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Free Republic of Reijia
Drakinarerís Vokai Reižia (Tavari)
Motto: "လူအပေါင်းတို့၏ကောငျးကြိုးအတှကျ" (Reijian)
"For the Good of All"
Location of Reijia (dark green)
on the continent of Gondwana (grey)
and largest city
|Recognised national languages||Staynish-Codexian|
|Ethnic groups |
All others 4%
|Government||Diarchical parliamentary directorial republic|
|Legislature||Council of Freeholders and Burgesses|
• Kingdom of Reijia independent
• Free Republic established
|May 19th, 1753|
|3,082 km2 (1,190 sq mi)|
• 2021 estimate
• 2019 census
• Per capita
|Currency||South Hills Dollar (SHD)|
|Time zone||(UTC -08:00)|
The Free Republic of Reijia (Reijian: ရေဣဇိအးလွတ်လပ်သောသမ္မတနိုင်ငံ, reijia lwatlautsaw sammataninengan), known commonly as Reijia (Reijian: ရေဣဇိအ, sometimes given as "Ragea"), is a country in Gondwana located on a peninsula in the Strait of Khaj, which connects the Sea of Gondwana to the Gulf of Northwest Gondwana. It is a founding member of the International Forum and the Alliance of Northwest Gondwana.
The modern Free Republic of Reijia traces its direct origin to a colony by that name established by the Empire of Ni-Rao 1283 CE. When the Raonites arrived to the Strait of Khaj, they remarked that there were conspicuous torches stood along the banks every few paces. Initial explorers called it the "river of flames" in their diaries. The resident population was a somewhat small tribe of orcs called the Reiji; they were called "fire people" by the Raonites. Their language was similar to, but beyond mutual intelligibility with, the language the Raonites spoke, which caused the explorers to posit that they had both come from the same distant ancestral population. The Modern Reijian language is largely identical to Raonish, though Reijian—not Raonish—is specified in law as the national language of Reijia.
The Raonites and the Reiji co-existed peacefully as the Raonites built their colony, which they named Reijia after the native name for the area. The name means "land of the fire people." Over time, the two populations began to intermarry, and the Reiji joined the Raonites in living in the city of Khaj. Raonite ability to effectively govern the reaches of territory so far south gradually became restricted, first caused by massive military defeats from the Tavari and Banians in the far north and later, at the year 1400, a massive plague striking the core Ni-Rao territory. In the year 1448, the local viceroy in charge, Anao Meo, offered to purchase the city of Khaj and its immediate surrounding countryside from the Empire. The Empire, sorely in debt, accepted. While officially the other land around them belonged to the Empire, in practice they had abandoned their holdings in the region some 20 to 30 years after the sale of Khaj.
Anao Meo and his descendants served as Kings of Reijia. Initially, the King of Reijia was still in fealty to the higher-ranking Emperor of Ni-Rao, and Reijia was a tributary state. However, Reijia had stopped sending tribute to Ni-Rao by the turn of the 16th century, and the Kings later ruled under their own independent authority. Very quickly after independence, Reijia turned its focus to shipping and commerce, and commissioned fleets of ships to be built to carry Reijian merchants and trade envoys everywhere they could reach. The Strait of Khaj is naturally navigable by ship, but was dredged regularly beginning in the 17th century to allow for even larger ships to pass. Khaj's position as a major city right in the middle of the strait meant it was virtually certain to be a stop for every ship that passed through.
Merchants and shipowners very quickly became a powerful class in Reijian society. Initially, a Senate composed of appointees by the King served as a legislature. As the Senate became populated with more and more merchants, the merchant class was able to gradually establish itself as a political power. The governmental system changed from an absolute monarchy to a constitutional-style monarchy, with the King serving a figurehead role. In 1753, when King Anao XI died without heir, the Senate agreed to adopt a republican system of government. A Constitutional Charter was drafted and then approved by the Senate that changed the Senate into the Council of Freeholders and Burgesses, which would hold the legislative power of the state. The House would elect two of its own to serve as Co-Consuls, who would together be head of state. This charter is still in effect in the present day, with some amendments.
Reijia endeavored to remain neutral in world affairs, especially during the Great War. It specifically permitted ships of both sides to pass through its waters for any reason, in order to prevent any side from blockading it. It was a founding member of the International Forum in 1921 and of the Alliance of Northwest Gondwana, a regional trade bloc, in 2018. Otherwise, Reijia typically attempts to remain unaligned in global events. One exception is the defense relationship Reijia has with Tavaris. The two countries signed an agreement in 1920 in which Tavaris would assist Reijia in policing the strait and in Reijia's defense, and the Reijians would give Tavaris preferential trade treatment, free passage through the strait, and would annually reimburse Tavaris for a certain percentage of its defense-related costs. (Both countries' membership in the Alliance of Northwest Gondwana now renders the first two of those items moot.) Another exception is the Tripartite Pact of Amity, an agreement signed in 1895 between Reijia, Asilica, and Mexregiona. The countries have remained close allies since the signing of the treaty, which establishes several economic and political links between the three states.
Beginning with the Constitutional Charter of 1753, the Council of Freeholders and Burgesses was elected by a constituency defined as those who held "freedom of the city," called "freeholders," meaning they were adult men who owned property. A "Burgess" was a freeholder merchant who was a member of the exclusive Merchant's Guild of Reijia. Over time, the franchise of freeholders was expanded to all adults regardless of property-ownership or gender, and the distinction between freeholders and burgesses faded with the collapse of the guild system. The Council, while still legally retaining its longer name, is regularly referred to as simply "the Great Council." The number of Councilors has increased over time as well, from 30 in 1753 to 105 as of a constitutional amendment in 2010.
The Council is elected proportionally, with the country split into three electoral districts that each elect 35 Councilors. Political parties need to receive at least 2% of the vote to be issued a seat. Unaffiliated candidates can also run, and require at least 1% of votes in order to be elected. Two Co-Consuls remain the collective head of state, elected by and from the Great Council. By tradition, the leaders of the two largest political groupings in the Great Council are elected, and they retain their positions and votes in the Great Council while they serve as Co-Consuls. Terms were initially for 6 months, but have since been amended to three years. The same term applies to every member of the Great Council.
The relationship between Co-Consuls depends on how each pair decides to work together. In some administrations, ministries are divided between the two, who each have exclusive control over policy in their ministries. In other administrations, the pair jointly oversees the entire government and decisions between the two must be unanimous. In either case, the law states that no Co-Consul may give effect to anything which the other has explicitly denied. This requirement for "explicit" denial allows the split-cabinet model of administrations to occur.
The current Co-Consuls are Rani Amin of the Democrats of Reijia (a centrist, neoliberal party) and Ora Rashka of the Progressive Popular Party (center-right), who were elected on January 25th, 2021. However, the election was unprecedentedly close, and the third-largest party, the classically liberal Independent Coalition, received only one fewer seat than the PPP. The Great Council agreed that halfway through the term, the leader of the Independent Coalition will take Ora Rashka's place as Co-Consul. The Amin-Rashka administration is a split-cabinet. Some major portfolios overseen by Amin include Foreign Affairs, Defense, and Treasury, while Rashka oversees such ministries as Justice, Public Health, and Labor and Commerce.