Аџач Валтежіш Ефішіеље Вепсаітча • Adźać Valteźiś Efiśieĺe Vepsaitća • Official Website of the Adzhatian State

Astrid Kŭćma elected President of the Adzhatian State
ASHTINOK, 28 SEPTEMBER 2022 ~ District Governor of Ĕnćev Valaźiś Krais and former foreign minister Astrid Kŭćma (62) has been elected President of the Adzhatian State in last Saturday's presidential election, the Electoral Committee confirmed today. She will succeed the incumbent President Kataŕine Matuś on 8 October and as such become the second woman President of the nation. Matuś herself was ineligible to run again, as she is currently finishing her second term in office.

The candidacies of eleven persons had been approved by the Electoral Committee; a dozen or so more had tried to register as well, but they lacked the necessary signatures or their dossiers showed other irregularities. The approved candidates were:
- Jukka Acvehei (m, writer and philosopher; left, pro-Russian)
- Lere Baśćot (f, Trŏśtan Frentciŕ; far right)
- Nikita Cħvort (m, AVŎD, district governor Śaiń Valaźiś Krais; liberal)
- Marije Curtak-Bort (f, media group owner; centre right)
- Igoŕ Dzarcviśei (m, AVŎD; liberal)
- Ĺŭdmiĺĺe Dźerdźiĕv (f, actress and tv presenter; populist, pro-Russian)
- Vladimiŕ Eisendrat (m, lawyer; left)
- Ŕanije Erijeź (f, PM, Secializdźiś; socialdemocrat)
- Aśvĕĺ Kotka (m, neurologist; conservative)
- Astrid Kŭćma (f, Bloc-Ħĭnzei, district governor Ĕnćev Valaźiś Krais; conservative)
- Orez Măŕei (f, ĔAP; centre left, pro-EU)

The President of the Adzhatian Republic is elected in one round of voting, during which voters can cast five preferential votes (or less, if there are less than five candidates); if no candidate obtains more than 50% of the votes after the first preferences have been counted, the candidate with the fewest votes is eliminated and the second preference votes of the voters who voted for them redistributed among the remaining candidates. This process is repeated until one of the candidates has more than 50% of the votes.

From the start, Prime Minister Erijeź and Astrid Kŭćma received the most votes, with the Prime Minister slightly ahead. As none of them received more than 50% of the votes, less popular candidates were eliminated until in the end, Kŭćma came out first and was thus elected President.

Kŭćma held a short press conference after the official results were confirmed. "It is with great pleasure that I accept the nomination to become Adzhatia's next President", she said. "I do so in difficult times, with several threats facing our nation, which have to be faced at times sternly, at times diplomatically. Even if the Presidency is a mostly ceremonial office in this country, I promise to be a guide for you, brave people of this country!"

At the same time as the presidential election, there were elections for the 45 regional seats of the Dume. These were won by the socialdemocrat party Secializdźiś (the Prime Minister's party; + 5 seats) and by the conservative Bloc-Ħĭnzei (the President-Elect's party; + 6 seats), whereas the liberal party AVŎD lost eight seats and several smaller parties lost their regionally elected seats altogether. The government coalition of Secializdźiś and the centre left ĔAP increased its total number of seats from 89 to 92 in the 160 member Dume.

Presidential elections in September
ASHTINOK, 25 MAY 2022 ~ The next presidential election will be held on Saturday 24 September, together with the elections for the 45 Regional Seats of the Dume. This was confirmed by Dume Chairman Vladislaf Endis. Incumbent President Kataŕine Matuś-Ħememiemei is not eligible for a third term in office.

Although the office of President of the Adzhatian State is mostly ceremonial, the expectation is that there will be a lot of candidates this year, given the events of the last three years that saw many people develop opinions about the way the nation is governed. Among the 'big names' are incumbent leader of the liberal party AVŎD Igoŕ Dzarcviśei, Bloc-Ħĭnzei leader and former Minister of Foreign Affairs Astrid Kŭćma, the leader of the pro-European party ĔAP Orez Măŕei, and the leader of the populist party Trŏśtan Frentciŕ Lere Baśćot. A prominent non-politician who has already announced her candidacy is businesswoman and owner of the media group that includes the nation’s largest newspaper Śaizeźiś Jadeća, Ms Marije Curtak-Bort.

