NGU constitutional referendum, 2019
|NGU constitutional referendum, 2019|
|Referendum to approve 3 proposed amendments to the Constitution of the Nationalist Gold Union|
|Location||Nationalist Gold Union|
|Date||21 February 2019|
A constitutional referendum in the Nationalist Gold Union took place on 21 February 2019 to approve several constitutional amendments proposed by the Christian Right government under Alfred Herbert Page. The referendum, which occurred after both chambers of legislature voted on the three constitutional amendments, succeeded in gathering public support for the amendments and they were subsequently ratified.
After Arthur Hecker's coup, the Nationalist Gold Union adopted a system where the head of state would be the Leader of the Union and the head of government was a composite council called the Government Presidency. The Government Presidency composed of three people: the Senate President, the Union Council President, and a President-General (who was appointed by the monarch).
For the first initial years of the Government Presidency system, it operated fairly cordially. On 21 September 2018, Arthur Hecker made a televised statement accusing Albert Beckenbauer and Oswald Marquering, who were then leaders of the Christian Right and members of the Second Government Presidency, of undermining democratic institutions and collaborating with rogue state assassins. He accused the Agency of State Security of several assassinations, including an attempt on his own life earlier that day, and accused links between the two leaders and the rogue agency. In the statement, he announced that Beckenbauer and Marquering were being placed under house arrest, and that the Second Government Presidency would be succeeded by the Third Government Presidency with Hecker as the sole executive.
After the failed intervention in the Iberian War, Hecker announced that he would resign at the time of the 2019 general election. After the election on 4 January 2019, the Christian Right won a majority in the Senate and Alfred Herbert Page, leader of the party, was appointed Executive of the Fourth Government Presidency. Shortly after, he announced that the fourth would be the "shortest Government Presidency" and revealed his "Three-Point Charter" of proposed constitutional amendments.
In his charter, Page wrote that "the Nationalist Gold Union must adopt a solid and stable parliamentary system where leadership is responsible, has oversight, and works with the confidence of the Senate and public."
|Description of proposed amendments|
|Proposal #||Article||Description of change|
|1||Article 12||The Government Presidency is to be abolished and the head of government will be the Prime Minister, who should serve with the confidence of the Senate.|
|2||Article 21||The Senate President should no longer be the head of the Senate. Instead, there will be a Speaker. Additionally, the Senate will become the upper body of the legislature.|
|3||Article 23||The Union Council will be abolished. It will be replaced by the National Assembly, which will serve as the lower body.|
After unveiling his charter to the Senate on 28 January 2019, voting began almost immediately. The Senate quickly approved the first proposal with a 436 to 64 vote. All 64 of those who voted against the proposal were members of the Christian Right, with most considered to be part of the "constitutionalist" faction. The Union Council subsequently voted on the proposed amendment as well, approving it 16 to 9.
On 9 February 2019, the second proposed amendment came to a hearing in both the Senate and Union Council. It was approved unanimously, 500 to 0 in the Senate and 25 to 0 in the Union Council.
Afterwards, on 19 February 2019, the third proposal came to a vote in both chambers. The Senate voted 401 to 99 in favor of abolishing the Union Council, and the Union Council unsurprisingly voted 1 to 24 to abolish their own body. Alfred Herbert Page and Leonard Roberts condemned the Union Councillors of their parties for not voting along party lines.
The law on amending the Constitution of the Nationalist Gold Union requires that each amendment receives at least 50% approval from both chambers of legislature, or, instead, receives at least 2/3 approval from just one chamber of legislature. Afterwards, amendments are to be put up to public referendum, and must receive more than 50% public approval to be ratified.
The Union government announced that the referendum would take place on 21 February 2019, and anybody with a valid national ID, NGU citizenship, and at least 18 years of age could vote in the referendum. Voter turnout was 257,213,224, with 228,034,466 (88.95%) voting "yes" and 28,316,507 (11.05%) voting "no".
After the referendum, Alfred Herbert Page took the office of Prime Minister of the Nationalist Gold Union and John Paquin was appointed Deputy Prime Minister. It was later announced that the other two amendments would fully take place at the time of the next election.
- Alfred Herbert Page said "yesterday's referendum marks the laying of the keystone to a path of responsible government and proper oversight. No more are the days where anybody can be a despot without the confidence of the public."
- John Paquin praised the outcome of the referendum, saying, "[today] is a great day for democracy and stability. It was about time that we standardized things."
- Leonard Roberts, the Senate opposition leader, expressed his support of the outcome, saying he was glad that a common goal was achieved.
- Noted industrialist and capitalist magnate Ralph Schultes gave his criticism towards the referendum, saying "I don't think that we should be going around and trying to rally the public to rubber stamp everything. If we learned anything from the past decade, it's that the people of the NGU haven't figured out how to maintain a stable nation."
- The government of The Miltonia supported the change, but said they were wary of further changes.
- The Prime Minister of Songjiang, Ming Shan Mai, congratulated Page on the victory during a phone call.