Xiaodongese general election, 2017
563 seats in the State Presidium (282 for a majority)
|Turnout||68.7% ( 2.0%)|
A general election in Xiaodong took place in January 2017 to elect the 14th State Presidium. Voting took place in all delegate constituencies of Xiaodong – 378 single-member districts and 185 proportional mandates – in order to appoint all 378 members of the State Presidium. The date of the election was declared to be January 8th 2017 after the First Minister Xi Yao-tong asked the interim State Chairperson Liu Yanling for the State Presidium to be dissolved on that date. The election was postponed to the 14th January when concerns were raised over possible Senrian hacking of the election results.
The 2016 election saw the first hung parliament in Xiaodong's history, with the ruling Xiaodong Regeneration Society losing its majority and coming second in vote share to the United Democratic Appeal for Xiaodong. The State Presidium subsequently failed to elect a new State Chairperson after two rounds, with both the the government candidate Yuan Xiannian and opposition candidate Chen Qianshi failing to secure the necessary amount of delegates. As such, the First Minister was required to ask for the State Chairperson to dissolve the State Presidium and call an early election to solve the parliamentary deadlock. The announcement of new elections saw the UDA announce it would cooperate with the pro-democratic opposition Alliance for Democracy in Xiaodong to provide a united front against the incumbent caretaker government of the Xiaodong Regeneration Society.
The election saw the Xiaodong Regeneration Society regain it majority with opposition parties losing seats and votes. The result has been questioned by opposition groups who have accused the Xiaodong Regeneration Society of electoral fraud, with mass protests held in the aftermath of the election against the Regeneration Society. The protests ultimately resulted in a harsh government crackdown and the start of Normalisation.
- 1 Electoral process
- 2 Background
- 3 Parties standing
- 4 Campaigns
- 5 Opinion polls
- 6 Endorsements
- 7 Results
- 8 Aftermath
For the 2017 election, Xiaodong used the same parallel voting system to elect delegates to the State Presidium it has done since 1988. 115 seats are elected by first-past-the-post and 100 by single non-transferable voting. All citizens in Xiaodong who are over the age of 21, not currently incarcerated and not deemed mentally ill are able to vote in elections. In 2008, the Xiaodongese government passed the Law on Electoral Spending which restricts electoral spending to 金85,000,000 per party (previously there were no spending caps).
There has been substantial criticism of the Xiaodongese electoral process. In particular, the FPTP/SNTV system has been highlighted to be heavily biased towards the ruling Regeneration Society, who have been accused of using gerrymandering. The Xiaodong Regeneration Society have also used the FPTP/SNTV system to ensure their opponents "split" votes between them, resulting in more wasted votes and favouring the Xiaodong Regeneration Society. The disenfranchisement towards the mentally ill has come under international condemnation as being unacceptable in the democratic process as has (although to a much lesser degree) the lack of prisoner suffrage. Finally there has been calls for Xiaodong to lower its voting age to 18 due to 31.18% of the population being under the age of 21. Electoral reform was an issue advocated by several parties in the 2017 election.
Xiaodong has held frequent multi-party elections since the Orchid Revolution in 1988, but has since the Corrective Revolution been ruled by the Xiaodong Regeneration Society. In 2005 Yuan Xiannian became Chairman of the Regeneration Society and started to promote more aggressively Xiaodongese nationalism, economic interventionism and historical revisionism, shifting the Regeneration Society as a whole towards the nationalist-right. The opposition had since multi-party elections were introduced traditionally been split between various factions. However the 2011 general election saw the opposition parties campaign under one banner, the Democratic Alliance which was renamed the United Democratic Appeal for Xiaodong in 2014.
In 2014 the government under Yuan attempted to amend the constitution without a referendum. This incurred protests and a rise in support for the Alliance for Democracy in Xiaodong, as well as a drop in support for the government after State Chairman Jiang Zhongyu vetoed the proposed changes. In 2016 a stock market crash led Xiaodong to enter a technical recession in the summer of that year. Around the same time Yuan stepped down from the post of First Minister (but not Regeneration Society Chairman) handing power over to Second Minister Xi Yao-tong.
