Antelope Shohai

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Antelope Shohai
Антелопе Шохаи
11th President-General of the People's Republic of Namor
Assumed office
20 April 2015
Vice PresidentLong Jiaoche
Preceded byFu Wen
Secretary-General of the Liberationist Party of Namor
Assumed office
12 November 2009
DeputyLong Jiaoche
Preceded byTzang Venjen
Deputy of the Namorese Central Council
In office
7 February 2000 – 20 April 2015
Constituency5 (Namo)
Personal details
Born August 9, 1960 (age 58)
Txosiyang, Arra
Nationality Namorese
Political party Liberationistpartylogo.png Liberationists
Spouse(s) Sang Fadong (m. 1991)
Alma mater Namo University
Religion None
Military service
Allegiance  Namor
Service/branch Namorground.png NLA Ground Force
Years of service 1978 - 1980
Rank Junior Lieutenant

Antelope Shohai (Shintzi: Антелопе Шохаи; Ventzi: 令狐萧亥; born August 9, 1960) 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 Antelope Yunglang, the grandson of Antelope Gelai and the son of Antelope Txo, all three of whom had served in top positions in the government.

From 1995 to 2000, Antelope was a deputy in the Capital District Council. He entered the Central Council in 2000, becoming one of the CenCo's youngest members. In 2009, he succeeded his father as Secretary-General of the Liberationist Party of Namor. Under his leadership, the Liberationist Party adopted a more liberal stance on social issues such as drugs and LGBT rights, softened its attitude towards religion by welcoming agnostics into its ranks, and placed a greater emphasis on environmental protection and worker's rights. Antelope ran for President-General in 2010 but lost to incumbent Fu Wen. He ran for President-General again in 2015 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, becoming the first Liberationist to assume the position since Chen Chanin and the first President-General to lead a genuine coalition government in which the cabinet is divided among the three Popular Front parties.

Antelope Shohai's presidency has been marked by the expansion of the Common Medical Care System (CMCS), the introduction of a national minimum wage, greater governmental intervention in the economy through the Market Emergency Response Act (MERA), and the Climate and Environmental Protection Act (CEPA), widely considered to be the most comprehensive environmental protection law in Namorese history. In foreign policy, Antelope's administration signed an association agreement with the Esquarian Community, repudiated Namo-Luziycan detente, and developed closer ties with countries in the International Forum for Developing States.

Early life and career

Antelope Shohai was born on August 9, 1960, in Txosiyang, Arra, one of the "new towns" that was under construction as a part of the Northern Development program. His father, Antelope Txo, had been sent to Arra to serve as Txosiyang's Liberationist Party secretary. His mother, Shun Sang, was a native of Arra who taught at Txosiyang's primary school.

Shohai moved to Namo after his father's election to the Central Council in 1965. In Namo, he became more acquainted with Gelai, who had just stepped down from the presidency. In his first memoir, published in 1997, Shohai credited Gelai with inspiring him to become involved in politics while noting his grandfather's wariness of political dynasties. He recalled Gelai urging him not to let his children serve in government.

In 1978, Antelope joined the Namorese Liberation Army Ground Force, where he completed the compulsory two-year military service and obtained the rank of Junior Lieutenant. When he left the military, he was granted a scholarship to Jungkin University in Nozama City, where he received a Bachelor of Arts in history. He then moved back to Namo, where he studied at Namo University and obtained a master's degree in journalism. He became the secretary of the Liberationist Students Front in Namo University and an opinion writer for the Namo Students Daily, the student newspaper of Namo University. He was known for his support for reform within the Liberationist Party as well as his criticism of the pro-democracy movement.

Legislative career

Capital District Council

Antelope Shohai at the Capital District Council, 1996

Antelope's first run for political office occurred in 1990 when he ran for Namo Municipal Council as the Liberationist candidate for District 11 but lost to the Democratic Socialist candidate. He ran for Capital District Council in 1995, this time as a candidate for District 1, which was subject to controversial acts of deliberationization spearheaded by the Democratic Socialists. He defeated the Democratic Socialists by a narrow margin, and, at the age of 35, became the youngest-ever deputy in the Capital District Council.

A critic of deliberationization — a major issue in Namo at the time — Antelope generated nationwide controversy for publicly equating deliberationization with treason and threatening to arrest officials who carried out deliberationization orders if he was elected mayor. While supporters of the Liberationists viewed Antelope in a positive light, seeing him as counterevidence to the Democratic Socialists assertion that the younger generation of Namorese was naturally opposed to Liberationism, the Democratic Socialists derided Antelope as an apologist for the Liberationist regime.

