Election booths opened today across the Republic as citizens began to vote for their new parliament and prime minister. With all the tribal parties rallying behind Maleatu Shakor's bid for premiership, the outcome seems foretold. This has not dimmed the resolve of the populace to go out and vote, with vast numbers already queueing up at public voting booths to show their support.
No opponents have stepped forward to run against Shakor, making this the first uncontested election in the history of the Minmatar Republic. Public support for the lone candidate is high, although dissenting voices have been heard from several democracy activist groups, who have been vocal in their opposition to the arrangement.
"It's ridiculous," said Sastia Langon, spokesperson for the Minmatar Process League. "It's a subversion of all that we've been laboring to build in this great nation. It's a step backwards for everyone. Who's to say there aren't opponents willing to step up? Who's to say they haven't been intimidated into not running?"
Langon's comments, as with all other public commentary on the issue, have gone entirely unheeded by the extant power structures within the Republic as they gear up for what appears to be not only a regime change but, in the words of one analyst, "a complete restructuring of the government, from the ground up."
Signs and banners are visible everywhere, carrying slogans of support for Shakor. Rallies and spontaneous celebrations have been commonplace in all of the Republic's largest cities ever since liberated Minmatar began to pour into the spaceports.
"There's a mixture of jubilance and hope now," said assembly technician Arnatt Kimkar, who yesterday was reunited with his twenty-two year old son Markus after eleven years apart. "For the first time, it feels like something could happen. You know, something real."