run mines, for employment. By contrast, the nominal annual GNI per capita in the capital region is over $15,500. High inflation rates have made life more difficult for poorer Faramontese. Nearly two-thirds of Faramount's population lives in poverty, and over half lives in extreme poverty. The unemployment rate is consistently high, around 18% nationally, and of those who are employed, 54% are self-employed due to the lack of jobs.
The petroleum industry and mining industry account for over a quarter of Faramount's GDP. The agricultural industry accounts for another quarter the Faramontese economy. Most of the remainder of Faramount's gross domestic product is created along the more prosperous coastline. This region has considerable manufacturing, service, and tourism sectors, mostly driven by foreign investment. However, corruption is a major drag on the economy, even in these areas. An elaborate and inconsistent regulatory framework mean that it takes a company on average over a month to form, two months to register property, and 394 hours to file and complete taxes. Because of the underfunded and inefficient nature of the court system, it takes on average 630 ays for a company to enforce a contract. Most successful businesses outside the capital escape these burdens through extensive bribery.
The Faramontese National Bank, an ostensibly politically independent central bank, manages Faramount's monetary policy. In reality, the bank's managing council takes orders directly from the Ministry of Economy. The nation has its own currency, the Faramontese Lira, which was historically tied to gold, but is presently a fiat currency. The Franc has an incredibly low value internationally.
Regulation and labor rights
The Faramontese government's interference in the economy varies, largely as a result of corruption. The national government has enacted a progressive regime of de jure regulations to promote public health, environmental protection, and occupational safety and health. Yet these rules are rarely enforced, as voiding them usually requires only the payment of a few bribes to state officials. Some municipalities are stricter, particularly New Limone, but even there, protections of workers pale in comparison to those in the developed world.
Corruption similarly creates a wide gulf between de jure labor rights and de facto labor rights. The government ostensibly mandates a high minimum wage, maintains a right to collective bargaining, limits daily working time to 8 hours, and limits the work week to five days. Yet in reality, these limitations are scarcely enforced, particularly outside the capital. It is common for Faramontese to work 10-12 hour days 6 days a week. The only nationally recognized holidays are Christmas and Easter.
Faramount has generally poorly developed infrastructure, except along the more well-populated coast. Only 35% of Faramontese have access to electricity, and only 27% have access to clean fuels. 63% of Faramontese have access to an improved water source, and of those, only half have access to reliably clean water. Only 41% of Faramontese have access to basic sanitation. Most Faramontese have access only to maritime transport through the nation's river-ways, and many Faramontese travel entirely on foot. Rural Faramount is generally considered to be one of the least developed areas in the world; residents generally have access to information only via radio broadcasts, usually heard on wind-up radios. The nation's mail system is highly unreliable, except in the capital.
Residents of the nation's inland cities, and of the coastal slums that house most coastal residents, have a marginally better access to infrastructure. Most urban areas have an electrical grid, sewerage, transport network, telecommunications network, and water supply network, though these systems are usually aging, underfunded, and somewhat unreliable. The vast majority of residents of these urban areas commute using a mixture of walking, biking, and mass transit. For the most part, mass transit takes the form of ferries, trams, and transit buses, though there are some light rail systems. Ferries and buses provide most intercity transit, though there is a major railroad connection between New Limone and New Sermerio. Fossil fuel power plants provided nearly all electricity in the country in 2017.
Residents of the New Limone city centre, and of its wealthier neighborhoods, have access to substantially superior infrastructure. Most of these areas have reliable power, sewer, transport, telecommunications, and water supply systems; they also have internet access and access to cable television. New Limone has the nation's only international airport, along with robust port facilities. New Sermerio is in the process of improving its utilities to be able to have a similar level of service, but still has a long road ahead.
Faramount is incredibly rich in natural resources, and the exploitation of these resources presently accounts for over 25% of the nation's GDP. Oil and natural gas constitute the vast majority of this economic activity. The Faramontese government estimates that the country has 56.3 billion barrels of oil reserves, and 8.4 trillion cubic meters of natural gas reserves. There are over 100 oil fields in Faramount, and over 1,000 oil wells. A number of foreign corporations have exclusive contracts for the exploitation of these resources, notably the Limonaian Igressi, the Variotan state-run Huisselikke Gas en Olie and the Derthalen state-run Collete River Basin Trade Company. The nation produces approximately 1.3 million barrels of oil and 140 million cubic meters of natural gas per day.