Central Council

Antelope Shohai campaigning in 2000

In 2000, Antelope was elected to the Central Council as a deputy of Legislative District 5, which covers Namo. His election was widely reported because he was seen as following in his footsteps of Yunglang, Gelai, and Txo, all three of whom had also been members of the Central Council.

One of Antelope's first acts in the Central Council was representing the Liberationist Party in the constitutional convention organized by President-General Kaitlyn Kan, who wanted to replace the 1955 constitution with a "millennial constitution." Antelope's participation in the convention was criticized by conservative Liberationists who were against any attempt to dismantle the constitution, although Antelope promised to oppose any attempt to downplay Liberationism in the new constitution while remaining open to other proposals that did not involve "ideology."

At the convention, Antelope submitted a draft proposal for the new constitution that acknowledged the Liberationists' role in founding the People's Republic of Namor, placed a term limit on deputies, and set up a parliamentary system where power is concentrated in a prime minister elected by the Central Council. The Democratic Socialist delegation to the convention submitted a draft of its own that omitted the Liberationist Party, made references to the pro-democracy movement, and expanded the list of rights guaranteed to citizens. The Liberationists and Democratic Socialists rejected each others' drafts and the convention failed to produce a new constitution.

Antelope worked with Democratic Socialists to develop the National Peacetime Demobilization Act, which replaced conscription with a registry of all citizens between the ages of 18 and 25 who may be called up for military service if conscription is reenacted.

Ahead of the 2005 election, Antelope considered running for President-General but declined due to concerns that a presidential run would impair the image of the Liberationist Party, which had already lost two presidential races with Antelope Txo as its candidate. Instead, he was re-elected to the Central Council.

Following the landslide victory of the New Democrats, Antelope emerged as one of the most vocal critics of the Fu administration. In 2006, Antelope sponsored the Peitoa Lustration Act, a bill that would ban former officials of the Republic of Namor from entering public office in Peitoa. However, the New Democrats defeated the bill on the grounds that lustration would alienate the Peitoan public.

Antelope Shohai's official portrait during his second CenCo term (2005-2010)

In 2007, Antelope called the summit between Fu Wen and Luziycan President Prevayu Brouvayeshki "dangerous," criticizing Fu for agreeing to demilitarize the Namo-Luziycan border without securing a guarantee from Luziyca that it would recognize Namorese sovereignty in Nantai and Txotai. In an opinion piece written for the Mojing Sibo, Antelope claimed that the state of war between Namor and Luziyca did not truly end because the Central Council never explicitly declared peace between the two countries. The statement generated controversy; the Executive House singled out Antelope in its response to the opposition's criticism of the summit, accusing him of "distorting international law."

Antelope sparred with the Fu administration again in 2009 when the latter unveiled a plan to build an undersea tunnel between Namor and Luziyca. He said he would support the tunnel if Namor signed a peace treaty with Luziyca, an idea the New Democrats dismissed as unnecessary. The tunnel project was eventually suspended.

Antelope was elected to a third term in the Central Council in 2010, although he did not actively campaign for the position because of his concurrent presidential run.

In 2012, Antelope successfully filibustered the Fair Taxation Act, a bill proposed by Huan An that would replace Namor's graduated income tax with a 25% flat tax.

Liberationist Party

Antelope Shohai at the Liberationist National Party Congress, 2009

Antelope joined the Young Liberationists, the youth wing of the Liberationist Party, in 1976, and remained a member until 1982 when he met the minimum age requirement to obtain party membership. In 1994, he was elected to the Committee of the Liberationist Party, becoming its youngest member. He was promoted to the Politburo in 1999 while Antelope Txo was still Secretary-General and a member of the Politburo by default. But a year later, Txo retired from the party leadership as a result of his second loss in a presidential election, leaving Shohai the only member of the Antelope family in the Politburo.

In 2004, Antelope was elected a member of the Politburo Standing Committee, the highest body in the party hierarchy. As a member of the PSC, Antelope served as Secretary of External Relations, which handled relations between the Liberationists and other parties. As Secretary-General Tzang Venjen neared the end of his second and final term, Antelope ran for Secretary-General. He was challenged by Su Rongyun, a fellow member of the PSC. During the 2009 National Party Congress, the newly-elected Central Committee cast more votes for Antelope than Su while selecting Tzang's successor. Su was promoted to Deputy Secretary-General, the first woman to assume the title.

Under Antelope, the Liberationists shifted in a more liberal direction. The party revised its stance on LGBT rights, from neither supporting nor opposing recognition of same-sex relations to supporting civil unions for same-sex couples. It also modified the party's strict adherence to atheism, allowing agnostics to join the party and enjoy equal rights within the party as other members. An age limit of 70 was introduced to all members of the Central Committee, including the Politburo and Politburo Standing Committee, in an effort to give younger members a greater voice in the party.

