Politics of Iboma
|This page or section is not canon and should not be considered part of current TEP Evolved RP.|
|Polity type||Unitary matriarchy, theocracy and parliamentary democracy under an elective constitutional monarchy|
|Constitution||Uncodified (most important document is the Covenant of the Twelve Tribes)|
|Formation||January 1, 1600|
|Presiding officer||Mujaji va Kananero, Speaker of the Chamber|
|Presiding officer||Mujaji va Kananero, Speaker of the Chamber|
|Appointer||Single member constituencies, plurality, ranked-choice voting|
|Presiding officer||Jamima va Nala, Presiding Officer|
|Head of State|
|Title||Queen of Iboma|
|Head of Government|
|Title||Grand Vizier of Iboma|
|Currently||Rufaro va Asanda|
|Name||High Council of Iboma|
|Name||Judiciary of Iboma|
|Supreme Chamber of Justice|
The Queen of Iboma (Mutenda maIboma) is the head of state and commander in chief of the armed forces. Succession is open to all females who in turn undergo a rigorous selection process testing physical, intellectual and interpersonal traits called the Queen's Trials (Zikitsimiso zamuTenda). The Queen appoints the High Council (Likonzili l’Hina) which consists of the Grand Vizier (Muviziri m’Ra) and Councilors of State (Bakonzili beluNe). The Grand Vizier is the head of government and oversees the running of day-to-day affairs of the government.
The bicameral National Assembly (Limbuyalothe l’Fatsile) consists of the Legislative Council (Likonzili l’Tsingazimiso) and the Representative Council (Likonzili l’Hwemberabanu). The elected Legislative Council wields most of the political power, whilst the Representative Council, which is selected by lottery, has an advisory role in the law-making process. The judicial branch comprises the Supreme Court (Limbiko l’Tsumihulu) and lesser trial and appellate courts. The strong role of the Akronist Church of Iboma (Limashidi l’Akronisti laIboma) in public and political life has entrenched Akronist values, such as a matriarchal rule, into legislation and policy.
Originally there were 12 tribes which lived in the islands that today comprise Iboma. They were autonomous and ruled over themselves. However, they recognized the symbolic position of a Matriarch who was a symbol of their shared heritage. Unfortunately, they were facing several challenges in the late 16th century such as natural disasters and foreign invasion. Unable to coordinate their efforts and pool resources due to mutual distrust and self-interest they remained weak and suffered greatly. The first Queen and last Matriarch, Mujaji I, brought the leaders of the nations together at Komodu and convinced them to form a united country with her as the Queen. They agreed and this agreement is called the Covenant of the Twelve Tribes.
Iboma does not have a written Constitution in the vein of other constitutional political systems. All of the extant statutes, long-standing political customs and judicial precedent form the basis of the political system and thus together comprise the Constitution. It has been possible for the country to maintain such a Constitution because the Golden Elves live much longer than other species like humans, lupines or vulpines, so they have more time to entrench their political system and to cultivate successors who will maintain it. Thus, the country's way of working has persisted for over 4 centuries.
The Queen of Iboma is the head of state and commander-in-chief of the armed forces. Thin position is presently occupied by Rutendo III who was the Victor of the 1980 Queen's Trials. She succeeded Queen Hanna V. The Queen reigns for life, but her term can come to an end if she becomes permanently incapacitated or abdicates, in which case she loses her royal immunity, title, powers and emoluments. At this time, a Regent is appointed to govern the nation until the next Queen's Trials can take place. The Queen's Trials consist of several rounds of tests and competitions of physical strength, intellectual ability, leadership skills and overall character. This happens at local, then district, then regional, then Provincial, then finally at national level until a clear winner has been chosen. Girls spend their entire lives preparing for this moment but they may only participate once in their lifetimes.
The Queen has the following powers and duties:
- Declare war and make peace
- Grant, withhold or reserve Royal Assent to legislation
- Appoint and dismiss the Grand Vizier and High Council, the Guardians of the Supreme Chamber of Justice, and the High Priestess and the Great Priestesses of the Akronist Church of Iboma.
- Send emissaries to foreign nations, the duty to receive the credentials of and expel foreign emissaries.
- Dissolve the National Assembly and call for a new lottery and new elections
- Recognize the legitimacy of foreign governments and conclude treaties with foreign nations.
- Entertain foreign guests of the nation.
- Grant pardons and commute sentences.
The Grand Vizier is the head of government of Iboma. She is appointed by the Queen and serves at Her Majesty's pleasure. This position is currently occupied by Rufaro va Asanda. The Grand Vizier was originally the head of the Queen's household and oversaw the running of the Royal Court. Together with the Viziers, she managed the daily affairs of the Queen and her court. However, as the running of the country became more complicated, the Queen required a skilled political operator to advise and assist her in running the country. Because of the wealth of knowledge and political connections that Grand Viziers accumulated working in the capital city, Queen's relied on them until the Grand Viziers became the heads of government. The Grand Vizier is still the nominal head of royal household, but today the duty is divided among the Viziers.
The Grand Vizier has the power to direct, control and supervise the running of the executive branch, to represent the High Council before the Queen and the National Assembly, to advise the Queen on political issues and to set strategy and policy for the government. The other members of the High Council are called Councilors of State. They each have a portfolio they run. This means that they head an executive government department (usually called a State Office) and they advise the government as a whole on a policy area. All members of the High Council are chosen via a series of interviews according to skill and personality although the Queen may appoint anyone she pleases.
