Ringrose and Chari-Jones to Discuss Coalition

Sanctus – After an initial 90 minute meeting yesterday, December 11th, Democratic Left Leader Ethan Ringrose will meet his Green counterpart Josephine Chari-Jones today to discuss a potential governing coalition between the two to avoid fresh elections being declared on Wednesday. Ringrose will be joined by deputy DLP leader Nicola Allman, as well as former Devolution Secretary Ben Jackson, to give Chari-Jones and her entourage a basic coalition deal offer.

It’s likely this meeting, scheduled to happen at 9am Sanctus-time this morning, will only be an initial benchmarking meeting. It’s understood both leaders have agreed in principle to enter into coalition, and that following their meeting this morning, the two camps will enter into time-compact, but detail-heavy, coalition talks to see Ringrose elected Chancellor by noon Wednesday. As kingmakers, the Greens will have huge leverage to demand both key cabinet portfolios, as well as significant policy changes from the DLP manifesto where they differed.

Due to the time constraints – Sanctarian election law doesn’t take into consideration coalition talks since it’s a rarity – any coalition agreement will not be put to vote for the membership of each party. Should the Greens and the DLP fail to come to a coalition agreement, it’s believed that Ringrose will instead seek Chari-Jones’ party’s support on confidence and supply measures, and attempt to govern as a minority government; this has not happened before in Sanctarian history.

Though the parties do have much common ground, it’s believed that differences on upper tax rate limits, what powers should be devolved to states, as well as public spending in certain areas will prove to be sticking points. Additionally, though the DLP is in favour of keeping the previous government’s promises on defence and security, particularly investment in bases abroad, the Greens are not totally on-board; Topher Jarrett, Greens Deputy Leader, is thought to be particularly anti-war and believes increased defence spending to be “inviting defence concerns”.

Both the DLP and the Greens will be preparing themselves for 48 hours of intense political negotiations, the result of which could prove whether any potential coalition government between the two will succeed or not; it’s important to remember the last coalition government, elected in 1981, collapsed before the term was scheduled to end because of policy differences between the senior partner, the Sanctarian Conservative Party, and the junior partner, the Christian Union Party.

GWEN COPLEY, Political Correspondent

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