A general election for all 215 delegates in the State Presidium was held on the September 16th 2016. The last election was held in September 2011, meaning it was the first State Presidium that lasted an entire five year term. The Regeneration Society thanks to the stock market crash and years of corruption went into the election behind in the polls to the UDA who managed a successful campaign, but managed to close the gap before polling day.
The election resulted in the first hung parliament in Xiaodongese history. Although the Regeneration Society won the most seats (100) and the UDA and Alliance together had a plurality of 105 seats, three short of a majority. The election had seen the UDA and Alliance sweep south Xiaodong and East Thianchin whilst the Regeneration Society dominated northern Xiaodong.
State Chairperson election
Traditionally the Chairperson of the State Presidium of Xiaodong gives the party or coalition with the most seats the chance to form a government first. However, following the election State Chairman Jiang Zhongyu whose seven-year term was set to end in October deferred the business of government formation to until a State Chairman could be elected, and so delayed the opening of the State Presidium allowing Xi Yao-tong to head a caretaker government.
In the lead up to the vote on the State Chairman, the UDA and Alliance agreed to attempt to form a coalition government. Alliance co-leader Chen Qianshi was to stand for the post o State Chairman who if elected would inaugurate a UDA-Alliance Council of Ministers headed by UDA leader Hu Wenjuan. The Regeneration Society's candidate for the State Chairmanship was former First Minister and party Chairman Yuan Xiannian.
The State Chairman is traditionally elected in two rounds - in the first they must get a supermajority (141) votes to be elected. The first round of the election held on the 19th October however saw neither candidate get the required votes - Chen got 105 (the entire UDA and Alliance caucuses) whilst Yuan got 101 (the Regeneration Society caucus plus an pro-government independent). Another independent delegate plus the Xiaodong First and New Frontier parties both abstained. As a result prior to the second round being held both sides negoiated with the two parties plus the independent to get their votes as the second round only required a majority (108) of votes within the State Presidium for the candidate to be elected. The Regeneration Society successfully got the support of the independent and Xiaodong First but was unable to come to a compromise with the NFP, as was the UDA-Alliance. As such when the second round was held on the 29th October neither candidate got 108 votes with Chen once again getting 105 and Yuan 104.
As a result of the political deadlock the acting State Chairman, Yang Zhengming, was obliged to dissolve the State Presidium and call new elections so a new State Presidium could convene to elect the State Chairman. Due to this Yang retained the Xi caretaker government allowing it to serve until election day.
All parties in Xiaodong must register with and be approved by the Electoral Authority of Xiaodong to run candidates in elections, with parties being required to have at least 80 official members to be registered. To run in elections, all candidates must pay an electoral deposit of either 金65,000 in single member districts or 金85,000 in multi-member districts.
Leading into the 2017 election, there were two major blocs - the Xiaodong Regeneration Society (a single electoral list consisting of the National Regeneration Bloc, Socialist Party and Motherland Party) and the United Democratic Appeal for Xiaodong (an electoral coalition of several parties). Minor parties include the Alliance for Democracy in Xiaodong, Xiaodong First and the New Frontier Party.
The Regeneration Society began their campaign with a rally in central Shenkong on the 17th October 2016 with First Minister Xi Yao-tong and Regeneration Society Chairman Yuan Xiannian stating a Regeneration Society government would improve the economic situation, create more jobs and demand war reparations from Senria. The Regeneration employed Chiang Bufang who had headed the 2006 and 2011 Regeneration Society campaigns, to serve as the Chief of Electoral Strategy.
On the 20th October at a press conference the Regeneration Society launched their manifesto. Unlike the 2016 manifesto - which included commitments for a harsh austerity program and market based structural reforms to deal with the poor economic situation - the 2017 manifesto downplayed or watered down promised spending cuts and included several populist policies such as a minimum wage of 金26,000 ($246.74) per month and increases in infrastructure and health spending. The manifesto also promised to make Senria pay for reparations from the 1994 State Presidium bombing, increase defence spending and demand greater rights for ethnic Xiaodongese living in Tinza and Min.
