The Profound Estimable
|23rd Prime Minister of Great Morstaybishlia|
2 March 1998 – 4 May 2005
|Preceded by||Ramsay Logrin|
|Succeeded by||Walter Johannes|
|Leader of the Labour Party|
30 March 1987 – 4 May 2005
|Preceded by||Donald Kreitser|
|Succeeded by||Carrolan Flantarnoret|
|Member of Parliament|
for Banaslow, Fort Jubrayn
|Assumed office |
12 August 1956
|Preceded by||Lambert Benn|
|Succeeded by||Samminel Muebell|
Verlhanz Benjamin Rothgerus
26 November 1920
Aegis, Staynes, Great Morstaybishlia
|Spouse||Mary Yune (m. 1942-2015)|
|Alma mater||Jubrayn University, Fort Jubrayn|
Verlhanz Benjamin Rothgerus (born 26 November 1920) is a Staynish politician who served as Prime Minister of Great Morstaybishlia from 1998 to 2005 and as Leader of the Labour Party from 1987 to 2005. As Father of the House, he has served as MP for Fort Jubrayn for his entire political career from 1956, the longest ever, and became the first 90-year old, and then 100-year old Member of Parliament to Kalmington. Rothgerus was the secondary Leader of the Opposition from 1987 until 1991, and then the primary Leader of the Opposition from 1991 until 1996, the longest serving opposition leader in Morstaybishlian history.
Rothgerus beat Labour veteran Charles Mason-Smith at the 1987 Labour leadership election to replace former Prime Minister Donald Kreitser. As opposed to Mason-Smith, Rothgerus had no government experience, yet won a comfortable majority over Mason-Smith who was too 'soft-left' for the party at the time. Rothgerus campaigned against Morstaybishlian involvement in the Meremaa Civil War, exposed the Delari government for war crimes which led to the collapse of the Delari administration and the 1991 general election, and pushed for a public inquiry and war reparations.
In the buildup to the 1991 general election, Rothgerus led the polls and was set to win a landslide. However, policy stances on green-energy, including replacing coal with nuclear power and renewable energy; as well as his progressive social policies were seen as too radical and outweighed his outlined fiscal and constitutional reforms, which garnered much support. Consquently, Labour made net gains but the election resulted in a hung parliament. The Conservatives and Liberals formed a coalition, with the Conservatives and Labour both overtaking the Democrats in seats. Here Rothgerus became the primary Opposition Leader. Historians attribute his powerful presence and consisitent pressure at governmental flaws at Prime Minister's Questions (PMQs) as the primary reason the Conservatives' single seven year term saw three successive prime ministers.
Rothgerus won the 1998 general election with a comfortable 59-seat majority, and became the oldest prime minister in MBE history at 77, beating Wilton Lavel who was 72 when he became prime minister in 1929. Rothgerus left office at 84 in his 2005 electoral defeat, but became the first and only Labour prime minister to expend a full seven-year term.
Rothgerus's administration was known for its vast constitutional reforms, including the most famous, the Representation of the People Act 2000, which lowered the voting age of women from 25 to 18, men from 21 to 18, allowed all sentient species the right to vote (where previously the law restricted voting citizens to humans and elves), and removed double-member constituencies and university seats. The Parliament Act 2001 saw the removal of the right of veto from the Peers except on bills to extend the life of parliament. Rothgerus, through the Life Peerages Act 2002 and the Peerage Act 2003, allowed for women and non-humans the right to sit and vote in the House of Peers, and enabled Peers to disclaim their peerages in order to stand for election in the House of Representatives. Rothgerus championed gay rights and multiculturalism, a theme he persued through the 1980s in opposition and in government. Immigration rose from 1998, and refugee programs saw millions of Vulpines flee from Vekaiyu under the iron-fist dictatorship of Max Venavle. In 2003 he legalised same-sex marriage and inter-species marriage. Rothgerus was instrumental to bolstering nuclear power production, beginning the construction of 48 nuclear power plants in his term, most of which were finished after his term ended between 2013 and 2020. Alongside nuclear power, Rothgerus implemented laws promoting businesses to reduce coal emissions in favour of renewable energies.
Despite these changes, Rothgerus inherited a declining economy, with inflation at a thirty year high. His economic strategies to deal with inflation, the cost of living, and wages saw much mismanagement at a local level and ultimately overlooked the improvement of working and living conditions. Union strikes only worsened the situation. The declaration of independence by way of a successful coup d'etat of the provinces of Horkalo and Redrugus, which housed the headquarters of the Imperial Navy, resulted in Morstaybishlia's biggest ever constitutional crisis. Rothgerus successfully oversaw an ACA and IF condemnation of the State of Morstaybishlia. In 2004, Rothgerus authorised an invasionary force into the breakaway provinces in what would be known as the Morstaybishlian Secession War. Despite making territorial and materiel gains near the end of his term (including the mutiny and recapture of the Baltassar-class aircraft carrier MBS Baltassar which drastically swung the war effort), the constitutional crisis greatly damaged his political reputation and led to a Conservative landslide victory under Walter Johannes in the 2005 general election.
Rothgerus, despite his very divided popularity, would continue to defend his seat as a MP for Banaslow, Fort Jubrayn. Rothgerus rejected an invitation to be elevated to the House of Peers in the 2019 Honours List. Rothgerus celebrated his 100th birthday on 26 November 2020 and is the oldest ever living Prime Minister of Great Morstaybishlia, as well as being decorated as the longest continually serving Member of Parliament in the nations history for a period of 67 years.
Early life and political career
Verlhanz Benjamin Rothgerus was born in Aegis, Staynes (now Valeria), to Kéyan-born mother Jocelyne Durand and father Vernon Rothgerus. Along with his older sister and parents, Verlhanz moved to Fort Jubrayn in 1926 at the age of 6. Verlhanz attended Jubrayn University and studied mathematics, which he dropped in his second year. After a year away he re-started his University life and got a Doctoral in politics. He moved away to Jersia City at the age of 25 but was unsuccessful in starting any such political career. He moved back to Fort Jubrayn two years later. During the 1953 General Election he campaigned for MP for Banaslow, Fort Jubrayn but lost out by three thousand votes. He campaigned again in the 1956 General Election and won the seat with a 56.5% majority. Verlhanz was unopposed as he became the Labour Party leader in 1987 and won the 1998 General Election with a 34 seat majority. He lost the 2005 General Election to Walter Johannes and stepped down from Labour Leader the same day.
Marriage and descendants
Verlhanz married Mary Yune in 1947 at the age of 27 in the Cathedral of Lights in Besowene. Him and Mary had their only child, Verlhanz Rothgerus Jr at 30 and 24. In 1956, during his first year as MP for Fort Jubrayn, him and his wife had a large argument, and Mary Yune left him with their four year old child to Sani Bursil, but returned a year later. The two renewed their wedding vowels on New Years Day in 2000.
Verlhanz Rothgerus Jr had two children with his fiancé Rose Visteue, Lord Rothgerus and Prince Rothgerus in 1993 and 1996 respectively. Lord Rothgerus, with permission from her father Lambertus VII got engaged to Princess Rosamund in late 2012 but died in a car accident the following year. They had planned to marry in Syllester Abbey in late 2013.