|11th President-General of the People's Republic of Namor|
|Assumed office |
20 April NMR 2378
|Vice President||Long Jiao-Che|
|Preceded by||Fu Wen|
|Secretary-General of the Liberationist Party of Namor|
|Assumed office |
12 November NMR 2372
|Preceded by||Txo Antelope|
|Deputy for the 5th Legislative District in the Namorese Central Council|
|Assumed office |
7 February NMR 2363
|President|| Kaitlyn Khan|
|Born|| August 9, NMR 2325 (age 52)|
Namo, Capital District
|Alma mater||Namo University|
Antelope Shohai (born August 9, NMR 2325) is a politician serving as the 11th President-General of the People's Republic of Namor. A member of the Antelope family, he is the great-grandson of Yunglang Antelope, the grandson of Gelai Antelope and the son of Txo Antelope, all three of whom had served a position of leadership in the government.
Antelope began his political career by running for Namo Municipal Council in NMR 2358. After serving in the Municipal Council for several years, he entered the Central Council in NMR 2363, becoming one of the CenCo's youngest members. Following his father's retirement from politics, Antelope became Secretary-General of the Liberationist Party of Namor in NMR 2373. That year, he initiated his first presidential campaign, but lost to incumbent President-General Fu Wen. Despite his loss, he quickly became one of the prominent faces of the left-wing Namorese opposition.
In NMR 2378, Antelope entered the NMR 2378 presidential election. He was nominated as the candidate for the Popular Front - an alliance of left-wing parties. With 59.5% of the popular vote, Antelope was elected the 11th President-General of Namor. Antelope's victory marked the first Liberationist President-General since the election of Chanin Chen in NMR 2348. It also marked a resurgence in the Namorese left after ten years of New Democratic rule.
- 1 Early Life
- 2 Political career
- 3 Presidency
- 4 Political ideology
- 5 Public reception
Antelope joined the Young Liberationists, the youth wing of the Liberationists, and studied at a party school. He rose to the top of his class and attended Namo University.
Namo Municipal Council
Antelope ran for the Namo municipal council in NMR 2358. He won and became part of the council. During his time as a city council member, he kept in touch with younger residents of Namo, particularly the student body. He supported the closure of community colleges while at the same time urging universities to raise their acceptance rates so that more Namorese regardless of their level of performance may be encouraged to enter tertiary school rather than getting a job early. He proposed legislation authorizing the Capital District government to build a technical college.
In the NMR 2363 general elections, Antelope entered the Central Council as a deputy of the 5th Legislative District.
Having entered the CenCo at the age of 37, Antelope was identified as a "Post-20," a politician born in the NMR 2320s. As a member Young Comrades faction of the Liberationists, which consisted of younger, pro-reform party members, Antelope was an outspoken supporter of "revitalizing" the Liberationist Party so that it may surpass both the Democratic Socialists and New Democrats.
Although the left-wing parties suffered a massive defeat in the election of NMR 2368, Antelope managed to secure his seat in the Central Council by advocating an alternative to both incumbent President-General Kaitlyn Khan and New Democratic candidate Fu Wen, calling both candidates "incompetent." While he endorsed Liberationist candidate Vang Jun, Antelope objected to the Liberationists' "anti-right" strategy, which encouraged party members to vote for either Khan or Vang as a means of deterring Fu. He accused the party of "dedicating itself to the preservation of Khan's administration instead of taking the initiative to bring us back to the Executive House."
Antelope was elected a member of the Liberationist Party's Central Committee during the 24th Congress in NMR 2363. Five years later in the 25th Congress, he was promoted to serve in the Politburo but fell short of entering the Politburo Standing Committee to avoid accusations of nepotism (at the time, Txo Antelope was secretary-general of the party and a member of the PSC).
Txo Antelope announced his retirement from politics in NMR 2372, leaving the position of Secretary-General up for election in the 26th Congress. Following the announcement, Antelope Shohai announced his candidacy for party secretaryship. Txo Antelope endorsed Shohai, whom he said "has what it takes to unify the party and return it to the mainstream of Namorese politics."
