Referendum on Altannia's form of Government
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On August 23, a referendum regarding the status of the Altannese Monarchy was held in Altannia, by request of Emperor Álvaro I. It resulted, by a narrow margin, in the abolition of the Altannese Monarchy and the instauration of a presidential system, making the Altannese Head of State an elected office for the first time in more than six years.
Talks of a referendum regarding the Altannese Monarchy started in October 2017, when the inner circle of the Altannese government met to draft the guiding lines of a future referendum, since, per the Altannese constitution, one can be called by any citizen, and referenda regarding the permanence of the Head of State in their office cannot be vetoed.
The first idea for such referendum came about on October 3, and it would contain three different questions; whether Altannia should remain being a monarchy, and what kind of republic should it be, were it to become one. On October 11 the Law of Referenda passed unanimously in Congress, with 30 votes for it and none against it, setting the specific procedures for the constitutional right of holding popular referenda.
On December 7, the High Magistrate had to decide on the constitutionality of a hypothetical referendum on the Altannese monarchy, due to a mismatch between the constitution, which specified that no referendum could enter in contradiction with the Constitution, and a law specifying which particular articles of the Constitution are unchangeable by referenda. In a 5-0 ruling, the High Magistrate called for a constitutional amendment, since the article in question was too vague to give proper grounding to any given interpretation.
In March 2018, a constitutional reform was called, in order to achieve separation of powers, and taking away the powers that the Emperor had over the Legislature and Judiciary, making the referendum, legally, a much easier procedure, since it would only consist in a handing down of powers from the Emperor to an elected President.
That same summer, popular demands for the referendum started increasing, especially from the Popular Front of Altannia and the Altannese Anarchist Federation. The Emperor promised that "the referendum would be held before September that same year".
Finally, on August 3 the referendum was called by the Emperor. It was brought to Senate, in conformity with the Law of Referenda, and Senate published its final draft on August 13. It would consist of a single question:
What is your preference for the position of Head of State of Altannia?
- Emperor or empress: lifetime and non-hereditary position, elected by the Alto Carggeo and endorsed by the Bureaucratic Congress, and may be expelled by popular referendum or Mandate Resolution. The nation would continue with its name: Empire of Altannia Unita.
- President of the Republic: elected democratically and annually by all citizens registered in the Electoral Census. Those citizens who volunteer for the position may be elected. The nation would change its name: Republic of Altannia Unita.
The Alto Carggeo set the voting date on August 23, and the results were published by the Prime Minister, ESG Pablo Blanco de Treiquatorça on August 25, at 16:23 metropolitan time, making Altannia, officially, a Republic.