Politics of Iboma

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Queendom of Iboma
Lutendane la'Iboma
Coat of arms of Iboma
Polity typeUnitary matriarchy, theocracy and parliamentary democracy under an elective constitutional monarchy
ConstitutionUncodified (most important document is the Covenant of the Twelve Tribes)
FormationJanuary 1, 1600; 424 years ago (1600-01-01)
Legislative branch
NameNational Assembly
TypeBicameral
Meeting placeKomodu
Presiding officerMujaji va Kananero, Speaker of the Chamber
Upper house
NameLegislative Council
Presiding officerMujaji va Kananero, Speaker of the Chamber
AppointerSingle member constituencies, plurality, ranked-choice voting
Lower house
NameRepresentative Council
Presiding officerJamima va Nala, Presiding Officer
AppointerLottery1
Executive branch
Head of State
TitleQueen of Iboma
CurrentlyRutendo III
AppointerQueen's Trials
Head of Government
TitleGrand Vizier of Iboma
CurrentlyRufaro va Asanda
AppointerQueen
Cabinet
NameHigh Council of Iboma
LeaderGrand Vizier
AppointerQueen
HeadquartersKomodu
Judicial branch
NameJudiciary of Iboma
Supreme Chamber of Justice
SeatKomodu

The politics of the Queendom of Iboma (lwuTendane lw'Iboma) take place in the framework of a multiparty liberal representative democracy under an elected constitutional monarchy. The Goddess Akrona (mwuDzimu Akronya) through the Crown (lwuTsiwane) imparts the country with its sovereignty and gives its government authority, powers and dignities vested in the Queen (mwuTenda) which she exercises largely on the advice of the Chancellor (mwuKanziliri). The Chancellor leads the Council of Ministers (the de facto executive branch of the govermment), the Executive Committee of the Council of Elders. She is always the leader of the largest party in the Council of the People (the lower house of the National Assembly). The Queen and the National Assembly form the legislative branch while the Queen, Supreme Chambers of Justice and other courts form the judicial branch. The Constitution of Iboma is unwritten and consists of traditions, laws and judicial precedents.

Founding

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.

Constitution

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.

Monarch

The sovereignty of the nation and the existence of the state vests in and emanates from the Crown. The Crown is empowered with royal prerogatives to exercise the sovereignty and authority with which it is vested. However, the Crown is an incorporeal entity that only manifests through the person of the Queen. As such, during her reign, the Queen holds the Crown in trust until it passes to the next Queen. Thus, the Queen has the power to exercise the royal prerogatives vested in the Crown. The Queen is immune but her ministers are responsible. This means that the Queen is immune from prosecution, but she is required to act on the advice of her democratically elected ministers. As such she cannot exercise many of the royal prerogatives of the Crown independently of the institutions and officials of her government except in specific cases.

These constraints on the monarch's practical authority arose as a result of tradition, convention and statutes. The Crown cannot give itself more royal prerogatives and is bound by the statutes it passes as such the process of constraints on the monarch's power in the day to day running of government is largely irreversible. Instead, the monarch's practical role in the government is restricted to emergency powers and largely symbolic functions.

The Queen has the following ceremonial functions (this means that the monarch cannot exercise independent discretion and is usually asked by the Chancellor to perform these functions and cannot refuse to do so):

  • To grant pardons
  • To grant and withhold peerages
  • To appoint and remove peerages and clerics from the Council of Peers
  • To grant royal assent to bills
  • To appoint the leader of the largest party in the Council of the People as Chancellor
  • To appoint State Councillors
  • To appoint Justices of the Supreme and High Chambers of Justice
  • To declare war and make peace
  • To conclude international agreements and treaties
  • To dissolve the Council of the People and call for new elections
  • To read the Speech from the Throne and announce the official opening of the annual sessions of the National Assembly
  • To alienate and acquire assets of the Crown Estate. The Crown Estate consists of properties owned by the Crown such as Kalangara Palace (the official residence of the Queen) and the Royal Regalia of Iboma.
  • To receive the accreditations of foreign ambassadors and to grant letters patents to Ibomian ambassadors