Antelope's bid for party leadership did not go unchallenged. Fellow Politburo member Su Rongyun and Txotai Head of State Vang Jun ran against him; Su called Antelope's aspirations to become Secretary-General one that was "established upon blood ties." Despite this and other claims made against him, Antelope was elected Secretary-General with 57 of all 87 votes of the Party Central Committee.
NMR 2373 election
- Main article: Namorese presidential election, NMR 2373
Over a week after becoming Secretary-General, Antelope announced his bid for the presidency, expressing his desire to cooperate with the Democratic Socialists and Socialists as a coalition. He urged the three parties to "stop bickering and look forward" so they can effectively challenge Fu Wen. Antelope was swiftly nominated by the Liberationists while both the Socialists and Democratic Socialists declined to nominate candidates and endorsed him instead.
During his campaign, Antelope focused on criticizing Fu Wen's economic policy and accused Fu of being ineffective in containing state and corporate corruption. In addition to criticizing Fu's domestic policies, Antelope was a critic of the the Fu administration's approach to Namo-Luziycan relations, calling the October 7 Consensus on the status of Nantai "vague" and accusing Fu of placing closer relations with Luziyca above cooperation with the EC and NOSDO.
Ultimately, Antelope lost the election to Fu, winning 41.94% of the popular vote compared to Fu's 51.79%.
NMR 2378 election
Popular Front primary
In August 9, NMR 2377, Antelope Shohai called on Namor's left-wing parties to unite behind one candidate, saying "If someone from each party gets nominated and runs, the New Democrats will definitely have a better chance of maintaining control of the Executive House. Since we swore that will not happen next year, we should take all actions necessary to consolidate our votes and form a united front." Antelope officially entered the race on August 18.
Antelope, along with Socialist Tao James and Democratic Socialist Namsa Singho, ran for the Popular Front nomination. Antelope started off as the frontrunner, but from November to December he trailed behind Tao. Antelope did not regain forerunner status until January, when polls showed him in the lead as Tao's popularity subsided.
In January 22, Antelope was named the Popular Front nominee after leading the latest nationwide poll.
After his nomination, Antelope competed directly with New Democratic candidate Huan An and People's First candidate Kuo Zhang for the presidency.
Antelope maintained a commanding lead in the months leading up to the election; even as the percentage of undecided voters rose, he remained the preferred candidate among over 40-50% of voters. Antelope's campaign capitalized on popular frustration with the New Democratic government, specifically its handling of the NMR 2377 stock market crash, as well as Huan An's support for a territory-wide referendum to determine Nantai's political status, which was unpopular among voters. As predicted, Antelope won a landslide victory, winning nearly 60% of the popular vote whereas Huan won 22.3% of the vote and Kuo won 17.2%. In the legislative election, Antelope's Liberationists won the most number of seats, becoming the Central Council's largest party for the first time in three decades.
In a departure from the Fu Wen years, Antelope's presidency has seen increased government intervention in the economy and an expansion of welfare programs.
Unlike Fu Wen, who saw excessive government intervention in the economy as dangerous to long-term prosperity, Antelope Shohai argued that the Fu administration's laissez-faire approach to the economy is the chief cause of the NMR 2377 stock market crash and its effects. Under Antelope's administration, policies were introduced that gave the state more powers to readily address future economic crises. An example of such policies include the Emergency Response Act (MERA) of NMR 2379, which passed the Popular Front-dominated Central Council and was signed into law by Antelope. The MERA authorizes the government to declare a period of economic crisis during which it may regulate the activities of stockholders.
In May NMR 2379, Antelope proposed expanding the Common Medical Care System (CMCS) to low-income patients living in the cities. Dubbed the "Antelope Plan," the reforms intend to cover 50-75% of urban low-income patients' medical bills, thereby making healthcare more affordable not only among people in rural areas, but also people in urban areas. The Antelope Plan passed the Central Council in May 26 and would take effect in NMR 2380. In compensation for the money spent on the Antelope Plan, the government cut subsidies to farmers, arguing that "vestigial subsidies" are not necessary when farmers are already covered by the CMCS.
