Luminaire, Essence - Trillions have been voting throughout the Gallente Federation, following the opening of Federal Presidential and Senate Election polls across all districts at 00:00 8th May New Eden time. Outgoing President Jacus Roden has ordered the highest level of civilian and military security at vital infrastructure across New Eden, vowing that there will be "no repeat of the February Election Attacks."
While all eyes are on the race for the Presidency of the Federated Union of Gallente Prime, a fifth of the 903 Federal Senate seats are up for election in this year's cycle, with 181 sub-districts also voting for their Senate representatives. Early indications are that voting participation numbers are very high, with Federal elections and communications authorities reporting high usage of secure voting channels in all sub-districts.
Following latest pre-election polling, The Scope's Election HQ team has assessed the race for the Presidency as a contest between two strong runners: Mies Governor Celes Aguard and former Arcurio Mayor Shaileen Ramnev. Senator Suvio Bellaron of Intaki may still have a path to victory but his chances are hurt by weakness outside the Placid and Essence regions. Ramnev's reconciliation message has resonated with many voters but the popularity of Aguard's "unity, security, diversity" message has proved enduring. Aguard's pledge to link Solitude directly to the main Federation gate network has particularly energized voters in that region.
Mentas Blaque, former Senate Head and Chief of the Federal Intelligence Office, has performed relatively poorly in polling despite his aggressive attempts to project himself as the face of Gallente "prosperity with security." Our analysis team suggest much of his appeal has been undercut by the strong security record of Governor Aguard and the insurgent campaign of Federal Defense Union General Julianus Soter. While the latter is trailing among the most prominent candidates, voters inclined to back hawkish views have been split across three campaigns with Blaque's spotted record as FIO head hurting him.
Senator Kelen Ontbad of Colelie has seen his presidential hopes collapse as polls over the last month have indicated clearly his appeal amongst dovish and reconciliation-minded voters has drained away in favor of Shaileen Ramnev's campaign. Ramnev's campaign has been boosted significantly by a number of endorsements from senators of the Labor-Populist Alliance and other key figures in the "Doves" bloc. Analysts speculate that aggressive anti-reconciliation campaigning against Ramnev served mainly to highlight her as the leading champion of such positions.
Political and Ethnic Attitudes
The role of political parties and ethnic groups has been felt keenly in the Senate races but has also had significant influence over the Presidential campaign. Suvio Bellaron has strong support among backers of the Federalist-Liberal Party, but equally is opposed by many among the Jin-Mei and Mannar communities for his central-interventionist views. Observers have also noted that Mannar voters have swung decisively behind Governor Celes Aguard since fellow candidate and Mannar Councillor Wayaki Kayara ended his campaign in favor of the governor's. Kelen Ontbad's hopes were perhaps most heavily hit by the defection of many among the Matari diaspora to the cause of Shaileen Ramnev.
The issue of Senator Bellaron's capital punishment abolition bill, passed by the Senate and awaiting approval or veto by the next president, has also been polarizing across political party and ethnic lines. Both the New Sociocrats, largely backing Mentas Blaque, and the Progressive Union, strong supporters of Celes Aguard, have outright condemned the bill and called for it to be vetoed by the next president. The Jin-Mei bloc continues to rail against the measure, while the Intaki diaspora strongly supports it.
Gallente supporters of the Labor-Populists and Federalist-Liberals have tended to back a ban on capital punishment. Analysts believe the Soter campaign's backing for a capital punishment ban, despite his overall hawkish positions, has reduced further his somewhat limited appeal outside Gallente and Intaki communities.
Weekend Polling Ends Sunday
For his part, two-term President Jacus Roden has stayed above the political fray, notably declining to endorse former political ally Mentas Blaque, and has indicated he intends to be a "neutral guarantor of the peaceful transfer of government according to the democratic will of the peoples of the Federated Union". The election weekend polling will end at midnight New Eden time on Sunday, with final results expected to be declared late on Monday. The inauguration of the next President of the Federated Union of Gallente Prime is scheduled for Friday 15th May.
The Scope Election HQ Team: Lina Ambre, The Scope ; Ret Gloriaxx, The Scope 's Galactic Hour with Ret Gloriaxx; Oskar Illutain, Villore Guardian ; Sashara Qistan, Luminaire Star Herald; Kavash Timuryi, Leremblompes Sentinel ; and Olivera en Zakali, Placid GalNetNews
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