Division of Leylandiistan

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The Division of Leylandiistan is the name given for the National Assembly of Leylandiistan meeting held in Orchardstown on 24 July 2014, and the aftermath of the meeting's proceedings. This event marked the beginning of the end for the Democratic Republic of Leylandiistan, and a month later Leylandiistan merged with the Republic of Gurvata to form the Confederation of Leylandiistan & Gurvata

Background

In February 2014, a referendum on a new constitution was held. It proved to be a great success, with 93% of voters supporting the new constitution, meaning 68% of all citizens were in favour of the new constitution when non-voters were factored in. The constitution changed the political structure of the nation dramatically. In general elections, all parts of the nation voted on the one set of candidates for the National Assembly, however now the National Assembly consisted of one representative elected by each Regional Council. Every citizen sat on their local Regional Council. External citizenship was also abolished, reducing the population from 19 to 6, though the proposed addition of third autonomous republic was supposed to increase the population further later on in the year.

In March the executive branch held a meeting to discuss the outcomes of the referendum, and the beginning of the constitution's implementation. President Ó Cathail and Vice President Craig concluded that the referendum was a success, and that the National Assembly would meet in its new form at the earliest convenient time. However, the following month the Vice President announced a hiatus in government activity in preparation for exams. The President consented, on the condition that activity resumed at full pace at the start of summer. For the duration of the hiatus, Ó Cathail maintained Leylandiistan's presence in the Quorum of Delegates of the GUM, and continued facilitating diplomatic contact in his role as Foreign Secretary. Craig was due to return from holiday on 7 July, and the National Assembly was due to convene as soon as possible given that there had been no legislative branch meeting at all since its reform in the Constitutional Referendum in February. However, further delays resulted in the Assembly not meeting until 24 July.

Events of the National Assembly meeting

Thanks to the constitutional reforms, every autonomous republic had only one representative in the National Assembly. This meant only the President and Vice-President, who represented Cubbyhole A.R. and Robinscourt A.R. respectively, were in attendance. The agenda for the first meeting of the new National Assembly included citizenship regulation reforms, the Saint Josephsburg Economic Pact, and territorial expansion. The meeting began in the early afternoon, and the SJEP's charter was ratified by the Assembly after a quick discussion. However, when the discussion turned to other aspects of the agenda, discussion was unable to find any resolution.

As discussion started to go astray, Ó Cathail declared the meeting was going nowhere. Earlier that day, President Ó Cathail said he had had analysed the dire situation Leylandiistan faced, with the legislative deadlock the constitution had accidentally created, coupled with Craig's growing disinterest in Leylandiistan. He told Craig that is seemed he had no interest in the meeting or Leylandiistan as a whole, and called for his dismissal. Craig claimed this was power grabbing, and according to Béal na Tíre the dialogue between both of them became "heated". Eventually, after detailed analysis of the problem at hand, Ó Cathail and Craig decided that it was time for them to part ways.

A number of reasons were later given for this conclusion. Firstly, both constituents of the republic, Robinscourt and Cubbyhole, were deemed to be located too distantly from each other to continue as one state, and vast differences had emerged in recent months between both states. This, coupled with a breakdown in communication between the President and Vice-President, meant both autonomous republics had become increasingly distanced from each other. Secondly, the constitution had created a political system which, though democratic, was not suited to a country of Leylandiistan's size. The vast structures of several Regional Councils electing a National Assembly was more suited to a larger micronation with several constituents, rather than Leylandiistan's two. Though the previous incarnation of the National Assembly had delayed legislative progress, the constitution had accidentally gotten rid of several rising political stars in the National Assembly, such as Norma O'Connor, Hugh Murray and Brian Murray, through the abolition of external citizenship. In fact, it was argued that the new National Assembly caused more delay than the previous one. Finally, Ó Cathail and Craig had become more distanced personally and politically, and Craig had lost interest in micronationalism. He said that Ó Cathail was taking micronationalism "far too seriously", and that Leylandiistan only really needed to be active during the summer, when they were both available for regular meetings.

The seriousness of these problems led to Robinscourt A.R.'s withdrawal from the Democratic Republic of Leylandiistan, a decision reached after serious consideration by both present. Though it was in breach of the constitution in several ways, they said that this was an issue of such great importance that it superseded any constitutional laws, and was in the interest of all citizens. They said it was a regrettable decision, but necessary, and it marked the end of the two year union between Cubbyhole and Robinscourt. Craig said the now-independent Robinscourt would be renamed the "Maple Federation". Ó Cathail concluded the meeting by presenting a large bottle of LeylandiiCola to Craig, a parting gift in thanks for the time they had enjoyed together as micronationalists. The meeting was followed by a friendly soccer match, which Maple Federation won 20 goals to 17 against Leylandiistan, the only football match ever to take place within Leylandiistan.

Consequences

Little was ever known about the Maple Federation, as it was dissolved two weeks after the division of Leylandiistan. Craig later said he would focus on making a neutral intermicronational newsletter, but he later left micronationalism altogether. Leylandiistan, however, continued to operate as it had previously after the division. As the Cubbyhole A.R. was now the only constituent of Leylandiistan, the nation's population dropped to just three residents. The Constitution made no provisions for a Leylandiistan with just one constituent, but Ó Cathail decided that it would take extra-constitutional measures to resolve the legislative deadlock, since no legislation could be passed legally given that there was no clear definition on how to operate a National Assembly with one member. To expand its territory, increase its population and restore stability, in his view Leylandiistan either had to become a subdivision of another micronation, or merge with another one.

Coincidentally, the Republic of Gurvata had been established earlier that year by a neighbour of his. Ó Cathail decided to ask the President of Gurvata, Pádraig Ó Ceocháin, about the possibility of merging the two nations. Ó Ceocháin was quoted as saying that it was "a brilliant idea", and negotiations for a merger began in August. Brief final negotiations on the afternoon of 30 August 2014 culminated in the signing of the Treaty of Union, merging the two countries into one new state, the Confederation of Leylandiistan & Gurvata. Today the Confederation is a politically stable micronation which has succeeded in developing an economy and acquiring more territory. Dooneen Cove Island was annexed one week after the Treaty of Unuon was signed.

International Reaction

The division of Leylandiistan took the micronational community by surprise, as Leylandiistan was widely viewed as a stable nation. President Ó Cathail spoke to Béal na Tíre, the Clyran Micronational [1] and the Mancunian media [2] on the issue in the days after the meeting. He confirmed that Leylandiistan would continue on its path, with or without Robinscourt. The community was reassured by his statements in the media, and welcomed the union between Leylandiistan and Gurvata on 30 August 2014.

References