Antelope was unanimously elected for a second term as Secretary-General in 2014. Following his election to the Namorese presidency in 2015, term limits for Secretary-General and Deputy Secretary-General were abolished, allowing Antelope to lead the party beyond 2019 and until 2034 — when he will have turned 70.

Presidential campaigns

2010

Antelope Shohai announced his candidacy for President-General in 2009. He set up his campaign headquarters in his birthplace in Txosiyang, Arra, in an effort to win the support of the rural population, breaking with tradition — previous presidential candidates campaigned from major cities. That same year, he was nominated by the Liberationist Central Committee.

Months before the election, reports surfaced that the Liberationists may join hands with the Democratic Socialists for the first time to nominate a single candidate who would run against Fu Wen. But the Democratic Socialists denied any intention to cooperate with the Liberationists, criticizing Antelope's nomination as an attempt at perpetuating "one-family rule." The Democratic Socialists nominated its own candidate, Yuchin mayor Ho Guktan. Polls showed Antelope neck and neck with Ho while trailing Fu by over twenty points.

Antelope ultimately lost the election, winning 23.3% of the popular vote while Fu won 48.8% and Ho won 21.9%.

2015

In 2014, the Liberationists, Democratic Socialists, and Socialists formed the Popular Front and agreed to field one presidential candidate to defeat the New Democrats. Antelope Shohai registered as a candidate. In spite of a strong challenge from Socialist candidate Tao James, who initially surpassed Antelope in the polls, Antelope eventually picked up the lead and won a majority of votes in the Popular Front primary. Antelope named Long Jiaoche, the former CEO of Nozama Sunergy, his vice presidential nominee.

The election ended in a landslide victory for the Popular Front. Antelope won 59.5% of the popular vote — the highest of any Liberationist candidate since direct presidential elections were first introduced. The Popular Front also gained a majority in the Central Council.

Presidency

Domestic policy

Antelope meeting with Kungtongsen (Namorese United Front of Trade Unions) leaders, 2016

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, 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 2014 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 was the Emergency Response Act (MERA) of 2015, 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 2016, 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 on May 26 and took effect in 2016. 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 2016, Antelope signed into law the National Minimum Wage Act (NMWA), which instituted a national minimum wage of P35.00 ($5.00)/hour except in areas where the local minimum wage was higher. 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.

During his 2017 Policy Address, Antelope announced his intention to replace the CMCS with the "Popular Care System" (PCS), which he said would extend healthcare insurance to all low-income Namorese; in addition, he introduced the "2035 Plan," pledging to enact policies aimed at reducing Namor's reliance on coal such that the Namorese economy will be coal-free by 2035.

As part of the 2035 Plan, Antelope promulgated the Climate and Environmental Protection Act (CEPA), considered to be the most comprehensive environmental law in Namorese history. The act established the Ministry of the Environment, levied taxes on petroleum fuel, non-renewable natural gas and coal-generated electricity, set a timetable for the phasing out of coal and most petroleum vehicles and earmarked P5.6 trillion (NS$800 billion) in funds for the construction of nuclear power plants, solar and wind farms. After the passage of CEPA, Antelope appointed Aleka Sayavong as the first Minister of the Environment.

June 10 earthquake and tidal wave

Antelope Shohai with restaurant owners in Hai Nang, Tuhao - one of the cities struck by the tidal wave

On June 10, 2017, a magnitude 9.4 earthquake in the East Namor Sea triggered a tidal wave that devastated the coasts of many countries in the Central Ocean Basin, including Namor's eastern coast.

In response to the tidal wave, Namor declared a state of national emergency. President-General Antelope launched Operation Rishen, ordering the Namorese Liberation Army to take part in rescue operations in the eastern coast. Over 200,000 troops, 500 aircraft, and 40 naval ships participated in the operation, making it the largest assistance operation in Namorese military history. Both Antelope and First Spouse Sang Fadong paid visits to areas affected by the disaster. Two weeks after the tidal wave, a Mojing Sibo poll found that Antelope's approval rating had shot up to 86 percent - the highest for a President-General since 2005 when Fu Wen ordered an invasion of Peitoa.

Amid fears of an economic downturn, Antelope introduced the Regeneration Act. The largest stimulus package in Namorese history, the Act sought to invest over P10.2 trillion (US$1.5 trillion) in infrastructure, tax cuts, and housing. Despite concerns that the money from the stimulus would be misused and the stimulus would drive up the national debt, the stimulus was passed by the Central Council.

