The Matriarchy of Kerlile will allow women to petition the Council to form new political parties, in a decision announced this afternoon. Any group that can gain at least one hundred signatures from women over the age of sixteen may submit a request to the Council to form a new political party, which the Council may accept or reject via a simple majority vote. Currently, only two legal political parties exist in the Matriarchy – the Women’s Party of Kerlile, and the Reform Party; with members of Parliament also allowed to stand as independents.
It is widely expected that at least two more parties will quickly gain permission to form; namely one environmentalist party and one Secadualist religious party; though exact names are still uncertain. There will also undoubtedly be attempts by a number of pro-democracy groups, though it is uncertain how many will be accepted, or how radical the Council will allow new parties to become. This change comes ahead of the 2024 Parliamentary Elections; giving new parties a chance to set up structures in advance.
President Rebecca Arnott spoke to media following the Council’s announcement, saying: “I am delighted that the next stage of reform of the Kerlian system is now underway. This is a huge step forward in creating a fairer society where a variety of views can be heard across the country, and every woman can have a chance to influence Kerlile’s governance. We expect to receive a number of applications, and I look forward to next year’s elections as a chance to measure our progress in reform.”
Not all of the Council will be happy with the decision; indeed Councillors Letitia Greenwood and Nirmala Patel were seen leaving the Council Chambers looking rather angry. The Patel family have been at odds with the others on the Council since the revelation that it was likely another Council Family that were responsible for the death of Anita Patel in a Sanctarian prison. Anita Patel was the first former Councillor of Kerlile to die outside of the Matriarchy, which Nirmala has called a “humiliation”.
This is, however, a landmark decision by the Council. The creation of the Reform Party surprised many back in 2019, and the extension of this to other parties will be welcomed by many; both in Kerlile and abroad. It looks likely that at least four parties will contest the 2024 elections for the 96-seat Parliament of Kerlile; the first election in Kerlian history to permit candidates from multiple parties (the Reform Party was created after the last elections). The Council is also looking at shortening the gap between Parliamentary Elections from the abnormally-long 10 years to 5 years.
With 89 out of 96 seats currently held by members of the Women’s Party, alongside a mere five independents and two Reform Party members, the next set of elections will almost certainly change the political landscape of Kerlile radically. Even though political parties will still require the Council’s position to form; the Council will have no oversight of their policies from that point onwards. While it remains to be seen how many new parties form, this will undoubtedly send a shockwave throughout Kerlian politics; and nobody can be quite certain what the result will be.