UPA (Utanian Press Agency)
Release: October 6, 300 AP.

Election winner announced by UEC Director

Utania finally knows who her next President will be after Utanian Electoral Commission director Charles West announced the provisional results from last week's election.

At a pre-arranged 3pm meeting, assembled media were told the result, while each of the coalitions or parties learnt via television or their own personnel holding cellphones at the announcement.

"Ladies and Gentlemen", Mr West began, "it is my duty to report to you the provisional results from last weeks inaugural federal election for the United Democratic Republic of Utania. The votes have been tallied and nationally 93.1% of registered voters have voted, with an estimated few thousand postal votes yet to be counted. This represents a total vote of 23,548,040 voters to date."

"The individual party votes have been assembled as below:
"Peoples Party 41 (cheers from USP-PPP hotel hall)
"Utani-Sædaj 24 (enormous cheers)
"Conservative 24 (cheers from Conservative Party Hotel)
"Democrats 11
"Progressive Party 9
"Liberal Nationalist Party 9 (Great applause could be heard from the LNP hotel hall)
"Burovians 6
"Cruistian-Democrats 6
"Republicans 5...-"

At that point, the applause and celebratory yelling from the leftist coalition's hotel room could be heard and seen on television. It was clear that the PPP-USP-Rep coalition had won the election, being five seats ahead of their rivals, with the Yannists holding two seats, the maximum number of uncertain seats was three, meaning that the PPP-USP had effectively won the election.

Mr West then concluded by saying that the vote was still "provisional" but did not expect "major changes in the seats won to be effected by any further vote counting." The final vote announcement could be expected about a week or two later, he said.

Thereafter, George Okarvits, leader of the PPP-USP-Rep coalition, and son of the Peoples Party founder, stood to address the assembled crowd of Peoples, Republican and Utani Sædaj parties members and supporters.

"Ladies and Gentlemen, supporters and members", Mr Okarvits began, "We have been awarded the privilege from the people of Utania, to lead them forward, forward into a new era in their history, and no other man is more proud than I to accept this challenge and responsibility. I tell the people of Utania now that 'I accept'." There was rapturous applause as Okarvits stood behind the podium, beaming at the cameras and crowd assembled. "We have much to do in these coming months, and much to achieve for the Utanian people, for ALL the Utanian people. I am proud to say that we have some of the best people in this coalition, and we will be building one of the most dynamic and expert teams to help manage the government."

Mr Okarvits expressed his thankfulness for being allowed the opportunity to lead the country, and thanked the former-President for leading until now, and for his tireless and well-fought campaign which "offered real alternatives in government". Mr Okarvits said he hoped that this definitive election of a government would end the period of instability that the international community perceived and hoped that democracy in Utania would begin a glorious period in its history.

President Hope, still President until the new Parliament votes him out when Parliament convenes in about two weeks, accepted defeat graciously, and thanked his opponent for his kind comments. He too, he said, hoped that this would end the unfavourable perceptions of the international community toward the country, and looked forward to seeing a new and prosperous Utania emerge from the ashes of "three hundred years of autocratic rule". He said he had faith that his successor would govern "for ALL Utanians, including industry and commercial companies, not forsaking the very organisations that create the jobs that the people need."

President Hope will become Governor Hope again when Parliament convenes to vote for a new President, but foreshadowed his return to federal politics when the Presidential campaign is held late next year. For now, he said, Prime Minister Kemp would become opposition leader and would perform the role admirably.

So, the suspense ends. Okarvits Jnr. would soon be installed as the new President, the first elected President (elected by Parliament not the people) of Utania. Now, all that remains is formation of government.

And already questions are being asked about the stability of a single-vote majority government. All it would take to bring the government to a stand-still would be one defector within its ranks. Perhaps the stability is not entirely over.

©UPA, 300 AP.

©Mike Ham, 2000. All rights reserved. No reproduction without, at least, tacit approval. ;-)