A house divided

Xiadani, a rising figure in the Unification Party's conservative wing

Internal party struggles pose challenge to Huenyan government

On the surface, the Unification Party of Huenya would seem to have the destiny of the country well in its hands. It is the largest party in the Chamber of Deputies, the elected house of Huenya’s Federal Legislature. It also has the support of the Chamber of Executives, the noble house of the legislature. It counts the Huenyan royal family among its supporters. The Unification Party also holds the majority of elected regional and local offices in the country. The Unification Party was the movement that led Huenya to independence, and is still seen by many Huenyans as the standard bearer for the country. The death of the party’s founder, Cozamalotl, at the hands of the Xiomeran Empire added the mantle of martyrdom to the party as well.

But even with all these advantages, the party has struggled at times to govern. The administration of Vice-Speaker Tiacihitli has made great strides in rebuilding the country’s ravaged infrastructure and economy after Huenya secured independence from Xiomera. Unemployment has plummeted and new businesses have risen to replace Xiomeran ones. Huenyans’ income and personal wealth remain below the levels seen during the period of Imperial rule, but are steadily rising. Partnerships with Greater Acadia, Eiria and Laeral have further boosted the Huenyan economy. The development of a Sanctarian naval base in northern Huenya has also helped both economically and as a symbol of international cooperation with the emerging Huenyan state. In many ways, Huenya is successfully rebuilding and returning to normal.

The challenge of maintaining the country’s security and independence, however, has continued to plague the Tiacihitli administration with no signs of abating. Continued terrorist activity by ethnic Xiomeran separatists, with the likely support of the Xiomeran Empire, have left Huenyans feeling as if the country is not stable and have taken attention away from the successes of the government. The loss of a major portion of eastern Huenya to Xiomera in May of this year has brought these feelings to a head, and large protests against the government’s handling of the security situation have been ongoing since the Xiomeran annexation.

The Vice-Speaker and his administation have been reluctant to engage the use of force, after a disastrous attempt at a crackdown in January 2022 saw Huenyan security forces routed by the ethnic Xiomeran separatists, backed by Xiomeran mercenaries. Many observers see this failed crackdown, which led to the creation of “Western Xiomera” and its eventual annexation by the Empire, as the fracture point which led to a current schism within the Unification Party itself.

Vice-Speaker Tiacihitli and his supporters have since renounced the use of military and security forces to try to stem the problem of ethnic Xiomeran separatism. A more passive security approach has since taken shape, in which Huenyan security forces respond to attacks by terrorists in a defensive fashion rather than try to rout them out. This approach has been widely derided by opponents within the Legislature, such as the Party of Huitzilopochtli and the Huenyan Conservative Party. But a more conservative element within the Unification Party has also begun to challenge the administration on its security approach.

Led by supporters of the Great Speaker, Texōccoatl, this wing of the Unification Party has been calling for a much more aggressive internal security stance. It has also been demanding a stronger stance against Xiomera itself, which supporters of the Vice-Speaker fear could lead to war. This more conservative wing has coalesced around Xiadani, a legislator from Topexpec in the Necatli region of Huenya. Xiadani has been an outspoken critic of the administration’s handling of security issues, and has called for a much more heavy-handed response to ethnic Xiomeran separatism. She has also called for Huenya to shift the bulk of its military forces to the border with Xiomera. Xiadani has also stated that the government should push other governments (and bodies such as LIDUN) much more firmly to take retaliatory action against Xiomera for its imperialism, such as sanctions and “defensive military deployments”.

It has become the most poorly-kept secret in the halls of power in Chuaztlapoc that the Vice-Speaker and Great Speaker do not see eye-to-eye on the government’s current security approach, and speculation has been running rampant that Texōccoatl may back Xiadani instead of Tiacihitli in the next Vice-Speaker elections in 2024. What has surprised many observers is how quickly that Xiadani has managed to gain support within the Unification Party itself. Capitalizing on discontent within the Unification Party at the continuing security challenges, Xiadani has spent a great deal of time reminding her fellow party members that a major plank in the party platform is the eventual reunification of all of Huenya (including Xiomera) under the Huenyan Federation. While Tiacihitli and his supporters see that as a goal for future decades, Xiadani and her faction see this as something the government should work towards now.

Xiadani has justified that stance by pointing out that the Xiomeran Empire interferes in Huenya all the time, and has expressed her belief that Huenya needs to begin responding in kind. She tends to paint the relationship between Xiomera and Huenya as a struggle where only one can ultimately survive. “We want to live in peace, but that requires that everyone around us wants to live in peace as well. As long as the Xiomeran Empire exists, Huenya will never live in peace, because Calhualyana will not let us live in peace. If we want Huenya to survive, the Xiomeran Empire must cease to exist,” she told a crowd of supporters last week at a gathering in the capital.

For their part, spokespeople for the Vice-Speaker downplay any talk of a rift within the party, or between the Vice-Speaker and the Great Speaker. “The Unification Party, and this administration, remain laser-focused on ensuring the continued development and growth of Huenya as a nation,” the Vice-Speaker’s spokesperson, Ziloya, told us. “The Party and the Legislature remain in support of the Vice-Speaker.”

Such talk, however, appears to be the administration’s attempt to put its best face on a challenging situation. Observers of the Unification Party report that party meetings have become increasingly bogged down with sharp exchanges between the Vice-Speaker’s faction and the Xiadani faction over the continuing security challenges. The Xiomeran annexation of “Western Xiomera”, and the administration’s passive response, have brought things within One Unification Center, the party headquarters in Chuaztlapoc, to a boil. It remains to be seen which faction may prevail, but one thing is clear. As long as the Unification Party is anything but unified, Huenya will continue to face serious challenges.

  • This article was originally published in Capital Circles, a newsletter focusing on the Huenyan government and events within the capital.

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