There is substantial local resistance to oil and gas activity, and the government commits substantial resources to defending foreign mining assets. Many local communities object to the construction of oil and gas pipelines, and to petroleum removal in general, particularly since all funds gained from the modest taxes on these extractive industries is directed towards the military, security forces, and central government. Sabotage is a constant problem at oil fields in Faramount as a result. Additionally, insurgent forces in the country commonly target foreign petroleum production, given its importance to the regime. The Faramontese government has committed several thousand national police to defending the oil and gas industry, which itself possesses one of the largest private police forces in the country.
Faramount also has substantial deposits of coal, aluminum, and clay, though there is presently little effort to extract these resources. Historically, Limonaia engaged in substantial clay mining activities in Faramount, but this mostly dropped off amidst the rise in sectarian strife in the country. More recently, the Variotan M.M.C-fan Gautfanger has undertaken coal mining efforts, though these are still in the early stages. The exact size of Faramount's coal resources is unknown.
Agriculture and fishing
Agriculture and fishing are major economic activities in Faramount, which lies in a highly fertile river delta. A substantial portion of the population are engaged in these pursuits, which account for a quarter of the nation's gross domestic product. Historically, Faramount has been known for its food production, and in the nineteenth century, was a major food exporter. Much of the Limonaian population that now resides in Faramount moved to the county to manage plantations along the coastline. The few major commercial export firms existing today focus on cocoa, groundnuts (peanuts), rubber, and palm oil.
Yet despite its substantial amount of arable, fertile land, Faramount remains reliant on food imports because the nation has not developed its agriculture. Most Faramontese farmers are engaged in only subsistence agriculture using inefficient techniques dating back centuries. There exist a number of deterrents to additional investment in agriculture as well. Throughout much of the nation's interior, customary land rights that remain dominant, deterring any one person or organization from investing in developing any area due to the lack of private ownership. The nation's ongoing civil conflicts and high level of corruption also deter investment in agriculture.
Faramount is a multiethnic state whose culture has been substantially influenced by Limonaia. Prior to Limonaian colonization, Faramount had never existed as a single political entity, except to a limited extent during Derthalen occupation. Instead, several dozen different tribes, city-states, and small kingdoms occupied modern Faramount. Derthalen, and later Limonaia, lumped all of these states together into what now constitutes Faramount. There are over forty ethnic groups residing in Faramontese territory as a result, plus Limonaian settlers. The Faramontese government consistently acts to suppress all indigenous cultures, instead seeking to force the full adoption of Limonaian culture. This effort has been successful to a degree, particularly in urban areas, but in rural areas, indigenous cultural norms still rule.
Culture in urban and rural areas takes a very different form as a result. Most urban Faramontese, and particularly those Faramontese residing on the developed area of the cost, largely consume Limonaian culture. There is a noteworthy entertainment district in New Limone, and a smaller one in New Sermerio; the movie theaters, theaters, concert halls, and museums in these locations overwhelmingly exhibit Limonaian-inspired works. By contrast, in rural areas, Limonaian culture is barely present, and traditional norms still hold. These rural regions are known for their many festivals, some of which date to the period before the arrival of the major religions in this ethnically and culturally diverse society. The main Christian festivals are often celebrated in ways that are unique to Faramount or unique to the people of a locality.
The government's strict censorship of cultural expression has severely hampered the arts in Faramount, essentially blocking the production of artistic works in any Alharun indigenous style. To the extent that artists can avoid state scrutiny, commercial success is extremely difficult, given the low literacy rate, lack of popular access to film, television, or radio, lack of government subsidization of the arts, and minimal private patronization of the arts. There is a substantial community of artists and musicians who emulate Limonaian styles; these individuals are patronized by the Limonaian community, and have also achieved commercial success abroad. A number of Faramontese authors have also achieved international notoriety for their defense of négritude. But by and large, few Faramontese have access to the arts, and even fewer can make any contribution.