Prime Minister and leader of the Secializdźiś Ŕanije Erijeź is also frequently named as a candidate, although she has so far refrained from making comments on a possible run. Noteworthy is that the few candidates who effectively declared their candidacy so far, are mostly women, with Dzarcviśei being the only male candidate. Analysts say however that this will undoubtably change.

The President of the Adzhatian State is elected by the Adzhatian people in a single round of voting, in which the voters may give up to five preference votes. If, after counting the first preference votes, no candidate has obtained more than 50% of the votes, the candidate who won the least amount of votes will leave the race and the second preference votes of those who voted for the leaving candidate will be distributed among the remaining candidates. This procedure is repeated until a candidate has obtained more than 50% of the votes, who is then declared winner of the election. The new President will take office on the second Saturday of October.

FICT sympathetic with Adzhatia
PORTO DA MATA, 21 MAY 2022 ~ The 19th General Assembly of the Forum for International Cooperation and Trade that took place in Yutyrama, has condemned the Russian war against Ukraine as well as the Russian blockade of Adzhatian trade routes that has been in place since February. It wasn't a unanimous condemnation, as Adzhatia itself abstained from voting about it.

During the General Assembly and towards the press, Prime Minister Ŕanije Erijeź could be heard expressing empty generalities about the war, claiming that both sides were wrong, Russia had the right to defend itself, and that diplomacy was the only way to solve this crisis. The subject was discussed by the GA only briefly, and a majority of FICT member states supported a motion to condemn the war, with Adzhatia abstaining. Informal talks behind the scenes were however reported to have gone much further in detail, with the Prime Minister explaining Adzhatia's delicate position to her fellow FICT members.

Already in the week before the start of the war on 24 February, Russia increased its naval presence in international waters close to Adzhatia, conducting searches of foreign trade vessels heading from and to Adzhatia and generally scaring them off, putting our country in a position where it could do little else than support Moscow's line of foreign policy. Since that moment, Adzhatia has ended up on a fast track to join the Russia lead Eurasian Economic Union in what appears to be a complete turn around of Adzhatia's foreign intentions. Sources close to the government claim however that Adzhatia is trying to stall this development as much as it can; frequent pro-EU and pro-NATO mass protests in front of the Dume in Ashtinok continue to emphasise the opinion of the Adzhatian people, although pro-Moscow politicians claim that these are being staged by the west.

The fact that Russia's war in Ukraine doesn't appear to go too well for Russia, has emboldened the government, and insiders claim that the country has issued covert requests for assistance to friendly nations to help end the blockade of its trade routes.

End of Covid-19 measures – for now
ASHTINOK, 1 MAY 2022 ~ Festivities in the entire nation were held today, not only because of May Day, but also because the anti-Covid-19 measures that had been in place to various degrees since autumn 2020, have been lifted entirely – for now.

Health Minister Ărva Kralik explained that the current positivity rates and hospitalisations don't justify the continuation of measures, although he warned that they may be reinstated if the situation deteriorates again in the next autumn. 74% of the adult population of our nation has been fully vaccinated since last year.

Footballer Tulcicei FSTS Director?
ASHTINOK, 13 APRIL 2022 ~ The Adzhatian government has announced that they will put forward former defender Erkei Tulcicei of the national football team as a candidate Director of the FICT Secretariat for Tourism and Sports (FSTS), whose incumbent Director Acauã Dantas Nonato from Yutyrama reaches the end of his second term on 1 May this year.

Tulcicei participated in the FICT Games of both 2013 and 2015, but ended his career as a footballer two years later. Currently he is working for the Adzhatian Football Association and he presents his own television programme about football analysis.