Although starting the campaign behind the UDA in the polls the Regeneration Society recorded a boost in November 2016 following successful trade deals with both Tuthina and Ankoren as well as improvements in the economic situation. However the government still lagged in the polls overall.
United Democratic Appeal for Xiaodong
The United Democratic Appeal for Xiaodong (UDA) started the campaign with a comfortable lead in the opinion polls, having scored a plurality of the vote at the 2016 general election. At an Extraordinary Congress held on the 14th October to elect the UDA's candidate for First Minister. Unlike in 2016 when the position was contested, People's Party leader and the UDA's candidate for 2016 Hu Wenjuan was the only candidate, where she won 99% of the vote.
In the leadup to the election the UDA held several large rallies, the biggest being in Baiqiao on the 20th November, Henjintao on the 4th December and Kuoqing on the 5th January. The UDA's manifesto was scheduled to be launched on the 12th October but was leaked to several press outlets (including East Sea Daily and the Global Review) on the 9th where it was revealed the UDA would promise to hold a referendum on EC membership, implement a 金50,000 ($474.50) per month minimum wage, make Xiaodong a federation, implement proportional representation and create a welfare state. The policies, seen as more radical than those of the 2016 election, were perceived to have been made to make a coalition with the Alliance easier. Nevertheless they resulted in the UDA's lead to increase from 1% to 6% over the Regeneration Society.
On the 22nd November UDA General Secretary Jiang Luanhe and Alliance co-leader Chen Qianshi confirmed that in the event of the UDA-Alliance together getting a majority the Alliance would support a Council of Ministers headed by Hu Wenjuan and that the two parties would work together to secure democratic reform. This coincided with several UDA and Alliance candidates to stand aside in some districts to give the other a better chance of victory.
Alliance for Democracy
The Alliance for Democracy entered the election with the intention of capitalising on its success in the 2016 election by increasing its seat share and entering a refromist coalition government with the UDA. The Alliance during the campaign had stable poll numbers, suggesting they would return to the State Presidium with up to 20 seats.
The Alliance's campaign was fronted by co-leaders Chen Qianshi and Kang Yongqing, with Chen leading campaigns in the south of the country and Kang in the north. The Alliance released its manifesto on the 23rd October where it called for increased social spending including the creation of a welfare state, withdrawal from the Tengkong system, increased job opportunities for young people and a hawkish foreign policy. The greater focus on foreign policy was partly to increase the Alliance's vote share in the north to those who would otherwise vote for Xiaodong First.
The Alliance held the most rallies of all the parties and also saw the highest turnout with over 1.5 million attending their last rally in Baiqiao.
The far-right Xiaodong First had since the 2016 election saw a rise in poll numbers, with their two presidium seats entitling them to more public financing. The party launched its campaign in Weigang on the 4th November with party leader and sitting delegate Zhao Xiaojing calling for a higher minimum wage, the annexation of ethnic Xiaodongese territory in Tinza and Min as well as eastern Narmada and Kitasuu in Senria and the imposition of an ethnically homogeneous society. Xiaodong First attempted to tap into dissatisfaction for the government and the mainstream opposition.
The New Frontier Party focused on retaining a high turnout from its base, made up almost entirely of follows of the Spiritual Harmony Movement (Yundong). Yundong leader Li Rongguo called for higher social spending and economic dynamism. However the New Frontier party recorded a drop in support due to several perceiving their abstentions in the 2016 State Chairman election as having led to the snap election and political instability.
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|Xiaodongese Observer||style="background-color: Template:Xiaodong Regeneration Society/meta/color" width=5px|||Xiaodong Regeneration Society|
|East Sea Daily||style="background-color: Template:Xiaodong Regeneration Society/meta/color" width=5px|||Xiaodong Regeneration Society|
|Xiaodong Evening News||United Democratic Appeal for Xiaodong|
|The Sun||style="background-color: Template:Xiaodong Regeneration Society/meta/color" width=5px|||Xiaodong Regeneration Society|
|Global Times||Xiaodong First|
|Xiaodong Human Rights Moniter||Alliance for Democracy in Xiaodong|