Foley Bartholomew Sakzi
|33rd President of Zamastan|
November 17th, 2019 – September 22nd, 2020
|Preceded by||Anya Bishop|
|Succeeded by||Atticus Moreau|
|82nd Speaker of the Chamber (Zamastan)|
September 22nd, 2012 – November 17th, 2019
|President||Cassious Castovia, Zacharias Castovia, Anya Bishop|
|Preceded by||Yerran Mann|
|Succeeded by||Larious Maxwell|
|Senator, Northern Isle District 2|
September 22nd, 2008 – November 17th, 2019
|Born||August 26, 1976 (Age:44)|
|Political party||Blue Conservatives|
|Height||6 ft 2 in (188 cm)|
|Children||Karina Sakzi, Mylon Sakzi|
|Parents||Joshua Sakzi, Megan Sakzi|
|Years of service||1996-2003|
|Unit||87th Gold Battalion|
|Battles/wars||Battle of Amstelveen|
Foley Bartholomew Sakzi is a Zamastanian politician, statesman, and former-soldier who served as the 33rd and current President of Zamastan, succeeding President Anya Bishop in a Special Election after her removal from the office following a vote of no-confidence. Sakzi shook the political landscape in June of 2019 when he announced his candidacy against President Bishop in the 2020 Election cycle. His candidacy, as well as his position in the Blue Conservative Party, caused a major division in the Conservative realm, as he began openly criticizing Bishop for her policies. Upon her condemnation and subsequent removal from office, he remained on the side lines to the best of his ability as the leading member of Congressional Hall, abstaining from the Congress Chamber's vote and speaking in terms of political unification after her removal in testimonial settings. He was succeeded by Atticus Moreau after deciding he would not seek reelection in the 2020 Zamastan presidential election.
His provided domestic views are largely centered around middle and lower class economics, and he has stated that he hopes to provide systems of free enterprising that doesn't infringe on the rights of the everyday citizen, while also maintaining a faithful and open government system. He has advocated for a strong military, sanctions against Beleroskov and Malvare (though he strongly criticized President Bishop's handling of the July-August Trade War), and an increase in trade with nations who don't have strong current connections with Zamastan. He has advocated for gun reform and was one of the leading voices in the August legislation that banned semi-automatic rifles in Zamastan, though he has stated that he believes in the right for citizens to have conceal and carry permits for hand guns. His presidency largely centered around military tensions in East Ausiana, the aftermath of attacks on international shipping, oil rigs, and Navy vessels by Ossinia and the subsequent coalition invasion of Ossinia and the toppling of Martin Saint-Yves' government, although he was criticized at the end of his administration for his handling of the unraveling civil war in Syraranto, the Jurrania Shore Oil Spill, and the arrests of Cairo Gough and journalists in Yuan.
Before the Presidency, he served as the 82nd Speaker of the Chamber of Zamastan, serving since 2012. He is a prominent member of the Blue Conservative Party, but is known for his willingness to be non-partisan when public interest in a bill is high. He served this position under his elected role as the Senator of Northern Isle's 2nd District. Before his tenure in politics, he was a corporal in the Zamastanian Armed Forces, seeing action during the Second War in Vulkaria. He was shot in the chest by enemy combatants during the Battle of Amstelveen and critically injured, but recovered and rewarded several medals honoring his bravery and sacrifice during the fighting.
- 1 Early Life
- 2 Military Service
- 3 Congress
- 4 Senate
- 5 Speaker of the Chamber
- 6 President
Born to parents in Providence, Northern Isle, on August 26, 1976, Sakzi grew up in Lower Tariel. His mother died of cancer when he was ten years old. While his father worked in the oil industry, Sakzi spent some time growing up in Cadair, gaining a proficiency in Cymraeg. Sakzi joined the reserve corps of the Zamastanian Armed Forces in 1996, but was able to pursue an education during his service and graduate from the University of Tofino with a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in international relations in May 1998.
While at the University of Tofino, Foley Sakzi joined the Army Reserve Officers Training Corps and was commissioned in the Zamastanian Army after his graduation. He served in the special forces for five years, including two tours of duty, reaching the rank of lieutenant commander. His first deployment was to Amden, Vulkaria in 1999 as Zamastan sent forces to fight in the Second War in Vulkaria.