The Queen has the discretion to exercise the following powers:

  • To appoint and dismiss members of the Council of Electors and the Council of State
  • To appoint a Regent
  • To grant and withdraw military decorations and orders of chilvalry
  • To grant and withhold sinecure positions in the Council of Elders
  • To hold audiences with the Chancellor, to informed by them and to counsel them on political and state affairs
  • To hold audiences with the High Priestess of the Akronist Church of Iboma
  • To receive intelligence reports from the nation's various intelligence services
  • To request the amendment of bills where they affect her personal interests

The Council of State has the power to declare by a majority vote of a quorate sitting the Queen as permanently incapacitated thereby ending her reign. The Queen's reign can also end if she passed away or abdicates. When the Queen's reign ends, the Council of State is said to hold to the Crown in trust. This means that it exercises all the powers of the Crown until a new Queen is elected. It can appoint a Regent until the Council of Electors votes for a new Queen. A Regent exercise all the functions of the Queen but they cannot remove or appoint members of the Council of Electors or the Council of State. The Council of State normally issues a summons for the members of the Council of Electors to attend a meeting to elect the Queen. The Council of State is appointed by the preceding Queen while she is on the throne. The current Council of State consists of:

  • Chairwoman: Lady Raminda nga Mfuraniya, 7th Countess of Hungura (appointed in 2012)
  • 12th Baroness Ndjamira, the Profound Estimable Thongayi nga Lupumbuwa (appointed in 2015)
  • Lady Mfungira, 10th Marchioness of Lathinguwa (appointed in 2009)

The Queen will appoint the Council of Electors in her lifetime. The Council of Electors deliberates on and elects by simple majority vote of a quorate sitting a new Queen. The Council of Electors can only choose a Queen who is a citizen of Iboma, a person above the age of majority (i.e., above the age of 18) and a member of the Akronist Church of Iboma in good standing. The Council of Electors consists of the following members all of whom were appointed by Queen Rutendo III:

  • Chairwoman: Lady Ishmira nga Yugunda, 12th Duchess of Tshiramedza
  • Lady Tapiwa nga Fumanda, 8th Duchess of Shumbaya
  • Lady Umbira nga Hagayi, 9th Duchess of Zaruwera
  • Lady Famida nga Tshipina, 5th Duchess of Mburambura
  • Lady Kudzayi nga Pfuruwani, 16th Duchess of Yamambira
  • Elder Nankaringa nga Sarayi
  • Elder Ruthingira nga Hudufime
  • Elder Majwita nga Bumiwayo
  • Elder Yelela nga Satiya

The Council of State can by a majority vote of a quorate sitting declare the Queen temporarily incapacitated and appoint a Regent to assume her roles and duties until she returns and her temporary incapacity is concluded. This happens if the Queen goes missing or gets an illness that she needs to convalesce. However, the Queen can appoint a Regent of her own will if she intends to temporarily rest or intends to be away.

Since 1721, the Council of Electors has always chosen a member of the House of Mujaji. Usually the Council of Electors elects the eldest daughter of the Queen and in the absence of daughters, it elects her closest female relative such as her younger sister or her oldest first cousin. There are rare cases where the Council of Electors has chosen a younger daughter to ascend the throne. This happened for example in 1912 when Queen Makadzi I who was the second daughter of Queen Umbira II, was elected instead of Waditya nga Umbira II her elder sister because Waditya was married to a foreigner and joined his religion and was not eligible to be elected Queen, and in 1978 when Alisha nga Mujaji III declined the nomination to retain a civilian life and thus her younger sister Makadzi II was elected instead.cases where the eldest daughter.

