JUCĂREȘTI, 2 August 2014 – The front-runners of the 10 August presidential election in Juclandia, Ovia Bogi of the Popular Unity Front, Gori Jucărescu of the United Revolutionary Front and Patriarch Bartholomeos II Pravoslavnici of the New Democracy have met today for a couple of hours to discuss the future of Juclandia. Prime Minister Teddy Populescu was also invited to take part, but he refused for unknown reasons.
The three candidates are, according to the latest polls, the front-runners of the election and one of them will most certainly be the next Juclandian President. Currently, Ovia Bogi leads with around 35% in the polls, and Jucărescu and Patriarch Bartholomeos fight for the second place, with about 15-17%.
The talks concerned foreign affairs and politics, as the office of the Juclandian President has no power over the economy or military, things that fall under the powers of the Prime Minister. The President is an important post in Juclandia, as it is one of the main institutions ensuring Juclandia’s political stability and balance of power. The position of Vice President is an equally important position de jure, but de facto it is considered much less important than the President, and the Vice President gets elected merely as a running mate of the presidential election winner.
All three candidates agreed that Juclandia should remain united and strong, and they suggested that the leaders of the Juclandian parties should hold talks in the future for a national unity government. Jucărescu and Bogi both stated their desire for passing new and more comprehensive legislation to reform the political and administrative structure of the country, while Bogi wants to go further and implement a model based on direct democracy, with the lower house of the Great National Assembly being extended to have all provincial citizens of the Kingdom of Juclandia as members.
In what concerns international affairs, all candidates have condemned the Ukrainian rebels for the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 disaster, which saw almost 300 people killed due to the stupidity of the insurgents. Ovia Bogi affirmed: “It is absolutely disgusting to see these drunken animals use Russian technology to bring down a plane they have no knowledge about, but that they believe to be a Ukrainian military one. Not only that there are clear differences between civilian and military planes, but they also had the technology, given by Russia, to tell those differences.” Patriarch Bartholomeos II was more moderate in his discourse: “We pray for the victims of that unfortunate mistake, and we put our hope in Our Saviour that everyone will receive Salvation”. The candidates also condemned Israel for the massacre in the Gaza Strip, but they have also condemned Hamas for having created this unstable situation. Patriarch Bartholomeos stated that “it is unacceptable for the Hamas militants to use unarmed civilians as human shields”. Gori Jucărescu suggested that Juclandia should impose an embargo on all products made in Russia and Israel. Currently, the Kingdom of Juclandia imposes no controls on the products brought in the country, and also imposes no import tariffs or quotas.
A topic that was also heavily discussed, but on which the three candidates disagreed is Juclandia’s relationship with the Federal Union of Juclandian Lands. Since 23 February 2014, the Kingdom has been one of the eight provinces of this Federation, but there are signs in Juclandia that the local population is not content anymore with this entity. While Ovia Bogi follows her party’s line and strongly supports Juclandia’s status as a FUJL province, both Gori Jucărescu and Patriarch Bartholomeos II want to push for reforms in the Federation. They accuse that while there’s always something going on in the Kingdom, in terms of cultural events, economic projects or political discussions, the Federation has been largely inactive and does not benefit at all the Kingdom. Going even further, Bartholomeos II hinted that Juclandia should return to her former status as an independent country. However, all candidates agreed that they have no interest in having the Royal Government of Juclandia take over foreign affairs or defence from the Federation, as they say that foreign affairs should never be again a concern of the Kingdom and that collective security provides stability both for Juclandia and for the other Federal provinces.
In Juclandia, the first round of the presidential election is due to take place on 10 August, at the same time with the elections for the Council of State, the upper house of the Great National Assembly, the Juclandian parliament.