2018 ReNDaF Leadership Spill

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ReNDaF Leadership spill, 2018
← 2013 15 October 2018
Candidate Harun Lunsdzhura Kasran Felaits
Faction ko'Valkrei
MPs 83 79
% 51% 49%

Leader before election

Kasran Felaits

Elected Leader

Harun Lunsdzhura

Following a near-defeat at the 2017 Aduraszna General Election, in which the incumbent prime minister Kasran Felaits's leadership had resulted in a two-party swing of 3% away from ReNDaF, which led to the loss of 22 seats, bringing the government's majority from 48 down to 4, rumours of discontent in the parliamentary caucus had dogged Felaits's third term. This culminated in a public and profanity-laden argument caught and broadcast live on ASGTV between Felaits and Laru'as Tsalkirsz, a ReNDaF backbencher, which led directly to a leadership spill in which Felaits narrowly lost his position as leader of the party (and therefore prime minister) to a moderate challenger, Harun Lunsdzhura.

In 1949, an AK/ER candidate, Lenud Daurasz was elected president, replacing ReNDaF's own Halus Órilfveran. This created a rift between the presidency and the legislature, which at the time was controlled by a large ReNDaF majority. Despite the presidency being a mostly ceremonial position, the prime minister and leader of ReNDaF, Lóruszan Zhail, refused to work with Daurasz and frequently accused him of "frustrating the machinery of government". Four days later, this resulted in a leadership spill in which Zhail lost his position as leader, and therefore prime minister, to the more moderate Qóldzarusz Valkros, who had promised to "work constructively with [Daurasz], despite ideological differences". There had been disagreements amongst ReNDaF MPs before, but the 1949 leadership spill solidified the party into two factions: the hardliner ko'Zhailrei, and the moderate ko'Valkrei (lit. supporters of Zhail / Valkros). Since then, the leader has generally been decided by whichever faction had more members of parliament.

Just as in the Chamber of Representatives as a whole, the 2017 election saw the ko'Zhailrei faction's majority in the party slashed from fairly solid to very much defeatable, given even a small number of defectors, mostly due to the fact that most of the ReNDaF MPs who lost their seats in 2017 came from marginal seats that had been taken from AK/ER in 2014. Candidates in seats not controlled by ReNDaF are selected directly by the leader's team, which in 2014 meant Felaits's ko'Zhailrei team, which selected candidates from its own faction.

Some ReNDaF MPs do not publicly state their affiliation, which makes exact numbers hard to pin down, but ASGTV's political editor Ve'arus Hakuras has estimated that the ko'Zhailrei majority was cut from fourteen (99-85) to just two (82-80), which suggests Lunsdzhura, who had previously been suggested as the likely ko'Valkrei challenger, was able to sway three ko'Zhailrei MPs to his side between the election and the spill itslf.

Ruskalis Janszeras MP's Pigeon post

The spill meeting occured on Monday 15 October 2018, and started at exactly 9am. Various sources have suggested that this may have been Felaits's last-ditch attempt to save himself, as it directly followed a regional ReNDaF conference in the north-east of Aduraszna, in which the vast majority of the eighteen attending MPs were likely to vote for Lunsdzhura, and who might not make it to Raszeran back in time for a 9am meeting. However, this never came to pass, as the campaign bus carrying them all arrived at the Chamber of Representatives with just ten minutes to spare. Some of the MPs were filmed by onlookers running to the room in which the meeting was to take place, which briefly became a meme format on social networking website Pigeon.

The reason for the meeting was originally kept secret from the press and the public, as Felaits did not wish to draw yet more attention to factional conflict in the party, and had planned to bury the whole thing if he won. As such, the first that anyone outside of the party knew about the spill or its results was when the MP for Janur, Ruskalis Janszeras, made a Pigeon post saying: "holy shit felaits just got yeeted". He later apologised for his use of profanity, citing "high levels of emotion". An official announcement was made at 9:50am. Lunsdzhura was officially sworn in as prime minister at noon, and announced the new government cabinet the following morning. Speaking to ASGTV, he said: "It's time for a little change. And I've just been to the corner store so I've got plenty of that in my pockets."

According to most major Aszar political analysts, Lunsdzhura's sense of humour is not likely to improve.