The Queen has various emoluments as follows:

  • A tax-free stipend paid by the government
  • The use of various royal residences owned by the Crown Estate
  • The protection and escort of a military regiment when travelling and in place
  • A staff provided and paid for by the government to administer her court

There are various symbols of the Queen that are used by the government:

  • Judicial decisions are imparted in her name
  • Her Crown appears on various state symbols
  • Her image is used on coinage, banknotes and stamps
  • Military and civilian officials make oaths of service to her
  • Naturalised citizens say their oaths to her
  • Passports ask for protection for the traveller in her name

The official title of the Queen is as follows: By the Grace of the All-Mother, Rutendo III, Queen of Iboma, Supreme Guardian of the Akronist Church of Iboma, Duchess of Komodu. The only title not attached to the Crown is Duchess of Komodu. This title is attached to the Queen in her personal capacity and arises because she is the head of the House of Mujaji which holds the Duchy of Komodu. The title of Supreme Guardian of the Akronist Church of Iboma arises because the Queen of Iboma is not only expected to rule according to the teachings of Akronism but the belief is that Iboma exists as a nation and the Crown exists solely because of and from the Goddess Akrona, as such it is the Queen's duty to protect and uphold the Akronist Church of Iboma. The practical effect of the title of Supreme Guardian is that it establishes the Akronist Church of Iboma as the state religion of Iboma.

The Queen's closest relatives comprise the Royal Family of Iboma. This includes all her descendants and full consorts, her parents and siblings. They all receive the title of Prince or Princess for life even if a new Queen is appointed. Only the Queen's primary consort and their eldest daughter receive a stipend and staff from the government for their upkeep and performance of official duties. Other members of the Royal Family of Iboma may receive all the dignities associated with their title and station including being the first in the orders of ceremonial precedent, and permission to wear royal regalia. Together with courtiers, they comprise the Royal Court of Iboma. The Queen officially resides and works in the Kalangara Palace in Komodu.

Executive branch

The executive branch of the government of Iboma is known as the Queen-in-Council. This is because legally the Queen exercises executive functions by issuing Orders-in-Council which are basically executive decrees issued on the advice or with the witness of the Council of Elders (depending on the discretion that the Queen has to issue said Orders-in-Council). The Executive Committee of the Council of Elders, also known as the Council of Ministers, is the body that issues most Orders-in-Council on behalf of the Queen (or the Crown to be more specific) and she merely grants her formal ascension to them as requested (or in practice as directed) by the Chancellor. However, there are Orders-in-Council that she can issue at her discretion (see the section on the Monarchy). Because of the legal principal that the Queen is immune and the her ministers are responsible, her signature is a mere formality and the Orders-in-Council are considered binding the moment they are approved by the competent minister or body.

There are Orders-in-Council issued in terms of ancient royal prerogatives but they can also be issued in terms of statute. When a law is created, it normally specifies which minister or more accurately which executive portfolio or regulatory body is responsible for its enforcement. By consequence, the National Assembly grants the Crown by statute various non-royal prerogatives which are in turn exercised by the executive branch in the name of the Crown. The formulation of many Orders-in-Council begins with a statement such as "The Queen hereby decrees..."

The Chancellor is the chair of the Council of Ministers. Many of the inherent royal prerogatives of the Crown can only be exercised with the formal advice of the Chancellor. This means once the Chancellor advises the Queen to approve of an Order-in-Council to exercise a royal prerogative (over which she has no discretion), she cannot refuse. She is seen to have agreed the moment the request is made and the advice is given. As such, in reality, the Chancellor exercises many of the main executive functions of the Crown and as such is the de facto head of government. The only practical obligation that the Chancellor has to the Queen with respect to these executive royal prerogatives is that she must inform her and listen to (but not obey) her counsel. This happens in frequent meetings that the Chancellor has.

In practice, the Chancellor dismisses and appoints the other members of the Council of Minister who are known as the State Councillors. State Councillors meet every week to discuss important government matters and to approve various executive decisions that do not fall into the hands of a single member. The Lady President of the Council of Elders is responsible to taking and publishing minutes of the meetings of the Council of Ministers. Unless, she is a State Councillor as well, she is not considered a member and can neither vote nor deliberate.

