Premier of Xiaodong

Premier of Xiaodong
首席部長
Seal of Xiaodong.png
Li Keqiang (cropped).jpg
Incumbent
Xi Yao-tong

since 14th July 2016
Government of Xiaodong
Premier's Department
StyleHis/Her Excellency
Member ofCouncil of Ministers
Reports toState Presidium
ResidenceHall of Tranquillity
AppointerChairperson of the State Presidium In accordance with a vote in the State Presidium
Term lengthWhile commanding the confidence of the State Presidium
With General Elections held no more than five years apart
Constituting instrumentConstitution of Xiaodong
Inaugural holderLu Keqian
Formation20 September 1936; 82 years ago (1936-09-20)
DeputySecond Minister of Xiaodong
Salary7.2 million annually
$68,695

The Premier of the Auspicious Republic of Xiaodong (Minjian: 首席部長晓东吉祥共和国; Shǒuxí bùzhǎng Xiǎodōng Jíxiáng Gònghéguó) is the head of government of Xiaodong. The Premier is appointed by the Chairperson of the State Presidium on the basis that they are the person who can most likely command the confidence of the State Presidium and is tasked with leading and appointing members of the Council of Ministers. The constitution gives the Council of Ministers and by extension the Premier ultimate executive power in Xiaodong, meaning they are often perceived as the most powerful person in the Xiaodongese government. Because the Premier must command the confidence of the State Presidium they always come from the largest party or coalition within the State Presidium.

The office of Premier was created in 1936 following the Corrective Revolution when the Xiaodong Regeneration Society under Lu Keqian took power and created the Auspicious Republic, replacing the previous post of Prime Minister (总理; Zǒnglǐ) which had existed under both the Heavenly Xiaodongese Empire and State of Xiaodong. The longest serving Premier was Sun Yutin, who held the post for 11 years, 9 months and 17 days from 1972 to 1984, and since its creation the office has been exclusively held by members of the Xiaodong Regeneration Society. Over time the de facto power of the Premier has fluctuated, at times functioning as a dictator and at others subordinate to the State Chairman. The current Premier is Xi Yao-tong of the Xiaodong Regeneration Society, appointed by State Chairperson Jiang Zhongyu on the 14th July 2014.

History

The post of Premier was created in 1936 following the Corrective Revolution, but was the not the first head of government in Xiaodong - Xiaodong has retained a permanent head of government since the 1888 Constitutional Revolution with the post of Prime Minister (总理; Zǒnglǐ) which had alternated between nonpartisan and military officials under the Heavenly Xiaodongese Empire (with the longest serving Prime Minister being Zhao Hongjun who served for a total of 13 years, 2 months and 3 days). The State of Xiaodong retained the post of Prime but saw a quick turnover of Prime Ministers many of whom did not last beyond 3 months. The Prime Minister was always appointed by the Emperor and only had to rely on the confidence of the Emperor to rule - this sometimes led to Prime Ministers to lack a majority in the Imperial Deliberative Assembly.

The Corrective Revolution saw the new government under Lu Keqian formally dissolve the post of Prime Minister and the executive cabinet, the General State Affairs Council replacing it via a decree with the post of Premier (首席部長; Shǒuxí Bùzhǎng) to lead the executive Council of Ministers of Xiaodong, with the post being formalised in the 1938 constitution. The inaugural Premier was Lu Keqian who also held the posts of Chairman of the State Presidium, da yuan shuai of the Xiaodongese Defence Force and Chairman of the Xiaodong Regeneration Society - although this allowed Lu to rule as an unchallenged autocrat

Lu Keqian, the inaugural Premier

it meant the Premier had relatively few institutional powers with Lu personally drawing his power from the military and the party.

The death of Lu saw Ma Renzhong ascend to the position of Premier, albeit he ruled until 1946 in a diarchy with the State Chairman Yu Changshao. Following the 1946 attempted coup by Yu Ma asserted himself as an autocrat, but this was due to Ma drawing power due to strong backing from the Xiaodong Regeneration Society which he was Chairman of. It was not until Sun Yuting in 1974 that the role of Premier was given much stronger institutional role, with Sun creating the Office of the Premier to strengthen the Premiers hand, allowing Sun to rule in a much more heavy handed manner.

Following the Orchid Revolution the Premier was changed to be elected by a majority vote in the State Presidium, which alongside democratic elections dismantled the dictatorial elements of the post, albeit Sun's reforms gave them much greater powers than most heads of government in democracies. The dominant status of the Xiaodong Regeneration Society (which between 1988-2016 retained a supermajority in the State Presidium) meant the Premier was able to continue ruling in a strongman manner.

Since the appointment of Xi Yao-tong in 2016 however the position of Premier has weakened. This is partly due to the fact that Xi is not the Chairman of the Regeneration Society (with the post being held by Yuan Xiannian) and from September 2016-January 2017 was serving in a caretaker role due to the inability to form government following the 2016 election. The 2017 general election also did not see the Regeneration Society get a supermajority in the State Presidium.

Appointment

The Premier is officially nominated by the Chairperson of the State Presidium of Xiaodong before being approved by the State Presidium by a majority vote (108 votes) with the Premier being requiered to hold a seat in the State Presidium. If the State Presidium rejects the choice of the State Chairman, the State Chairman has to nominate another candidate - although the State Presidium can nominate another candidate they cannot be approved without being formally nominated by the State Chairman.

If the State Presidium and the State Chairman come to a deadlock regarding to the appointment of a Premier, the outgoing Premier acts in a caretaker capacity until the State Chairman and State Presidium can agree on a single candidate. This occurred between September 2016 following the 2016 general election to January 2017 when a snap election saw the Regeneration Society regain a majority in the State Presidium.

Qualifications

The qualifications for the Premier are laid out in the Constitution of Xiaodong.

  • Must be a delegate in the State Presidium (this in of itself requires Xiaodongese nationality, permanent residence in Xiaodong for over 20 years, be over the age of 26 and to be officially approved by the Examination Secretariat).
  • Be of good moral conduct (i.e have no record of a felony or not currently under investigation).
  • Have not worked against the integrity of the Xiaodongese nation or opposed the ideology of National Principlism and socialism.
  • Since a 1953 constitutional amendment Premiers must not be currently serving in the Xiaodongese Defence Force (albeit former members of the military may become Premier).

Role

Official office and residence

The Hall of Tranquillity.

The official residence of the Premier is the Hall of Tranquillity. The Hall of Tranquillity was built in 1922 by the Shanrong Emperor as part of the larger Xiajiyu Palace complex, albeit the Shanrong Emperor only ever visited the palace once. The Hall of Tranquillity building was used as a provisional military headquarters during the Xiaodongese Civil War, and following the Corrective Revolution was designated the official quarters of the Premier. The Hall of Tranquillity's use is limited as a home to the Premier, with the official office of the Premier being the Executive House that is also housed within the Xiajiyu Palace.

List of Premiers

Living former Premiers

As of August 2017 there are three former Premiers - Yang Zhengming, Han Guanzheng and Yuan Xiannian - who are still alive. The most recent Premier to die was Jiang Xingzhou, who died in 2016 aged 90.

Image Name Term of office Age
Hu Jintao with BRICS Leaders 2012.jpg Yang Zhengming 1994-1999 80 years, 3 months and 26 days
Wen Jiabao 02.jpg Han Guanzheng 1999-2005 79 years, 3 months and 25 days
Shinzō Abe in February 2017.jpg Yuan Xiannian 2005-2014 66 years, 8 months and 27 days

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