Foreign policy

Antelope and the EC's chief envoy in Namor

Esquarian Community

Antelope supported Namorese integration into the EC and announced a nationwide referendum on EC membership which was held on August 5, 2016. However, fears of compromising national sovereignty and a general lack of interest in the issue resulted in low turnout which invalidated the referendum results. Despite this setback, Antelope signed the Namor-Esquarian Community Association Agreement (AAECNA) in 2017, which established formal mechanisms for Namo-EC cooperation and lowered tariffs on certain imports from both sides.

Not so long after its ratification, AAECNA ran into controversy due to allegations that Namor was using its preferential treatment in the Esquarian Common Market to benefit countries sanctioned by the EC. A Mojing Sibo report revealed that Namorese rice companies were repackaging Xiaodongese rice as Namorese rice before selling them to Common Market members so Xiaodongese companies could avoid EC sanctions. The EC subsequently set a deadline for the Namorese government to stop this practice in the Comprehensive Common Market Act.

In 2018, Aucuria proposed annulling AAECNA to punish Namor for improving ties with the Nautasian Union and Xiaodong, allegedly at the expense of the EC. The resolution was supported by Luziyca. However, the Council of Esquarium rejected the proposal.

2016 Esquarian Summit

Namor hosted the Third Esquarian Summit in 2016. As the summit chair, Antelope proposed an Esquarian trade organization that would regulate international trade and a convention prohibiting biological and chemical weapons.

Luziyca

Namor's relations with Luziyca are said to have reached an all-time low after Antelope took office. Antelope, who repudiated Fu Wen's policy of detente, supported maintaining stable relations on the basis of Three Mutuals — "mutual benefit," "mutual respect" and "mutual trust."

Antelope protested the representation of Nantai, a territory disputed between Namor and Luziyca, in the Esquarian Parliament by withdrawing the Namorese ambassador from Bethlehem for the first time in history. Ambassadorial contact was restored after the Parliament voted to bar Luziyca from seating representatives from Nantai.

In 2017, Antelope signed the Defense of Namorese Dignity Act (DNDA) into law, restricting contact between Namorese and Luziycan officials and requiring the Foreign Ministry to publish an annual report on pro-Luziycan governments and organizations worldwide. Later that year, the Namorese Liberation Air Force resumed flights over Nantai.

In 2018, Antelope pushed for a constitutional amendment that would allow the President-General to wage a defensive war without prior authorization from the Central Council if Namor is attacked. The amendment was widely perceived as a response to the Luziycan Katsarou-Vasiliev Act, a proposed embargo against Namor that almost passed Congress but was defeated in its final reading. Luziycan President Damir Agapov visited Nantai in protest of the amendment, prompting Namor to suspend the Namo-Bethlehem hotline.

In May 2018, Namor made significant changes to its defense policy, permitting the preemptive use of nuclear weapons against nuclear powers and listing the additional deployment of Luziycan troops to Nantai as a condition that would warrant a Namorese invocation of the Central Ocean Compact. The Antelope administration justified the changes as necessary to deter "imperialist coercion." After the changes were announced, Luziyca suspended a 2016 agreement with Namor to dismantle its biological and chemical arsenal.

International Forum for Developing States

Antelope started his presidency pledging to improve ties with developing countries, with Namor joining the International Forum for Developing States (IFDS) in 2016.

In March 2018, Antelope chaired the Third IFDS Summit in Namo, where he proposed a free trade area encompassing the entire IFDS. The IFDS expelled Luziyca, a former observer in the organization, in retaliation for the Katsarou-Vasiliev Act. A month later, it also revoked Katranjiev's observership, accusing Krasimir of having an "abnormally close relationship" with Luziyca.

Despite his support for closer cooperation between developing countries, Antelope has sometimes called on certain IFDS members, namely the Nautasian Union and Xiaodong, to adopt political reforms and respect civil liberties.

Personal life

Antelope met Sang Fadong, a meteorology student at Namo University who later went on to become a weather presenter for PTH and a professor of climate science at Namo University. Both were Liberationist Party members and participated in the Liberationist Students Front. The two married in 1993 and have one daughter, Antelope Hong (born 1995), who is now a graduate student at the University of Talon.

Antelope Shohai's cousin, Antelope Yigi, is a member of the Liberationist Party's Central Committee and a deputy in the Central Council representing the 47th Legislative District — the same district that Antelope Txo had served. There are rumors that Yigi will run for President-General towards the end of Shohai's presidency or succeed Shohai as the Liberationists' next secretary-general.