The State Councillors are usually heads of executive departments known as State Offices. These State Offices has various functions over the running of the government as follows:

  • Treasury: Budget, taxes, accounts, economic policy, foreign trade, internal commerce
  • Education: Schools, universities, teachers, curricula
  • Justice: Courts and tribunals, prisons, police, parole boards, legal profession, prosecutions
  • Defence: the military, arms manufacturing industry, military intelligence
  • Foreign Affairs: foreign relations, international agreements, alliances, memberships, immigration
  • Home Affairs: civilian intelligence, state security, identity documents, border security, citizenship and nationality, disaster response
  • Social Development: trade unions, workers, non-governmental organisations, social work, social welfare, vulnerable groups rights
  • Health: hospitals, clinics, medical and allied professions, health insurance
  • Housing and Infrastructure: Roads, ports, airports, railways, property development, city planning, public housing
  • Water: dams, reservoirs, pipes, sewerage, water treatment facilities
  • Mining and Energy: power plants, transmission and distribution, mines, gas and oil pipelines, petrol retail
  • Environment and Food Security: farming, fishing, forestry, nature reserves, greenhouse gas emissions, meteorological services, food retail
  • Church Affairs: Akronist Church of Iboma
  • Culture: Sport, culture, arts, tourism, national heritage



Legislature

The legislative branch of the government of Iboma consists of the Queen-in-Assembly and the National Assembly. The term Queen-in-Assembly refers to the royal prerogatives that the Crown has with respect to legislative functions. Almost all bills must originate i.e., be first proposed for discussion and first voted upon, in the Council of the People (which is the nominally lower house of the National Assembly) and any bill can originate from the Council of the People. The Council of the People has no restriction on its legislative mandate. Bills which may originate in the Council of Peers (which is the nominally upper house) are normally related to aristocratic, royal, heritage and religious affairs. No bill can be presented to the monarch for royal assent unless it has received a simple majority of a quorate sitting of the Council of the People however all bills must be read at least once in the Council of Peers before being presented to the monarch. Although the Council of Peers can vote on legislation to signal their approval, when the Council of the People passes a bill, it is legally considered as if the entire National Assembly has passed the bill.

The official responsible for presenting bills to the Queen for her royal assent is the Speaker of the National Assembly who sits in and is the chairwoman of the Council of Peers. The Queen cannot refuse to grant royal assent unless advised to withhold it by the Chancellor of Iboma. As such, because most bills would have been passed by a majority of the National Assembly which is normally supported by the largest party or coalition in the Council of the People of which the Chancellor is the head, it is exceptionally rare for the Chancellor to advise the Queen to withhold royal assent. The Queen cannot refuse the Chancellor's request to withhold royal assent, the Chancellor's advice is considered binding the moment it is conveyed and no other evidence is required of the Queen's assent other than the request by the Chancellor i.e., her assent is assumed. Nevertheless, the Queen will sign all acts physically by tradition. The Lady Keeper of the Privy Seal is responsible for stamping the bill with the Royal Seal when the Queen grants royal assent and publishing it in the Royal Gazette.

The Council of the People is elected by the voting age registered and eligible adult citizenry of Iboma every four years. The Council of the People consists of 300 members. Each member holds one seat and as such each member has one vote. Members may not transfer votes between them or delegate their votes to a proxy thus members must be in attendance themselves digitally or physically for their vote to be valid. Each member represents a constituency. The voting population of each constituency vote for the candidates registered for that constituency. Each constituency is required to have roughly the same population however the actual borders of the constituencies are drawn and determined by the Elections Committee of the Council of the People.

