Bermejan presidential election, 2005
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The Bermejan presidential election of 2005 was Bermeja's inaugural presidential election. It was held on Tuesday, November 8, 2005 and was conducted in accordance with Title II of the Constitution of Bermeja, which had been ratified earlier in 2005. In the election, Esteban Alejándrez Espino of the National Party was elected to his first term as President of Bermeja, and his running mate Pablo Echevarría Pérez became the first Vice President of Bermeja.
The presidential election was held concurrently with legislative elections.
Alejándrez, as the foremost founder of Bermeja, was enormously popular and his decision to run for the nomination and the presidency—and win—was never in doubt. The only real question was the person which party he would stand for and who he would choose as his running mate. Alejándrez announced the formation of the liberal-conservative National Party on August 31, 2005.
After some deliberation, Alejándrez announced his selection of Echevarría on September 22. It was a choice that surprised many given the latter was not an "original" founder of Bermeja. Furthermore, the decision prompted some already dissatisfied members of the party to breakaway, forming a further two parties within the following month. It was suggested some years later, that the choice of Echevarría was purely political on the part of Alejándrez. In choosing Echevarría, Alejándrez freed up other talent for ministerial positions, and also ensured the relatively passive Echevarría would be an "inside man" in the Chamber of Deputies, where, as President of the Chamber of Deputies, he could prioritize the National Party's legislative program.
The social-democratic Solidarity Party was co-founded by former National Party members, Gabino Herrera González and Juan Poniente Moreno, on 26 September 2005.
Herrera and Poniente were not easy allies but agreed to a formal "anti-National" alliance, whereby Herrera would seek the presidential nomination and would thereafter select Poniente as his running mate. Despite this agreement, Poniente failed to withdraw his name as a presidential nomination candidate on the party primary ballot. This, therefore, forced the party to a presidential caucus, which took place on October 9. Despite Herrera winning with 67% of the vote, he felt the lack a unanimous election damaged his legitimacy (especially considering rival Alejándrez had won his party's nomination unanimously). As a result—and because he believed Poniente had already done so—Herrera reneged on his agreement with Poniente and chose the popular, previously independent politician, Jaime Molina Rodríguez as his running mate on 13 October. An angry Poniente resigned from the Solidarity Party that evening, being quoted as saying, "[The party] is dead before it has been born."
Poniente announced the following day that he intended to form a third party and contest the election as its nominee for president. However, he failed to register the party or any members in time for the November 1 deadline, and chose instead in that time to contest the Chamber of Deputies.
The National Party campaign had the time and manpower to mount an effective and efficient campaign: its campaign was almost a month old before the first opposition party was able to begin its challenge. The popularity of Alejándrez, as well as the dominance of his National Party amongst the Founders of Bermeja, essentially assured him an insurmountable lead.
Despite this, the National Party campaign was not without its hiccups and setbacks. The selection of Echevarría as vice-presidential nominee was strongly criticized by some, especially later in the campaign following the gaffe-prone Echevarría's disastrous vice-presidential debate against Jaime Molina Rodríguez. Despite this, the National ticket continued to command a strong lead in the polls. After the debate, however, Echevarría was moved away from the campaign frontline.
Infighting crippled much of the Solidarity Party's early campaign but they eventually managed to put together a comprehensive program of their own which opposed the monetization of the micronation as proposed by the National Party. Furthermore, whilst the Solidarity Party agreed in principle with reaching out to other micronations, the party favored a more isolationist foreign policy to "preserve the national interest".
Both sides agreed to make Sunday November 6 their final day of campaigning so that Monday 7 could be a "day of contemplation". This voluntary, cross-party act later became enshrined in law whereby campaigning is not allowed on the Monday preceding an election.
Polls opened at 8 a.m. and closed at 6 p.m. local time (UTC-6). Turnout was expected to be exceptionally high, with the final count showing a turnout of 92.3% – the highest turnout to date in a Bermejan election.
The result was a conclusive victory for Alejándrez, although his party fell 1 seat short of a majority in the Chamber of Deputies. This meant the National Party was required to work with at least one other party in order to pass key elements of Alejándrez' proposed legislative programs.
|National||Esteban Alejándrez Espino
Running with: Pablo Echevarría Pérez
|Solidarity||Gabino Herrera González
Running with: Jaime Molina Rodríguez