After years of discussion, the Supreme Court of Slokais Island’s has decided to approve a request to hold concurrent referendums in both North and South Kaijan, last week. Although independence won’t be on the ballot in December, Kaijan’s future will be. The resolution simply says “Do you approve or reject the current political status quo of North and South Kaijan Province within Slokais Island’s”. Although the referendum has no weight behind it, if approved the resolution could lead to a future binding referendum. Already the Kaijan Union Party, a political alliance of the Muslim Union, and the Kaijan People’s Party have endorsed the referendum. Hamadi Zavala, the grandson of Mohammed Zavala a well-known South Kaijanese governor has already held a rally in New Liverpool last week.
Although those at the rally could not vote for independence, the Kaijanese diaspora has been one of the most consistent in fundraising for Kaijanese politicians at every level. Speaking to 23,000 at the Southland Event Center, Zavala called the referendum “the perfect moment for the Kaijanese people to stand together in opposition to the political status quo”. However not once during his speech did Zavala mention the act of full independence. When asked later by reporters, Zavala dodged the question, simply stating that “This referendum is simply about the status quo, I don’t like to speculate about the future”.
This referendum is not the first, in 1970 in the aftermath of the Great War, votes in South Kaijan voted 62.5% to support discussions on Kaijanese Independence. A motion in North Kaijan, in the same year narrowly failed, and the topic of independence was largely ignored by the Constitutional Transitional Council. Another referendum in 2006, to show support for independence failed by a wide margin as it was boycotted by many pro-independence groups.
At a food market located in Mandana, South Kaijan a group of mostly middle-aged women in orange vests handed out papers required for people to be registered to vote. “Peace be upon you, are you currently requested to vote, there is an upcoming referendum on Kaijan’s future,” a woman asked a group of young men working at a fry-up stall. The men seemed disinterested, only replying with “I don’t do central government anything” This sentiment is common mainly among the working class or those who are unemployed. This feeling has formed the base for many radical groups. A reminder of this is an outdoor rally held by a group called “Islamic Youth for Action”, According to the local chair, a teen who his peers call “Belv” “the IYFA rejects the referendum, we are needed in the streets not the ballot box”. Also at the same market is a mix between an Imam and a big personality with a microphone. Speaking outside a cell phone store he repeats the line “God is with us, they want us to do abortions, they us to do Catholicism, they want us to vote, they want us to do the vasectomies”