Bernadino removed; Shuri Recardo elected Chancellor in surprise triumph

Above: Shuri Recardo speaks at rally

During the final legislative session last night until after the People’s Chamber’s summer recess, EJP Chair Shuri Recardo motioned for a vote of no confidence against the Chancellor, which was seconded by CP Chair Rebecca Loaz. The motion of no confidence passed (560 yeas, 137 nos, 3 abstentions.). The Supreme Court will soon dismiss the case against Bernandino, which would’ve determined her competence, after Recardo petitioned the court last week. Afterwards, the Speaker of the Chamber started a nomination process to select a temporary Chancellor (Chancellor-elect) until a special election will be held in 10 days.

The PLP, sitting at 110 seats, nominated Deputy Chair Georgie Markiue. The DN, sitting at 21 seats, nominated Chair Dontae Rose. The CP, sitting at 348 seats, nominated Chair Rebecca Loaz. The EJP, sitting at 230 seats, nominated Chair Shuri Recardo.

In the first round of voting, no nominee reached the required 351 votes to achieve the Chancellorship. Loaz received 349, with her party and one DN vote. Recardo received 254 votes, with 12 PLP votes and 2 CP votes. Rose received 20 votes. Markiue received 98 votes.

After that round, nominees made their way through the floor speaking to members and making concessions. Several sources are reporting that Loaz and Rose are attempting to reach an agreement, likely a coalition government, in exchange for DN support. However, there are also less optimistic reports out of a CP moderate faction which is considering backing Recardo. On the liberal side, Recardo is working with members of the PLP, including Bernadino and Markiue, to shore up PLP support. Recardo has also been reportedly working with some of her CP allies.

After 30 minutes had passed from the first vote, the Speaker called for a second vote. Again, no nominee reached the necessary threshold, with Loaz falling short at 337 (-12 CP). Recardo gaining traction at 348 ( +12 CP). If Recardo can convince 3 more PLP members, including holdouts Bernadino and Markiue, or 3 more CP members to support her, she will become Chancellor. Loaz needs 14.

Apparently, her policies regarding rural development and support, as well as subsidies to support small businesses, and tax cuts for working class Doatians are popular among some moderate CP members.

Just before the third vote, Loaz made an announcement to pursue stricter border policies, and cut back the monarchy’s authority on the border, as well as ban gay marriage federally and cut income taxes across the board by 6%. Recardo then announced that she would commit to not increasing any income taxes during her first term, will not raise the corporation tax by more than 10%, will increase oversight over the monarchy and will limit her cuts to the department of defense by 5% per year.

The third vote took place. Only two nominations were made. Rebecca Loaz from the Conservative Party and Shuri Recardo from the Enviromental Justice Party. The results: 352 Recardo/348 Loaz.

For the next 10 days, Shuri Recardo is Chancellor-elect of Doatia.

The Queen will swear her in at a private ceremony tomorrow, on August 1st 2023.

Deeper Dive: Who is Shuri Recardo? (excerpts from her autobiography)

Shuri Marishia Recardo is an African-Doatian, a descendant of the original refugees upon this land. Many tribes settled here and united, together with indigenous communities, to settle Doatia and call it home. Shuri was born impoverished, with a working class mother and father. Her mother worked as a maid until she passed in the late 90’s. In the late 60’s, her father, James Kukani-Recardo had died working a dangerous manufacturing job for Ezpera Industries, a steel plant. At the time, many of his coworkers suspected foul play, as he had just organized a worker’s union with his fellow factory workers and began demanding better, and safer, conditions for workers. A young child, forced into labor because her family was in debt to Ezpera, died a few months before. She had fallen into molten metal because safety bars weren’t properly in place. James had noted the lack of precaution, and the negligence in allowing children to work in such dangerous conditions, in his grievances.

