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The Microwave Affair of 2008, also referred to as the Syrtæn'at Microwave Affair, was a major political scandal in Syrtænzna which led to the collapse of the Brahe Ministry and resignation of Speaker Carina Brahe as well as a considerable loss in popularity for the Civic People's Party (CPP), who had maintained a plurality in the Tsyrel'se for over a decade. The scandal stemmed from the collusions between the Brahe Ministry and CPP Member and Minister-President of Za'lyr'zna, Чιт-ёт-Ющфё (Reformed: Ryz'as-Tsøka) in preventing allegations of sexual misconduct and harassment levied against Carina Brahe to be tried in the Syrtæn'at Court or be properly investigated by the Tsyrel'se Conduct Committee.
According to the anonymous Ra-kup Report, Brahe had engaged in inappropriate sexual conduct with more than fifty male colleagues both in Government and the Civil Service, as well as having sent numerous explicit text messages to several constituents throughout her time in the Tsyrel'se between 2002 and her resignation in 2008. Following several civil servants and a former member of the legislature making allegations against her, Brahe and her Government allegedly colluded with Ryz'as-Tsøka in order to impede investigations against her, with reports of bribery, blackmail and threats being used to keep witnesses quiet, as well as abusing the powers held by the Government over the Syrtæn'at Police.
Following the release of the Report implicating this, Members of the Tsyrel'se - during a Public Session of Questions - demanded that she answer to the allegations, with the Speaker deflecting the calls for her Resignation by asking the Members to await reports from the proper authorities on the validity of the Ra-kup Report. This answer satisfied few, especially with her having been implicated in controlling the Police to work in her favour and obstructing any other form of investigation into the matter. However, such did not come to a head until Joikimm Ernman, a Member and part of the ruling CPP, tried to divert the topic by asking about microwaves, bringing about ridicule from the Opposition and the walking out of several CPP Members in disgust.
On the 30th of October, Brahe announced her formal resignation, along with the calling of elections for the Next Government in November. During these elections, the Civic People's Party lost their plurality in the Tsyrel'se, as well as more than 3/4 of their seats. leading to a succession of UPP and Solidarity-led Governments that continues to this day, despite the CPP having recovered a considerable number of seats following a change in leadership and inability of successive governments to slow the economic decline seen in the country.
Carina Ulrika Brahe acted as Speaker, a position equating to Head of Government in Syrtænzna from 2006 to 2008 as the Leader of the Civic People's Party in the legislature. leading a Minority Government due to both the CPP and the Unitary Progressive Party failing to form a majority coalition, with the latter unwilling to meet the demands of Syrtæn'at Solidarity in abolishing tuition fees and investing in cheap housing to provide for the increasing unemployment and homelessness caused by economic strife within the country. Brahe's Government was generally unpopular amongst a majority of the public, having furthered cuts in government expenditure to try and decrease the high National Debt, leading to ever worsening joblessness and a state of Austerity. Brahe's administration had primarily been forced to rely on propagandizing the inability amongst the other parties to cooperate, blaming both the UPP and Solidarity for stunting the nation's economic growth and development through "rampant obstructionism".
Brahe was first accused in November 2008 by Henry Aberg, a civil servant who reported Brahe performing making inappropriate gestures towards an Az'ra civil servant. According to Aberg, the Speaker "had a manner of unsubtly as to expect nobody was brave enough to say anything. I cannot but assume she had been right so far." Brahe denied any wrongdoing, and Aberg's account was deemed of questionable reliability by authorities. In December, Aberg was pressured into quitting by his colleagues, having reported being physically intimidated and threatened by several Security Staff. The publication of Aberg's story saw an influx of others claiming she had acted unprofessionally towards them in private, including former Member of the Tsyrel'se Sven Walberg.
With Walberg's accusation, the matter came under the partial jurisdiction of the Tsyrel'se Conduct Committee, an independent government body tasked with assessing the conduct and abidance to Civil Law ahead of any removal of office due to illegal or grave misconduct performed within the duties associated with their position. Following an inconclusive investigation, Head of the TCC Dy'ulf-Øfesak resigned from his position, citing constant and deliberate disruptions by the Government in their investigation, leading to further clouding of the validity of the claims that the investigation could be used by Brahe to justify not taking the case further. This was further exacerbated by the publication of the Anonymous Ra-kup Report, a detailed and well-evidenced report implicating Brahe in several additional sexual harassment charges, as well as granting permission for members of her Ministry and Minister-President Ryz'as-Tsøka to impede the investigative efforts of both the Authorities and the TCC, including a three-fold pay increase to the Chief of Police a week after the handwaving of Aberg's case.
Following the publicising of the Ra-kup Report, Brahe allegedly attempted to cancel the pre-scheduled session of Public Questions from the Tsyrel'se to herself, with a member of Brahe's personal staff leaking to the Toryne'yn Post that the Speaker had drank warmed salt water in order to try and make herself ill on the day, however Brahe denied this both during and after her political career. The Session continued as scheduled. occurring on the 29th of October but ending abruptly when several Members of the CPP left in protest, forcing Brahe to resign two days after. Following her resignation, Brahe was granted a promise of amnesty by Ryz'as-Tsøka, forcing the matter to be dropped which sparked protests in Ra-kup and the Capital, with Brahe quietly fleeing the country and moving to Vorpest, with many seeing such actions as an admission of guilt.
Joikimm Ernman was a Nekomimi politician and Member of the Civic People's Party, having acted as a Party Whip between 2004 and 2007. He was considered a very loyal member of the Party, and consistently took the side of the Speaker during the scandal, mentioning that the allegations were "Flimsy at best, and malicious at worst." during the Autumn Civic People's Party Conference.
Ernman became notable, however, as the Member of the Tsyrel'se to ask Brahe about the safety regulations on Microwaves during the Session of Questioning that a majority of the body was using to question the Speaker on the allegations put against her. It is believed he was told to do so under the Whip of Ryz'as in order to distract from the allegations, though it ended poorly. While he was asking his question, many members of the CPP stood up and walked out of the session in shame and disgust, with many of the Opposition under to hold in laughs at the novelty of asking such a question, leading to the session ending abruptly. Following the exchange, Ernman and his comment became a short lived meme, with an image of a Cat inside a microwave oven being rapidly shared on both the Internet and the Kæra Collective Intranet. With elections being called following the resignation of the Brahe Ministry, Ernman did not run for re-election on account of his severely tarnished reputation.
Later in life, he would state his beliefs that the proving of the allegations had been fraudulent, accusing the Unitary Progressive Party of having artificially created evidence and hired false witnesses to testify in order to remove Brahe from Office. He was further ridiculed by the general public for such claims of a cover-up, and was eventually arrested on multiple charges of corruption in 2011, having accepted bribes from Senior Members of the Civic People's Party who had been kicked out by Brahe's successor. Ernman died in prison on July 18th, 2019, having gotten into a fight with another inmate in the cafeteria.
On the 19th of November, 2008, following a detailed report on the scandal, a public address was made in the Afternoon Report on the Collective Broadcasting Department. During the address, Zhanyl Kosaky Tsøka'fa reportedly stated,
Kæra-Syrtæn'at relations were further damaged by this statement, in what many saw as an intentional move by the Zhanyl to provoke Syrtænzna to further isolate itself in East Borea, with economic relations between Syrtænzna and Kæra'zna having been increasingly less worthwhile for the latter following the post-Tyrstin era economic decline of Syrtænzna.