The Royal Electoral Commission is responsible for administering the elections and actually making sure that they are free and fair. No private or public body may interfere with its work i.e., interfering in an election unlawfully is considered a crime and is punishable by a fine or detention in one of Her Majesty's prisons. The Chancellor is responsible for advising the Queen on when she should designate the election to be held. The term of sitting of the Council of the People is exactly 1461 calendar days long (which is 4 years plus one day for a leap year). But the Queen can order the election to be held up to and not exceeding 90 calendar days after the term ends. The Royal Electoral Commission will automatically hold the election on the 90th day after the end of the Council of the People's term if the Queen has not issued an Order-in-Council by at latest 30 calendar days after the end of the Council of the People's term.

The Council of Peers is appointed by the Queen-in-Assembly. It must consist of Ladies Temporal and Ladies Spiritual. Ladies Spiritual are members thereof who are members of the clergy of Iboma. The clergy of Iboma consists only of the Akronist Church of Iboma. When the Council of Peers was founded 500 years ago, the Priestesses and Diviners of the Cults of the Goddesses Amira, Nashiya, Thula and Bast were allowed to be appointed to the Council of Peers as Ladies Spiritual however the Church (Amendment) Act of 1680 restricted Ladies Spiritual to the Akronist Church of Iboma. The Queen normally appoints all the Elders of the Church and at most 10 High Priestesses giving a maximum membership of 15 clerics. A threat by the Queen not to appoint or to remove an Elder as a member of the Council of Peers is normally a de facto trigger for them to resign from their ecclesiastical positions and represents the Crown (by extension the government's) disapproval.

Ladies Temporal are holders of aristocratic titles. The Queen appoints a peerage or more specifically a title to the Council of Peers not a person. Once a peerage has been appointed to the Council of Peers, the seat occupied by that title can be inherited by the holder of the title to which the seat is attached. The Queen can remove a peerage from the Council of Peers. Titles which cannot be inherited i.e., life peerages, immediately fall vacant upon their extinction which happens when the holder dies. There are 50 Ladies Temporal who are members of the Council of Peers. The peerages held by the heads of the Houses of Mujaji, Nandi, Zwaditu, Makeda, Asantwa, and Ndzinga have never been removed since 1721.

Thus, the Council of Peers has 66 members including its chairwoman, the Lady President of the Council of Peers. She is elected by the members of the Council of Peers. The sessions of the Council of Peers must coincide with the Council of the People and each sitting is given ordinal numbers corresponding to the ordinal numbers of the tenure of the Council of the People. The Queen is required to follow the advise of the Chancellor when appointing and removing members of the Council of Peers.

Members of the National Assembly are immune from prosecution for actions carried out in respect of their work as members and may speak freely. The time that they may speak and their conduct in the house is determined by the Standing Rules passed by each house's Rules and Privileges Committee which is always chaired by the presiding officer. Members may also be elected to one or more committees. The committees deliberate on legislation before it is presented to the plenary of that house to be read and voted upon. Some committees have specific functions such as the Judicial, Elections and Rules and Privileges Committees of the Council of the People as mandated by statute. Members receive a monthly salary, offices and staff as determined by the Civil List and paid for by the government. Depending on whether a member occupies a certain position e.g., Leader and Members of Her Majesty's Government, Leader of Her Majesty's Most Loyal Opposition, Chairwoman of Committees, Members of Her Majesty's Shadow Council, Whips etc., they receive different salaries and other emoluments. Thus technically, State Councillors do not receive salaries for their executive roles but for their legislative roles.

The National Assembly is responsible for holding the executive branch accountable. The Council of the People can summon members of the executive branch for Questions which the executive branch is required to answers. Committees can also issue legally binding summons and subpoenas for which people can be arrested or fined if they show contempt. The two houses can issue non-binding Resolutions and conduct investigations and publish reports on any matter of their choosing. If the Council of the People passes a vote of no-confidence in the Chancellor, the entire Council of Ministers is required to resign from their positions, however the Chancellor can advise the Queen to dissolve the Council of the People and call a new election instead of resigning and hope that the new Council of the People will be more favourable.



Judiciary

Judicial bodies

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.

Legal system

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.