Princess Anne Land general election, 2005
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All 15 seats in the House of Representatives
8 needed for a majority
Red denotes the seats won by the Independence Party.
Green denotes the seats won by the Progressive Party.
The Independence Party, led by Ethan Clark, won a landslide victory, winning two-thirds of the vote and 13 of the 15 seats. As a result, Clark was appointed 1st Chief Minister of Princess Anne Land on 15 September 2005.
Princess Anne Land declared independence from the United Kingdom on 1 July 2005. An interim government was approved by the Constituent Assembly on 4 July 2005 to draft a constitution. A general election was initially planned for August but was delayed following prolonged discussions by the assembly about whether to maintain the de facto Westminster system or replace it with a presidential system. Ultimately, after a series of deadlocked debates, on 21 July, the assembly approved a motion to put the two constitutional models to the public in a referendum with elections to be held no later than 60 days after the ratification of a final constitution.
Voters in the referendum narrowly approved the Westminster system and the assembly ratified the final version on 5 August 2005 and scheduled the first general election for 13 September.
Having led the independence movement and the interim government, Ethan Clark announced on 20 August that he intended to form a "broad coalition" of pro-independence candidates and founded the Independence Party with James Muller and Stephen Hetherington to that effect. The Independence Party advocated a "whatever works" approach towards nationhood, sought to establish relations and mutual recognition with other micronations, and suggested that PAL comply with as many international standards as necessary in order to strengthen legitimacy. Although initially ambivalent to which model of governance PAL established, Clark eventually hardened to the need for a parliamentary model, opining it to be more inclusive and interactive for a micronation made up of several tens of citizens.
The Progressive Party was formed on 27 August by Gavin Smith and billed itself as a "more radical" alternative to the Independence Party. Smith sought to re-run the constitutional referendum and campaigned for a switch to the presidential model of governance. Smith expressed almost the direct opposite opinion to Clark suggesting that due to its small size, PAL could be administered a single person with controversial decisions to be turned over to a weaker House of Representatives for revision.
Others and independents
Despite discussions of other political parties being formed, the majority of candidates joined the existing two broad-spectrum parties. Notably, however, Shane West contested the ward of West Camp under the banner "West For West Camp". He lost to the Progressive Party candidate by a margin of 2%.
Polls were open from 7 am to 5 pm local time (British Summer Time; UTC+1). Although vote totals and results were announced live throughout the night by those covering the election, official results were formally issued at midday on 14 September. Turnout was 96.4%, the highest for any general election to date in PAL.
Vote of confidence
The Constitution of Princess Anne Land requires an incoming Ministry to pass a vote of confidence in the House of Representatives. Following the election, the 1st House of Representatives sat for the first time on 19 September 2005 and elected the Speaker. The next day, in accordance with the Constitution, the Speaker nominated Clark (as leader of the largest party or coalition) as Chief Minister which the House approved by 12 votes to 2 (the Speaker has no vote except to break a tie).
As well as the chief minister, Clark assumed the portfolio of Minister of Finance and appointed James Muller as Minister of Foreign Affairs and Stephen Hetherington as Minister for Home Affairs and Defence.