In September NMR 2380, Antelope signed into law the National Minimum Wage Act (NMWA), which instituted a national minimum wage of P35.00 ($5.00)/hour. Prior to the passage of the NMWA, a national minimum wage did not exist as the task of setting the minimum wage had been delegated to the local governments. However, the national minimum wage does not apply in places where the local minimum wage is higher.
During the NMR 2378 presidential election, Antelope Shohai was widely perceived as the anti-détente candidate, as he was critical of outgoing President-General Fu Wen's plans to improve relations with Luziyca. Antelope, in turn, accused the New Democrats of using Namo-Luziycan détente to scare voters from electing the Popular Front and said his administration will "coexist with the Luziycan regime on the basis of mutual respect, mutual trust and mutual benefit" while insisting that stable Namo-Luziycan relations can be maintained without "sacrificing Namorese interests." This became known as Antelope's Three Mutuals doctrine and was widely seen as an attempt to assuage fears among centrist voters that peaceful relations with Luziyca will be damaged under Antelope while satisfying left-wing voters who feared détente would pose a threat to Namor's economy and security.
A diplomatic row between Namor and Luziyca broke out in NMR 2380 after Luziyca joined the Esquarian Community (EC) and established a constituency in the disputed Nantai region. Citing Luziyca's "nonconstructive" attitude, Antelope recalled the Namorese ambassador from Bethlehem - a move unseen since the normalization of relations between the two countries in NMR 2354. Luziyca reciprocated by recalling its ambassador from Namo.
Antelope's administration made efforts to strengthen Namor's alliance with Ainin, urging both countries to take steps to revitalize ETO despite opposition to the military alliance among most Namorese according to polls. In May NMR 2378, he met Aininian President Cao Nima; the two leaders agreed to hold joint military exercises near the Frontier Security Zone in West Namor for the first time to deter potential Luziycan aggression.
The issue of Namor's future relationship with the Esquarian Community dominated Namorese political discourse after Antelope called a referendum on EC membership scheduled for August 5, NMR 2379. However, low turnout invalidated the referendum, with only 37% of the electorate voting. Among those who voted, 62% voted against joining the EC.
Antelope attended the 2016 Esquarian Summit in Xiangmen, Minjian - the first to be hosted by Namor. During the summit, he pushed for the establishment of an Esquarian trade organization that would regulate international trade. He also pushed for a ban on the production and stockpiling of biological and chemical weapons in Esquarium as an extension of his cause for a "Velkia Without Chemicals."
Views on foreign policy
In foreign policy issues, Shohai is considered to be part of the conservative faction of politicians which supports a continuation of Namorese alignment with traditional allies and opposes excessive Namo-Luziycan détente.
As a CenCo deputy, Antelope opposed shrinking the Frontier Security Zone unless Luziyca ceases supporting Otekian separatists and provoking Namor on the Nantai dispute. He voted against a reduction plan sponsored by Kaitlyn Khan in NMR 2363 and another sponsored by Fu Wen in NMR 2371.
In the NMR 2373 election, he argued that Namor is better off strengthening trade with Northern Sea and Esquarian Community countries, saying "Luziyca's not an economic powerhouse, and it's stagnating quickly...we can only guarantee a secure, prosperous future if we interact more with the other Esquarian countries."
In NMR 2378, Antelope remained critical of the détente process but pledged to "coexist" with Luziyca if elected President-General. During the second presidential debate, Antelope proposed what became known as the Three Mutuals doctrine, which asserts that stable Namo-Luziycan relations can be maintained without Namor having to compromise on certain issues.
Views on the economy
Antelope is a measured supporter of economic reforms initiated by the Liberationists in the NMR 2320s and NMR 2330s that transformed Namor into a market-oriented economy. He rejects the claim that both Gelai Antelope and Kong Jo were "closet capitalists" and believes the ultimate goal of economic liberalization was not to make Namor "bound by markets" but to simply improve the livelihoods of millions of Namorese.
He claims the liberal policies of the New Democrats "betray the spirit of the Constitution." He accused President-General Fu Wen of paying "too much attention to GDP growth and too little attention to growing inequality," arguing that "sometimes, double-digit growth doesn't translate to better lives."
