Year YC111 - August

August, YC111

Minmatar Converts and Gallente Turmoil

As August opened, Minmatar converts to the Amarr faith continued to express deep concerns over the killing of Abel Jarek. Nefantar and Starkmanir believers were particularly vocal in pressing for adequate political representation for themselves and other Minmatar converts. The incident's ramifications appeared very wide indeed when Sanmatar Shakor announced that the Tribal Assembly was to be delayed for some months due to the returned tribes needing "more time" to prepare themselves. While the outstanding issue of tribal chiefs needing to be appointed for both tribes was the clearest reason for the delay, some saw the divisive issue of Minmatar belief in the Amarr religion as an additional factor.

The Gallente Senate continued to experience turbulence as the outspoken Senator Chermoul bowed to political reality and withdrew his petition regarding the review of the FDU militia. At the same time a head of steam was building up behind a movement to curtail the powers of Mentas Blaque, seen by many to be in a conflict of interests due to his role as both a Senator and Director of the FIO's Special Department of Internal Investigations- the so-called Black Eagles. By the second week of August, Senators were openly calling for Blaque to resign from his FIO position and warning of a descent 'into totalitarianism.'

Caldari Memorandum and Gallente Crisis

The turmoil in the Federation Senate was totally overshadowed by a leaked memorandum from the Caldari Providence Directorate to the Caldari corporations offering "development and exploration rights" in Federation systems occupied by the Caldari for auction to the highest bidders. The memorandum was dated mid-July and the hitherto secret auction was to end on 111.08.21. The startling revelation that the Caldari State had gone so far as to begin selling development rights in the occupied systems caused a sharp drop on the Gallente stock market, with corporations located or heavily-invested in the occupied areas suffering very large losses of share price.

If the Gallente markets reacted adversely to new of the rights auction, the Federation government, and President Souro Foiritan in particular, reacted forcefully by issuing an executive mandate nationalizing Gallente arms manufacturers under the Hueromont Act, a measure dating from the First Gallente-Caldari War and not invoked since. This caused immediate outrage in the Senate with the act decried as an "impeachable offense," and Senators convening an emergency session to respond to the decree. With the Hueromont Act giving the President powers to by-pass the Senate and directly control the armaments industry of the Federation regardless of corporate law, it had always been regarded as an emergency measure to be used in extraordinary circumstances. Its invocation therefore suggested that the Federation itself was in a state of emergency.

Meanwhile, on Intaki Prime the already deeply concerned citizenry were thrown into a state of panic at news of the Provist memorandum. Intaki police and planetary defense troops were deployed in large numbers to keep the peace and prevent new eruptions of rioting between pro-Federation and pro-State protestors. The Intaki assembly went so far as to promise to make any 'transition as smooth as possible,' a declaration that appeared to represent a total surrender to the Caldari occupation and resignation to the prospect of Intaki being sold to the highest bidder. The status and possible fate of the many Federation troops stationed on the planet was perhaps the most worrying issue, with some noting the heavy bombardment of Federation military bases that had taken place on Caldari Prime.

The Federation Senate convened to chaotic scenes as it first tried to deal with the bill to reform the separation of powers and forbid any person from holding both executive and legislative posts. The customary decorum of Senate meetings fractured under the tensions of the political situation and it was reported that name-calling and shouting deteriorated into attempted physical violence resembling 'a schoolyard brawl.' The inability of the Senate to come to order prompted Senator Mentas Blaque in his role as Head of the Senate to close the session early and table the matter for reconsideration the next day. Given that the bill itself was a more or less naked attack on Blaque himself, some considered that his action was further evidence of his heavy-handed approach to the Gallente democracy.

Roden Resists

It may well have been that some Senators were glad not to have been tied up with the reform bill for the remainder of the day given the situation with the Hueromont Act. Sensationally, news emerged of Roden Shipyards refusing to comply with the executive decree on nationalization. It was reported that Roden security forces and FIO agents were in a stand-off after Roden Shipyards founder Jacus Roden personally refused to allow the agents to enter Roden facilities. The Roden position was that President Foiritan had no legal authority to invoke the Heuroment Act in the circumstances and therefore none to commandeer the operations of Roden Shipyards. This news gave fresh momentum to those senators working to achieve a majority for holding an impeachment hearing against Souro Foiritan.

Within the hour of Roden Shipyard's example, Federation arms manufacturers collectively refuted the right of the President to mandate nationalization, with twelve of the largest Gallente corporations signing a charter refusing to comply with the Hueromont Act. At the same time, the Federation Senate voted by a two-to-one margin to begin impeachment proceedings against President Foiritan. The Federal Intelligence Office agents tasked with enforcing the decree were swiftly ordered to stand down at the direction of Mentas Blaque.

The Fall of Souro Foiritan

The swift collapse of the Foiritan administration's nationalization policy, and the impending impeachment hearings, evidently crystallized the issue of his authority as Federation President for Souro Foiritan. Within two days it was being widely reported that he was to resign and call for fresh elections. Sure enough, President Foiritan addressed the Gallente Federation and formally announced his resignation. Calling for elections to be held in November, Foiritan's statement included an admission that his decision to invoke the Hueromont Act was 'wrong' but taken by him in good faith as a response to the situation in the Caldari-occupied systems. He had retracted the order and would continue to operate the government at full capacity until the newly-elected president took office.

Observers took the view that the failure of the Federation Navy and FDU to oppose the Caldari offensive, combined with the earlier betrayals of Admiral Alexander Noir and Grand Admiral Anvent Eturrer, would mark the Foiritain presidency as one in which the Gallente armed forces declined and even lost overall control of the security of the Federation. For his part, Jacus Roden declared his candidacy for the presidency within days of Foiritan's resignation announcement. The reclusive capsuleer industrialist, founder of Roden Shipyards and leader of the corporate rebellion against the Hueromont Act, ranked as one of the richest individuals in the Federation and his role in Foiritan's fall seemed likely to stand him in good stead on the campaign trail.

The Fate of Intaki Prime

The tensions on Intaki Prime were graphically illustrated when farming community on the planet became embroiled in an armed confrontation with Intaki police forces. Concerned at rumors that the Provist auction memorandum indicated that their lands would be seized and sold off to Caldari megacorps, the Intaki farmers had acquired large numbers of weapons and explosives and sealed off their town, intending to "stand against the invasion." Intaki police forces were called out to deal with the situation and relieve the farmers of their weapons, many of which seemed to be illegal or stolen.

As the stand-off teetered perilously on the brink of violence, news emerged that the Intaki system development rights being auctioned by the Caldari Providence Directorate had been acquired by Ishukone Corporation. Unusually, it was reported that Intaki was the only occupied system for which Ishukone had acquired such rights. Whether this news had any impact on the farmers or not is unclear but within hours the stand-off had ended peacefully with the weapons given up but their homes and farmland remaining in their possession for the time being.

By the end of the month, the Caldari Providence Directorate had released the official list of systems in the auction and the corporations winning the development rights in each system. The sheer wealth and reach of the Big 8 megacorporations drove even relatively wealthy sub-megacorp entities, such as Ytiri, out of the running and all of the Big 8 had at least one successful bid. The powerful Sukuuvestaa Corporation claimed 14 systems in the auction while it was confirmed that Ishukone had indeed bid for and acquired rights only in Intaki system. The long-term consequences of the development rights auction remained unclear, but the involved corporations were noted to already be moving assets into place to commence exploitations of their new acquisitions.