While serving in the Amstelveen Province of Vulkaria in 2003, during his second deployment, he was injured by the detonation of an improvised explosive device, and was shot by enemy fighters who overwhelmed his team's position. He suffered severe gunshot injuries in his chest which required surgery. While he recovered from the surgery, one of the five bullets was not able to be removed from his body and remains lodged in his rib. Sakzi earned two Bronze Star Medals, the Wounded Heart, and the Officers Corps Commendation Medal with valor. He medically retired from military service in November of 2003 as a Lieutenant Commander.
Speaker of the Chamber
Sakzi confirmed on September 22nd, 2012, that he would seek the speakership after receiving the endorsements of two factions of Conservatives, including the conservative Zian Caucus. Sakzi, upon confirming his bid for the speakership, stated, "I never thought I'd be speaker. But I pledged to you that if I could be a unifying figure, then I would serve -- I would go all in. After talking with so many of you, and hearing your words of encouragement, I believe we are ready to move forward as one, united team. And I am ready and eager to be our speaker."
On September 29, Sakzi was elected Speaker, replacing incumbant Speaker Yerran Mann. He won after receiving 301 votes, an absolute majority of the 500-member chamber. Liberal Cain Blackwater received 184 votes, with 15 more going to others. After the vote Sakzi delivered his first remarks as speaker-elect and was sworn in by Fawn Deindre, the dean of the Chamber, becoming, at age 36, the youngest person elected as speaker since Shauna Lultquist (23) in 1994.
As Speaker of the Chamber, Foley Sakzi was well known for his bipartisan standings, although his conservative roots would usually take initiative when it came to economic issues. He presided over several large tax cuts in the senior Castovia and junior Castovia presidencies. He also presided over several bills that expanded the rights of LGBT citizens.
Sakzi was one of the leading voices in the August 2019 legislation that banned semi-automatic rifles in Zamastan. This action was widely praised by politicians on each side, and nations across the CCA also supported the legislation.
Sakzi allowed for the Dual Condemnation of President Anya Bishop following protests in which she ordered the military to engage protesters. The resulting deaths of three activists and one officer paved the way for the condemnation and subsequent vote of no-confidence. Sakzi abstained from voting. After the senate voted for her exit, Sakzi announced his candidacy for President in the special election, and won with 62% of the vote.
The stated aims of the foreign policy of the Sakzi administration include a focus on security, by fighting terrorists abroad and strengthening expansions of the Zamastanian military; an "Zamastan Comes First" approach to trade; diplomacy whereby "old enemies become friends, and modern enemies become scared"; and immigration policies that include heavy vetting.
On November 18th, 2019, the day following Sakzi's inauguration, a naval standoff occurred between the Zamastanian and Yuan navies off the coast of Yuan's Manauia Island and Gangkou. For the following weeks, seven nations (Yuan, Beleroskov, Malvare, North Sotoa, Mingonia, the D.S.C., and Drambenburg) condemned Zamastan, and a race of military build-up, threats, and drills occurred. After a preemptively established conference where Malvare invited all the nations who had condemned Zamastan to "strategies for military protectorate purposes", Drambenburg reversed their condemnation, distanced themselves from the Yuanese and Beleroskovian moderators, and backed Zamastan. A mediation conference in Austrolis was planned to quell the crisis and resolved military travel in the southern Toyana Ocean.
On December 26th, a bombing in Amstelveen, Vulkaria, killed 48 people. Two days later, V.N.A. affiliated fighters attacked a coalition convoy of Zamastanian and Vulkarian soldiers, killing 8 Zamastanians and 3 Vulkarians. In response, President Sakzi reinstated airstrikes against enemy fighters in Vulkaria, striking sites that were linked to the assailants.