During the NMR 2378 presidential election, Antelope proposed giving the government the power to order stockholders not to buy or sell stocks during a time of financial crisis.
Some analysts have accused Antelope of not having a definite position on the economy. Geadish magazine The Liberal said Antelope "cannot fully decide whether he wants to be a genuine socialist or a market-friendly social democrat."
Views on Liberationism
Antelope has been identified as a member of the Liberationists' pro-reform faction since entering national politics, but as a deputy in the Central Council, Antelope often clashed with other faction members. In one instance, he accused a deputy of being "100% reform and 0% ideology." He later clarified his position, stating that "the party needs to reform, but there is a difference between true reform and soulless reform." He called "soulless reforms" one of the major factors behind the Liberationists' electoral defeats in the NMR 2350s and NMR 2360s.
Antelope has criticized the "authoritarian" elements of the Liberationist Party in the past; while insisting that movements such as the Green Fever were "inherently un-Liberationist," he also warned against "[using] a blemish to discredit the entire face," meaning that the Liberationists were justified in most of their actions during the Namorese Civil War and first years of the People's Republic. While he acknowledged that his great-grandfather, Yunglang Antelope, was "not a perfect leader," he has maintained that Yunglang's administration "was generally a good thing for the Namorese people." He called the late Katranjian Liberationist leader Huankun Chen a "pseudo-revolutionary," but fell short of praising his successors, namely Baikun Qing, whom he once called "an unsuccessful reformer."
With the rise of non-Liberationist parties such as the Democratic Socialists and New Democrats, Antelope has argued that there is a "grand project to rewrite our revolutionary values" under the pretext of addressing past wrongs committed by the Liberationist regime. He rejects the notion that Liberationism is an outdated ideology, calling it "flexible and dynamic" and "able to withstand the test of time."
Many commentators have noted that as party leader, Antelope has attempted to combine present-day reforms with the party's vigorous past. Taro Jiang said "[t]he Liberationist Party under Antelope Shohai is a gymnast on a balance beam. The Secretary-General thinks he knows how to balance the party's Fever-era populism with modern-day pragmatism. If the party relies on populism without pragmatism, then another Green Fever occurs. But if it relies on pragmatism without populism, stagnation occurs."
Views on Nantai
Antelope criticized the October 7 Consensus brokered by Fu Wen as being too "vague," expressing fears that the consensus would indefinitely stall Namorese efforts at retaking Nantai.
In NMR 2377, Antelope controversially remarked that "there is nothing illegal about retaking Nantai by military force," arguing that since Nantai is territory of Namor, any Namorese military action in the territory is not an invasion, but an exercise of a country's right to defend its territorial integrity. However, Antelope denies he is proponent of reunification by force, maintaining that a peaceful solution is preferable if it is possible. He opposes region-wide referenda as a means of redefining Nantai's status because he believes that since Nantai is Namorese territory, any change to its status can only be determined by the entire Namorese people.
When he first ran for Central Council in NMR 2363, Antelope Shohai was part of the younger generation of Liberationists (the so-called fourth generation). This led many to believe that his ideology is different from that of older generations of Liberationists.
Shohai's identity as a member of the Antelope political dynasty has both helped and hurt him. It has benefited him in the sense that he earned the trust of older Namorese whose political views were aligned with that of his grandfather and great-grandfather, while at the same time allowing him to keep in good terms with younger Namorese who did not experience the revolution firsthand. On the other hand, some hold a negative view of Shohai and consider him a princeling benefiting from neopotism which began during Yunglang's era. An opinion article from the Mojing Sibo said "while it is undeniable that Shohai has proven himself to be a remarkable politician, 80 percent of the reason why he's able to become so influential today is due to the fact that he is part of the Antelope dynasty." Geadish current affairs magazine The Liberal said that "[Shohai] has the disadvantage in that he became his party leader because he was Yunglang Antelope's great-grandson and not because he had to show political merit."
Since becoming Secretary-General of the Liberationists, Shohai has been viewed by many analysts as the de facto leader of the opposition.