Melhaven in 2020
|47th Chancellor of Albarine|
|Assumed office |
August 11th, 2016
|Born||July 6, 1980|
|Political party||Social Democratic Party|
Sadie Kate Melhaven (born 6 July 1980) is an Albarinean politician currently serving as the 47th Chancellor of Albarine. She is a member of the liberal Social Democratic Party which took a majority in the National Assembly in 2016, where they appointed Melhaven to the chancellorship. She became one of the youngest heads of state in the Coalition of Crown Albatross, as well as one of the youngest women ever elected to head a major world economy.
Melhaven describes herself as a social democrat and a progressive. Her government and political agenda has focused particularly on the Albarine housing crisis, child poverty, and social inequality. She was instrumental in bringing the country into the W.E.D.A. organization alongside Zamastan, Emmiria, Vitosium. In April 2018, she led the country through the aftermath of the Deamasau church shootings, rapidly introducing strict gun laws in response, and through the end of 2020 she directed the country's response to the Tarijar Strait Crisis. Melhaven led the Social Democratic Party to an historic victory in the 2020 general election, gaining an absolute majority of seats in the National Assembly, the first time this has happened since the introduction of proportional representation.
- 1 Early Life
- 2 Political Career
- 3 Chancellor of Albarine
- 4 Personal Life
Chancellor of Albarine
On 12 April 2018, 38 people were fatally shot and 78 injured in three churches in Deamasau. In a statement broadcast on television, Melhaven offered condolences and stated that the shootings had been carried out by suspects with "extremist views" that have no place in Albarine, or anywhere else in the world. She also described it as a well-planned terrorist attack. The terrorist, affiliated with Al-Fijar, had reportedly arrived as a refugee a year prior from Saudi Jiddiya.
Announcing a period of national mourning, Melhaven was the first signatory of a national condolence book that she opened in the capital, Saint Raneau. She also travelled to Deamasau to meet first responders and families of the victims. In an address at the National Assembly, she declared she would never say the name of the attacker: "Speak the names of those who were lost rather than the name of the man who took them ... he will, when I speak, be nameless." Melhaven received international praise for her response to the shootings, and a photograph of her hugging a member of the Deamasau community with the word "peace" was projected onto Congressional Hall Capitol Building in Tofino, Zamastan. A 25-metre mural of this photograph was unveiled in June 2018.
In response to the shootings, Melhaven announced her government's intention to introduce stronger firearms regulations. She said that the attack had exposed a range of weaknesses in Albarine's gun law. On 10 May 2018, less than one month after the attack, the Albarine National Assembly passed a law that bans most semiautomatic weapons and assault rifles, parts that convert guns into semiautomatic guns, and higher capacity magazines.
Environment and the Albus oil spill
January of 2021 saw several thousand Albarineans demonstrate in front of parliament in Saint Raneau and in other major cities across the nation, protesting against the construction of PetrolChain pipeline in central Albarine. Protestors responded by blockading Albarine's rail lines throughout the country and demanded the release of the arrested demonstrators. Albarinean Chancellor Sadie Melhaven held talks with protestors in order to reach a peaceful resolution but dialogue quickly fell through despite concessions made by the Chancellor.
The majority of arrested anti-pipeline demonstrators were later released or fined by the first week of February. In the aftermath of the releases, Chancellor Melhaven made a statement during a press briefing promising that the government would strive to find a middle ground that would maintain tribal, environmental commitments while responsibly continuing the expansion of Albarine's energy network.
Legislation calling for oil companies to adhere to more intensive inspections of existing pipelines, stricter inspection schedules, and further safety regulations was stalled in the upper house. On February 19th, 2021, the Compagnie Interprovinciale de Pipelines' (CIP) Albus pipeline broke along a stretch near the city of Saint Marina, leaking over 7,300 barrels (1.16 million litres) of crude oil. It was the largest oil spill in Albarine history. The spill came at a tumultuous time as the environmental activists were protesting the government's recent push to expand of Albarine's energy infrastructure, a response to recent instability and opportunities in the oil market. The Albus leak generated immense backlash for Melhaven on social media with many being quick to call Melhaven out for her previous statements.
On November 23rd, 2020, the governments of Buckingla and Zalluabed came to an agreement with the government of Drambenburg for them to construct military bases in multiple locations in each country. In Zalluabed, the Drambenburgian navy would be given access to seven drydock ports in the capital of Zakaraban, as well as a sector of the King Aziz International Airport deticated to the Drambenburgian air force and army. In Buckingla, Drambenburg would be allotted two airfields for their airforce, as well as two military installations in the capital of Bucking and the port city of Paradau. Both instances of the contracts were criticized immediately by the government of Albarine, who saw the move as constricting and surrounding their territory in a key move to antagonize the Albarine sovereignty. Albarine, Buckingla, and Zalluabed were historical rivals, but specifically worrisome to Albarine security experts was the fact that foreign military movement would increase significantly through the Tarijar Strait; the narrow waterway connecting the Albarine Sea and the Emmiria Sea, which was the main passage for Drambenburgian vessels to reach ports in Buckingla. The waterway, a key trade route and one of the busiest traversed international shipping lanes in the world, only 12 miles at its narrowest point, was controlled by Albarine and Emmiria. Both governments had long maintained that no military presence besides necessary mobility and occasional patrol and checks would ever take place in the strait, so the prospect of foreign military equipment moving freely through the waterway was of great concern to both governments.