Shuri’s mother, Lequanda had petitioned for an investigation into his death, but was denied. She even sued Ezpera, but stood no chance against their army of lawyers. This impacted Shuri from a young age, her father dying when she was 8. Her father always told her education was the way out. She dedicated herself to her studies and graduated from high school at 15 (1977), and immediately attended Doa City Central University. She graduated with a bachelors in social work at 19(1981) and began working as an organizer for “Housing For All (HFA)”, a youth organization committed to advocating for houseless and poorly housed Doatians. She also engaged in numerous marches and protests. She even helped plan and spoke at rallies supporting liberal candidates. She quickly rose through the ranks, becoming Vice President, when she was approached by a EJP executive during a fundraiser. She was offered an opportunity to come and work for the party, full-time (1983). Having already been registered as a member, she didn’t hesitate to accept.

She began as a Senior Regional Organizer, and quickly rose through the party. Eventually becoming a member of the People’s Chamber (1987, 25), she continued to serve in leadership until she became Chair of the party in 1999 (37). Now, at 61, she is Chancellor of Doatia.

And polling indicates she has a good chance to stay Chancellor, with recent updates putting the EJP at 42% popularity. With the PLP at 13%, the DN at 5%, and the CP at 40%. If Chancellor Recardo can improve her icy relations with the PLP, even if the conservative faction backs the CP, she can win with upwards of 10.5-11% of PLP support (she’d only need 8.1%). She could also boost the EJP’s standing by 8% in 10 days. On the flip side, if Loaz can get the endorsement of the DN, which it looks like she might already have it after the final Chancellor vote and can poach 5% of the PLP (with the 2-2.5% conservative PLP members, and 2.5-3% of PLP moderates), or boost the CP’s standing by 10% in 10 days, she could win.

Both sides are supporting a more radical agenda than we’ve seen in years, which makes the whole thing more polarized. Loaz is supporting a ban on gay marriage, reduced immigration quotas, and the deportation of peaceful undocumented immigrants. She also plans to cut all income taxes by 6% and privatize all industries. Meanwhile, Recardo wants increased minimum wages, universal education, strengthened universal healthcare, universal transportation and housing. She also wants to reform our social safety net and boost collective bargaining and profit-sharing. She wants to expand and preserve social security and cut the defense budget. She also wants to increase oversight over the Monarchy’s exercise of power.

This all comes as several votes to choose the new budget have failed and a government shutdown is set to begin, as the Treasury officially runs out of credit on August 2nd. Recardo’s first test as Chancellor will be preventing (has until 8/2/23) and/or navigating Doatia out of a government shutdown, and delivering recession relief, all while convincing the people of Doatia to support her party enough to win official control of government…in 10 days.

Both sides have raised and spent unprecedented amounts during this cycle, with the liberal side prevailing at $3.2 Billion Doa. The conservative side at $2.1 Billion Doa.

Ultimately, the election comes down to 27 “swing” seats out of the 700 of the Chamber. The PLP-EJP (although no longer a coalition) safely has 330 seats (needs +21). The CP safely has 338 seats (needs +13). The DN safely has 5 seats. That leaves the remaining 27, which will ultimately decide control of the chamber. 12 of the “swing” districts are currently represented by liberal members, with the remaining 15 represented by conservatives. A total of 18 of the seats are leaning to the left, and 9 to the right. There is hope for the liberals with the several seats currently held by the DN, mostly swing districts, which have leaned further to the left as the DN has lost popularity. There are also some districts held by CP members which could, with enough traction and funding, and the right candidate, become pickup opportunities for liberals. There are few liberal strongholds which could be flipped by conservatives, but one is Doa City’s 5th district, which is an affluent suburban district, where CP candidates have continuously gained traction. This is seen a few other places as well.

Many moderate CP members, and even more CP voters are growing disillusioned with the more and more extreme agenda being set by party leaders. There could be an avenue in which Recardo’s liberals pickup votes from former CP members. There have even been talks of a moderate CP faction endorsing a 3rd party candidate, which would dilute the conservative vote.

Donald Sutherland, Doatian Journal Correspondent

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