On January 2nd, terrorists attacked sites all across the Coalition of Crown Albatross, including in Zamastan, killing a total of 1,496 people. President Sakzi and his administration, with Congressional approval, declared war on the Malvarian Liberation Front and the intention to seize all M.L.F.-controlled territory, kill or capture Van'a Kamoni and other leaders of the terrorist organizations, and establish order for Vulkarian government forces. The ensuing Zamastanian-led coalition operations in Vulkaria became the focus of Sakzi's foreign policy. Public opinion of the war began high, with more than 90% of people supporting the operations. However, following the Battle of Amden, which lasted from January 16-24th and resulted in 21 Zamastanian deaths, the support for the war began to decline. Public opinion jumped following the March 1st raid that resulted in the killing of Kamoni, and only a week after, northwest Vulkaria was firmly under coalition control and the rate of insurgent attacks severely dropped. When Zamastanian troops pulled out, 102 of them had been killed.
On April 19th, a suicide attacker set off a bomb in the entrance hall of Tregueux's primary train station on Sunday, investigators said, killing 32 people and injuring dozens more. Responsibility for the attack was claimed by the terror group Al-Fijar, a Jaginistan-based insurgent group with long simmering tensions with the Zamastanian-backed Jaginistan governemnt. The Jaginistan government initiated a series of campaigns against suspected Al-Fijar training camps and bases in the country on behalf of Zamastan, but another attack followed a few months later on July 2nd, when the Zamastanian consulate in Haruya was attacked, resulting in the deaths of Ambassador Jamie Lake and 8 other Zamastanians. In the last week of his Presidency, Sakzi ordered the Zamastanian Intelligence Service and Director Kirk Faulkman to investigate a string of terror attacks committed by Al-Fijar involving the bombing of Air Andaluni Flight 553 and several attempted attacks in Durnstaal and Caspia.
An outbreak of the BRD-20 flu strain emerged from Drambenburg on January 21st, and while the Drambenburg government attempted to cover the severity of the epidemic, it quickly became a deadlier disease than originally thought. Sixteen Zamastanians who had been in Drambenburg for a sporting tournament contracted the disease and brought it back with them to Zamastan, where the disease was contracted across 402 people and killed 41 by March 13th. President Sakzi declared a national health emergency on the 12th of March, issued travel warnings, and also declared that precautionary measures after the earliest contractions had led to a full quarantine and that no further cases had been detected since the beginning of March. By the 14th, Sakzi declared that no additional people in Zamastan had contracted the virus, and while health precautions were still in effect, the virus was fully contained.
May 9th, 2020, the provinces of Mayotte and Aunistria passed a autonomy-grant referendum that gave the two provinces substantial autonomy from the federal government. The decision, which came within 84,000 votes, was extremely controversial as there were suspicions of vote tampering, and as many nationalist members of both provincial legislatures tried to pass drafts that would have declared independence. President Sakzi was cautious to side with either view of the vote, as the referendum ultimately would not result in independence if it passed. However, Sakzi made it clear following the referendum that he would executively block any decrees for independence passed by either provincial legislature.
On April 18th, 2020, Sakzi proposed a trade agreement between Zamastan, Rio Palito, Quetana, Gladysynthia, Baytonia, Raviannas, and Greland, which contained measures to lower both non-tariff and tariff barriers to trade, and establish an investor-state dispute settlement mechanism. Many observers have argued the trade deal would have served a geopolitical purpose, namely to reduce the signatories' dependence on Yuaneze trade and bring the signatories closer to Zamastan.
See: 2020 Ossinia Conflict The spring-summer of 2020 saw extreme escalations in incidents and tensions with the island nation of Ossinia. On April 18th, 2020, an Avergnon vessel was hijacked by state-sponsored pirates. The ship was sailed to Ossinia and the hostage sailors were exchanged for Z$60 million. On May 8th, 2020, an Ossinian missile struck a Janapan oil rig, killing 5 workers. Two days later, an Austrolisian shipping vessel was boarded and detained by Ossinian naval vessels, resulting in the death of a sailor. On May 15th, only five days later, dozens of ORNF speed boats harrased the ZMS Maple Wind in Zamastanian territorial waters in a move called "dangerous and provocative" and "increased the risk of miscalculation and collision" by the Zamastanian Naval Forces. A missile attack occured the next day on the ZMS August Vendetta, killing seven sailors and increasing hostilities even further. A Zamastanian container ship, the MV Galen Schulz, was struck by a missile the day following, suffering fatal breaches in the ship's hull that caused it to eventually sink. A Ruskaynian ship, the MV Skipjack, was also detained.