The National Assembly is the bicameral legislative branch of the government of Iboma. It consists of the Legislative Council and the Representative Council. The Legislative Council is vastly more powerful than the Representative Council. The purpose of the Representative Council is to give ordinary citizens a chance to participate in politics and influence the way the country is governed. Members of the Legislative Council are called Legislators (Batsingazimiso) and the members of the Representative Council are called Representatives (Bahwemberabanu).
The Legislative Council has the power to:
- Ratify treaties. Without its approval, no treaty concluded by the Queen will become enforceable upon the nation.
- Approve the annual budget and any other spending bills.
- Pass, amend and repeal all laws on any topic. In cases where a devolved government or another part of the government has legislative authority, the Legislative Council may simply amend or repeal that law or pass overriding legislation to change those powers.
- Summon government officials and subpoena government documents. When documents are classified, then either a declassified version is made available to the Council or only members of a Standing Committee responsible for secret affairs is allowed to view them.
- Demand reports of the state of the nation from the government.
- Pass non-binding resolutions.
The Legislative Council is elected by voting age citizens of Iboma (regardless of where they are in the world as long as they are not barred by the law from voting such as mentally unwell people or prisoners and exiles). Candidates to the position of Legislator must be able to vote in the election for which they want to stand and they must be either 28 years of age and above for females or 35 years of age and above for males. Usually men comprise only 8% of the Legislative Council, as women control the political system through shear wealth and political influence.
The Representative Council has the power to pass non-binding resolutions on any topic, to deliberate and make recommendations on proposed legislation, and to request (not demand) oral and/or written reports from government officials. Members of this body are able to use soft power to influence the legislative process. This body forms the back-bone of public consultation because it organizes public meetings with members of the public where views on proposed legislation can be expressed and collated. This body also organized polls and undertakes investigates and publishes reports for the consideration of the Legislative Council and the rest of the government. They also meet with Legislators in informal and formal ways through their shared space in Komodu. Thus, they can share the concerns of their people with Legislators.
The Representative Council is chosen by a lottery. In the past this was done by picking names out of a hat. It evolved to a system where numbers would randomly come out of a lottery machine and which ever person has that combination of numbers in their ID number was selected. This process was replaced with one where a computer randomly decides who becomes a Representative. To be selected, someone must consent to being selected. So, the lottery cannot select people who are not interested. To be eligible for selection, one has to be able to vote in the election for the Legislative Council. No restrictions exist here. However, men only comprise 16% of the thing. Usually men are not as interested in politics because they do not feel like they can make a difference and because they have too many domestic tasks to run for political office. Recently, the government has tried to change this by offering child care support to full-time dads to encourage men to participate. Members get paid a stipend and the Council has money allocated to administer its duties.
The judiciary has the duty to administer justice, settle disputes and ensure that the Constitution is followed by all levels of the government. It consists of the following Chambers.
- The Supreme Chamber of Justice is the highest court in the land. It has the power to strike down government actions that violate the law. It can receive appeals on any case and the outcome of its decisions are binding on all lower and future courts and only another sitting of the Supreme Chamber of Justice has the power to overturn its decisions. The are cases where the Supreme Court can rule on whether the government has legislated effectively or appropriately in areas where it ought to have as stipulated by the spirit and letter of the law. This is a symbolic but highly influential act. The head of the court and head of the judiciary as a whole is the Supreme Guardian of Justice. The court consists of the SGJ and the Great Guardians of Justice who are appointed by the Queen on the recommendation of the Royal Judicial Commission which undertakes a rigorous appointment process.
- The High Chambers of Justice are chambers distributed across the country. There is one in the capital city of each province. It has the power to receive appeals and all appeals to the Supreme Chamber must have passed to a High Chamber first. These bodies have the power to set precedent that is binding on all courts within the province of their jurisdiction. They also have the power to strike down provincial and lower governments' actions and decisions that violate the law. The head of each chamber is called the President of the High Chamber, but has the rank of a Great Guardian of Justice. Other members of the High Chamber are Senior Guardians of Justice. They are appointed by the Supreme Chamber of Justice based on nominations from the Royal Judicial Commission of their Province.
- The Regional Benches are staffed by Regional Guardians of Justice who are appointed by the High Chamber of their Province. They hear the trials of the most severe cases and they can mete out the most severe punishments. They have no judicial precedent or power over smaller courts.
- The District Benches are the lowest rung of courts and are staffed by District Guardians appointed by the High Court. A District may have several District Benches within it. Unlike Chambers, in Benches, only one Guardian makes a decision.
The country follows a unique system originating from Iboma. Ibomian law comes from several sources: primary legislation of the National Assembly, secondary legislation of the provinces, church and executive branch, judicial precedent and long-standing judicial and political customs. Primary legislation overruled all other types of laws, followed by judicial precedent, followed by secondary legislation, followed by custom and convention.
Most of the time anyone can bring a case but they must prove to the Guardian that their case is valid. The Guardian decides to hear it. If they do, they summon the person against whom the charge is made. Both sides present evidence and cross-examine witnesses to prove their side of the story. The Guardian then makes a decision on a remedy. It can include anything from demanding an apology to ordering an execution (based on the type of case). An appeal on the other hand only looks at whether there where procedural or substantive issues in the decision that was made. In turn the higher body can overturn that decision, order a retrial or give its own decision. Judicial decisions of High and Supreme Chambers are recorded in official publications called Bulletins. In Iboma a Counselor is a legal professional who can give legal advice and help people ith their legal issues whereas a Defender brings cases to the Chamber and represents people in that body.