The Faramontese government strictly censors mass media in the country, and as a result of this and the overwhelming poverty level, the public's access to information is limited to only a few outlets. Though enshrined in the nation's constitution, freedom of the press does not exist in Faramount, and the nation is considered one of the worst places for a journalist to seek to operate. Nonetheless, a small number of private media outlets do operate in the country, though none provide news services. There are six private terrestrial television stations in the country: three in New Limone, two in New Sermerio, and one in New Boevendal. There are twenty-eight terrestrial radio stations: thirteen in New Limone, six in New Sermerio, three in New Boevendal, and six elsewhere. One of New Limone's television stations doubles as a satellite television outlet nationwide, and two of New Limone's radio stations similarly double as national satellite radio providers. Several business, sports, and entertainment magazines also operate in New Limone and New Sermerio.
The largest media outlet in the country is Faramount Public Media (Limonaian: Media Pubblici Faramonte; MPF), a nominally independent public broadcasting network that is in reality a state media organization that acts as a mouthpiece for the regime. MPF is the only news provider in Faramount, though a small number of foreign outlets are permitted to serve tourists and Faramontese of foreign descent. MPF operates a satellite television channel, a national daily newspaper, and a national news magazine; MPF also operates a terrestrial television station, terrestrial radio station, and local newspaper in each of the nation's largest cities. MPF maintains a single news staff, which serves all of its outlets. Generally, MPF programming is considered highly biased, to the point where most independent observers view it simply as propaganda.
There are two foreign-based outlets that seek to provide news coverage to Faramontese citizens. The Independent (Limonaian: L'Indipendente) is a Mauridiviah-based Cristenese-language publication targeted towards Faramontese. Originally based in New Limone, the Independent was Faramount's newspaper of record from 1902 until 1964, when the government massacred most of its staff, forcing the paper into exile. The private news outlet now smuggles papers into Faramount in a bid to provide objective journalism to the public. Radio Free Eurth is an international satellite and terrestrial radio group funded by several governments with the aim of providing news coverage to the populations nations with authoritarian governments. RFE has a Faramontese division, which broadcasts news coverage to Faramount in Limonaian.
The Faramontese government strictly regulates athletics, having seized control of all sporting in 1964 after suppressing a national player protest of the curtailing of the freedom of the press. The state requires the use of a franchise and minor league system in the most popular team sports, namely association football, basketball, and rugby union. The regime has only awarded franchising rights to its most ardent allies and supporters. The government requires a person to obtain a licence in order to compete in the most popular individual sports, namely boxing and track and field. The state only awards licences to supporters of the ruling National Unity Party. The regime has in recent years implemented some reforms in order to increase the profitability and international competitiveness of its sports teams, namely ending an effective policy of segregation against ethnic minorities. But the government still exercises strict control of the industry.
Association football is the de facto national sport of Faramount, attracting vastly more interest than any other athletic endeavour. The Faramount Football Federation organizes professional soccer competition in the country into three leagues: the Premier League, Minor League, and Amateur League. There are six Premier League teams, each of which has a twelve game regular season, six at home and six away. The four teams with the best record go onto compete in post-season playoffs for a chance to win the Premier Football Championship Trophy. There are twenty-eight Minor League teams, each of which also has a twelve game regular season, six at home and six away. The eight teams with the best record go onto play in post-season playoffs for a chance to win the Minor Football Championship Trophy. There are several hundred Amateur League teams, which have varying season lengths and compete in various special competitions; generally, these teams are comprised of student athletes or individuals playing solely for recreational purposes. Each Minor League team is wholly owned by a Premier League team; each Amateur League team is associated with a single Premier League Team. The Faramount Football Federation also organizes the Faramount National Football Team, which competes in the SATAMFC and UENA.
Because Faramount is placed on a bay off the Synthe Sea, fish is very important. Chicken, lamb, peas, eggs, beef, and pork are also used in Faramontese cooking. White rice, the primary crop of Faramount, as well as peanuts, couscous, sweet potatoes, lentils, black-eyed peas and various vegetables, are also incorporated into many recipes. Meats and vegetables are typically stewed or marinated in herbs and spices, and then poured over rice or couscous, or eaten with bread.
Popular fresh juices are made from bissap, ginger, buy (pronounced 'buoy', which is the fruit of the baobab tree, also known as "monkey bread fruit"), mango, or other fruit or wild trees (most famously soursop, which is called corossol in Lysian). Desserts are very rich and sweet, combining native ingredients with the extravagance and style characteristic of the Lysian impact on Faramount's culinary methods. They are often served with fresh fruit and are traditionally followed by coffee or tea.