On May 16th, C.C.A. Secretary-General Katherine von Wettin removed Ossinia's seat in the General Assembly. On May 23rd, President of Zamastan Foley Sakzi was granted wider emergency military authority on approving strikes against Ossinian government and military targets. On the morning of May 24th, Zamastan invaded Ossinia, knocking out the majority of its naval capability in one of the largest and most intensive aerial bombardments of the 21st century. On May 27th, Martin Saint-Yves was captured by coalition special forces, and was ultimately extradited to Tregueux, where he and 87 members of his government, military, and state-sponsored piracy program were tried and sentenced in the Tregueux Trials.
Following the toppling of the Saint-Yves regime, a temporary Zamastanian-backed government took power on June 3rd, 2020, and Zamastanian forces entered an occupational phase to stamp out any resisting former-government supporters and keep the peace, reconstruct infrastructure, and deliver relief and aid supplies to the citizens of the island nation. Occupation forces also carried out the task of locating and destroying the many poppy, marijuana, and cocaine production facilities that Saint-Yves' government supported in order to fund his vast criminal alliances. Zamastanian occupation troops left the country on July 31st, effectively ending the first and second phase of the conflict and transitioning the new interim Ossinia government into their realm of control.
In July and August, the last months of Sakzi's term, the country of Syraranto plunged into civil disarray following the bombing of the Houses of Parliament in Covijo by the Balgita Nationalist Forces on July 29th, 2020, killing 23 people and injuring dozens more. An intensive investigation with international intelligence aid from the Zamastanian Intelligence Service determined that the B.N.F. had committed the attack in an attempt to kill President Kyriakos Tasoulas, who was unharmed in the attack. Tasoulas called a meeting before the Coalition of Crown Albatross Security Council to discuss matters related to the attack and the growing separatist movement within Syraranto, which included an alarming speech in which he said "every measure would be taken by the Syraranto government and armed forces to destroy the B.N.F., as well as any other forces that might seek to cause rebellion, destruction, and loss of life."
President Tasoulas' statements raised concerns, especially amidst the West Euronian Defense Alliance members, who became vocally worried that Syraranto's spiking tensions were indications of a possible interior conflict. A majority of nations in attendance, while sending condolences and pledges of support to the Syraranto government after the attack, expressed concerns and urged patience and diplomacy in response instead of a violent military approach. President Sakzi said "we wish to see the circumstances in Syraranto and Western Nortua to simmer and ease itself out through a negotiating process," while Quetana's President, António Brafeo, stated that "Syraranto is a progressor on the world stage, not a degressor. We do not want to see an escalation in an already violent scenario."
On the opposite side of the table, regional neighbors of Syraranto, such as President of Constantio Tony Blanian, stated that he would "offer support to quell the violence through any means, whether diplomatic or militaristic." Beleroskovian diplomats stated that the revolutionist forces should be destroyed, signaling to the sign of increased Beleroskov and Yuaneze influence in the region. Six days after the parliament bombing on August 4th, the President launched a military offensive against "terror organizations and rebel insurgents" in Western Syraranto, effectively escalating to an armed conflict after protests calling for Tasoulas' removal were violently suppressed. Tens of thousands of armed soldiers began going city to city in Western Syraranto, with air strikes from the Syraranto Air Force being reported in many towns along the Constantio border. Zamastanian observers in Constantio reported explosions seen from across the border, while a contingent of Skithan aid workers in the town of Irakiio were detained and imprisoned by advancing government forces. Tasoulas, at the helm of the assault, called for the international community to rally behind the Syraranto cause for "freedom and the pursuit of justice", but that statement was quickly quelled by many people in the international community including President Sakzi, who said "I sincerely hope that the President pulls his forces back and pursues a diplomatic solution. Zamastan is willing to come assist the negotiating process, but until the military operation halts, we will not lend any support of any kind to the Syraranto government." Within hours of the beginning of the offensive, Zamastanian Secretary of Defense Curtis Fondaden said that Tasoulas' actions "destroyed the chance for diplomacy now".