On November 24th, Chancellor Melhaven formally condemned Drambenburg and the governments of Buckingla and Zalluabed, calling for them to "rescind their leases for the military bases and avoid the Strait at all costs," saying further that "the sanctity of free and safe international shipping is at risk, as well as the sovereignty of the Albarinean coastal waters." After Albarine's government released the condemnation of Drambenburg's military movement, Zalluabed's King Farik al-Jamura declared that the government of Zalluabed would "stand for our ally" and ordered the Royal Zalluabed Navy to send a detachment of ships into the Strait as a show of force. On November 25th, the crisis officially began when the Zalluabed fleet, consistent of the RZNF Sannam, RZNF Houfaf, RZNF Tabuk, and the support vessel RZNF As-Siddiq, moved into the Strait. At this point, the government of Qolaysia also began backing the Drambenburgian movement, with President Abiel Kennard stating that the Qolaysian military was also on standby to confront any threats to either the Drambenburgian or Zalluabedi navies.
Throughout the day, regional leaders like President Khayahad al-Azari of Emmiria met with their security advisors to assess possible retaliation or diplomatic paths to solving the crisis. Al-Azari proposed a strike on the Zalluabed vessels, but was talked down by Chancellor Melhaven in a private phone call, who reportedly stated "navies have travelled through the Strait for centuries. If we retaliate forcefully, we lose peace for good. If we respond forcefully with words, we at least get to control the Strait on our adjusted terms." The Central Adula Mutual Defense Agreement member states, led by Alcarres, Durnstaal, New Elkland, and Alonnisosa, all announced the closures of their embassies in Zalluabed and Drambenburg, citing their worries over the safety of international shipping. Alcarres President Akkin Gunaydin stated that "the lifeblood of the economies of C.A.M.D.A. relies on the connection of the Tarijar Strait. We must keep this vital chokepoint free of unnecessary war machines."
Later in the afternoon, both Albarinean and Zalluabedi officials said they were not seeking war, even as threats and counter-threats continued. King Al-Jamura downplayed the escalation, saying in comments carried on state television that "no war is going to happen," while Chancellor Melhaven said, "We fundamentally do not seek a war with Zalluabed or their partners." However, the tensions continued to climb after the Drambenburg Foreign Ministry released a statement saying "We have not made any move of aggression, merely establishing overseas military installations, which is both respected and common for major world powers. We do not recommend poking a hibernating bear, Albarine." As the sun went down at 7 PM on the 25th of November, a squadron of three Emmirian Z-14 Ospreys intercepted the Zalluabed naval detachment, at one point flying within 100 yards of the RZNF Sannam and exchanging radio frequencies requesting that the Zalluabed fleet return to port in Zakaraban.
Tyler Guterres, President of the Security Council of the Coalition of Crown Albatross summoned the 15 member states of the Security Council to address the crisis, which was complicated by the fact that the Coalition was not in session and 11 of the 15 delegates were not in Tofino at the time of the summon. The security council would not meet as a group until two days later, further delayed because of conditions caused by Tropical Storm Isabella. The contingent of the Drambenburgian navy en-route to Paradau, Buckingla, reached the opening of the Strait on November 26th. The fleet, helmed by the aircraft carrier KTF Katherine von Wettin accompanied by 8 other ships including 4 frigates, 2 corvettes, and 2 support vessels. The Albarine government and Drambenburg concluded that the fleet could sail through the Strait with an Albarinean and Emmirian escort to assure a peaceful transition.
The economic and geopolitical challenge presented by Yuan has long been cited by those in Melhaven's cabinet as one of her most pressing matters.
On January 6th, 2021, Xi Jingyi placed heavy sanctions on Sulifa and Quetana for accepting the asylum of Shen Yahui, the CEO of Yinshu Mogo, who leaked thousands of documents of the Yuaneze government's dealings and transactions with numerous nations currently under heavy international sanctions, including West Chanchajilla, Syraranto, and Great Epsilon. In response, Melhaven made a statement saying, "Albarine supports freedom of the innocent, freedom of civil rights, freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of liberty, and freedom to do what is right. From the highlands of Eastern Yuan where religious minorities are imprisoned in camps, to the borders of Pangchu where refugees fleeing the authoritarian regime are encamped, Yuan expresses no regard for any of these freedoms. Mr. Yahui is a patriot to his people for exposing the tyranny and malice activities of the Yuaneze government, West Chanchajilla, Syraranto, Great Epsilon, and other authoritarian governments across the world. To ignore it is to be a coward, and my administration will not cower to Yuan. Mr. Yahui, should he ever need it, may file asylum in Saint Raneau, Albarine. He, and all who love liberty, are welcome members of Albarine.
The Yuaneze government must rescind their bounty and wanted status on Mr. Yahui, lift sanctions on international corporations sympathetic to his cause, and retract his holdings. Of course, we don't expect this to happen, and we expect retaliation from the Yuaneze for our stance. But our government must stand, even as an anomaly, against oppression."
Relations and International Travel
Melhaven has described herself as a social democrat, a progressive, a republican and a feminist, citing Elene Abotsford and Maggie Moriano as political heroes. She has described the extent of child poverty and homelessness in Albarine as a "blatant failure" of capitalism. Melhaven advocates a lower rate of immigration, suggesting a drop of around 20,000–30,000. Calling it an "infrastructure issue", she argues, "there hasn't been enough planning about population growth, we haven't necessarily targeted our skill shortages properly". However, she wants to increase the intake of refugees.
Raised as a member of the Verdusan Catholic Church, Melhaven left the church in 2005 because, she said, it conflicted with her personal views, in particular her support for gay rights. In January 2016, Melhaven identified as "agnostic".