On August 5th, 2020, President Xi Jingyi of Yuan pledged military support to Tasoulas, and dispatched a contingent of the Yuaneze Navy to the Sotoa Sea, leading to a condemnation in the C.C.A. Security Council by Secretary-General Katherine von Wettin, who continued to urge diplomatic talks. On August 6th, Secretary Fondaden released a statement from the Zamastanian Department of Defense, saying, "is not for the rebel group B.N.F. in particular; it is for the nearly 7 million people who live in the combat zone. We're looking at what could be hundreds if not thousands of civilian casualties over the course of a prolonged campiagn, hundreds of thousands displaced, and most importantly are the women and children who will innevitably be caught in the crossfire." Zamastan, Gladysynthia, Cadair, and Vulkaria (the original members of the Big Four) all placed intensive sanctions on Tasoulas' government, along with Avergnon, Quetana, Emmiria, and Austrolis. On August 7th, the Syraranto military began seiging the city of Tirikan, launching a carpet-bombing campaign largely indiscriminately against the city's inhabitants. Zamastan, Caspia, and Rio Palito among other nations heavily sanctioned the Syraranto government as perceptions of an ethnic cleansing against the Gurriana people in the Western part of the country began to unfold. Drambenburg, along with contingents of the Vuswistan Armed Forces, sent relief packages to the city via airdrops.
On August 10th, eight defecting Syraranto Armed Forces officers formed the Free Syraranto Army (FSA), originally composed of defected Syraranto military officers and soldiers, aiming "to bring this government (the Tasoulas government) down" with united opposition forces. On August 12th, a nationwide crackdown nicknamed the "Mikrayako Massacre" (named after the Gurriana holy month of Mikrayako) resulted in the death of at least 142 people and hundreds of injuries. On August 13th, a coalition of anti-government groups called the Syraranto National Council was formed. The council, based in Achijan, attempted to organize the opposition. The opposition, however, including the FSA, remained a fractious collection of political groups, longtime exiles, grassroots organizers and armed militants divided along ideological, ethnic and/or sectarian lines. Throughout August 2020, government forces stormed major urban centres and outlying regions, and continued to attack protests.
The conflict raged on into September and past the end of Sakzi's term. His innability to stop Tasoulas and his allies from using military action, as well as allowing Yuan, Beleroskov, and Drambenburg to all gain considerable influence in the conflict, is widely seen as Sakzi's greatest political blunder. Sakzi's successor, President -insert name-, also was largely innefective in quelling any violence
On June 15th, President Sakzi announced that he would not seek reelection to a second term, making him the first President in history to not seek reelection to congruent terms in office. In a press conference, he said "It has been my honor to serve my country for more than forty years as a soldier, a mayor, a senator, a Chamber Speaker, and a President," Sakzi said. "The responsibilities I have had to take on have been a heavy duty, and thanks to an incredible team of my administration, my constituents in Congress from all parties, and from the Zamastanian people, we have overcome trials and tribulations time and time again.
This election day, Tuesday, September 22nd, 2020, I will not seek reelection to a second term. My decision has been made after reviewing the accomplishments of my administration and my understandings of my own personal helm of the political process. While I believe my administration and I would continue to serve effectively and in accordance with our continuing policies, I know that my services can be better served in a civilian capacity."
In the wake of Sakzi's announcement, conservatives scrambled to find a new candidate to take his place. Some candidates for President, specifically some liberal candidates, started gaining steam after Sakzi's announcment. GLP Senator Adam Wolffe initially led polls at around 32%. Atticus Moreau, the former-Governor of Alutia, hovered around 29%, and Sabine Armitage, the only other BCP member running at the time, was at 23%. Armitage, if elected, would be the first black woman elected President, while Moreau would be the first Eastern Zamastanian elected to the Presidency. Adam Wolffe would be the first liberal party candidate elected to the Presidency since 1982 (Damian Lorrie). Former-Speaker of the Chamber Cain Blackwater, who was once considered the most challenging opponent to Sakzi, dropped to fourth place. Euan Gunn, one of the leading senators in Congressional Hall, dropped from third to sixth, behind Shauna Lultquist (a progressive party candidate and former-Speaker of the Chamber) in fifth place.