NMR 2315 Namorese political crisis

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NMR 2315 Namorese political crisis
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City residents destroy an armored recovery vehicle seized by the GYO
Date 25 November - 3 December NMR 2315
(1 week and 1 day)
Location Mostly concentrated in Namo, Namor
Causes
Result
  • Victory for Central Council and anti-Kiangites
  • Kiang charged with treason and mass murder
  • Purge of Kiangites within the Liberationist Party
  • Dissolution of the GYO
  • Parties to the civil conflict
    Lead figures
    Number
    3,000 GYO members/supporters
    190,000-210,000 troops
    Casualties
    100 GYO troops killed
    15 NLA soldiers killed
    17 PAP guards killed
    20+ military and police vehicles destroyed

    The NMR 2315 Namorese political crisis (2315-нин Намора Джинджиквеикан) was a period of violent infighting between interim Party leader Kiang Ssxu's faction ("Kiangites") and President-General Antelope Gelai and the Namorese Central Council, collectively known as the "anti-Kiangites" due to their opposition towards Kiang.

    Tensions between Kiangites and anti-Kiangites erupted into conflict following the death of Party Chairman Antelope Yunglang, who had served as a symbol of stability and held the conflicting factions together. Kiang alleged that the state had been infiltrated by counter-revolutionaries and ordered the GYO and pro-Kiang militias to stage mass demonstrations against the Central Council. The situation escalated after police tried to evict the demonstrators. The Kiangites responded by attacking the police, occupying government buildings and assassinating opponents to their activities. The Central Council declared martial law and mobilized the Namorese Liberation Army (NLA) and People's Armed Police (PAP) to quell the violence. The crisis finally ended with the arrest of Kiang and his allies, who were subsequently convicted of treason.

    Over a hundred Kiangites, most of whom were GYO members, were killed in the crisis. On the anti-Kiangite side, 15 Namorese Liberation Army soldiers and 17 People's Armed Police guards were killed. The city government of Namo estimated that over 1,200 civilians were killed in the crossfire, although the exact number of civilian deaths remains disputed.

    The crisis was a significant period in the history of the People's Republic as it marked the effective end of the Green Fever. It also established the supremacy of the state over the Liberationist Party, paving the way for future reforms by Antelope Gelai's administration.

    Background

    Tensions between the GYO and NLA

    Tensions between the Green Youth Organization (GYO) and the Namorese Liberation Army (NLA) ran high throughout the Green Fever and set the stage for the ultimate confrontation in NMR 2315.

    When the Fever was launched in NMR 2305, Party Chairman Antelope Yunglang called on the GYO to "take up the responsibility of revolutionary defense," which was perceived as a signal for the GYO to supersede the NLA. Thousands were killed in clashes between the GYO and NLA in NMR 2308. The damage caused by the clashes, coupled with the Hai Nang Incident, convinced Antelope to scale back the GYO's activities. To reconcile the GYO and NLA, he called both groups "branches of the same tree." Party propaganda spread Antelope's message by portraying the GYO and NLA as brotherly organizations both committed to defending the Liberationist Revolution. However, this did not end the mutual distrust between the GYO and NLA. The NLA persuaded Antelope to discourage GYO involvement in the Second Namo-Luziycan War; this is said to have allowed the NLA to concentrate on efforts to restore control over Txotai. Several NLA generals criticized the GYO in private; in turn, the GYO occasionally published wall newspapers criticizing the NLA as counter-revolutionary and incompetent.

    Tensions between Kiang Ssxu and Antelope Gelai

    Antelope Gelai, President-General of Namor
    Kiang Ssxu, interim chairman of the Liberationist Party

    A major factor behind the crisis of NMR 2315 was the rocky relationship between Kiang Ssxu and Antelope Gelai, the son of Antelope Yunglang. The two were locked in a s struggle to become the second most-powerful leader in Namor and Antelope Yunglang's successor. Kiang supported the continuation of the Green Fever, whereas Antelope Gelai opposed it and often tried to protect disfavored officials and citizens from persecution.

    Due to constitutional limits, Kiang Ssxu stepped down as President-General in NMR 2315. He handpicked Vice President Txo Jiya as his successor, but Antelope Yunglang handpicked Gelai, forcing Kiang to withdraw his choice. Thus, Antelope Gelai became the 4th President-General and earned a lot of influence. It was later revealed that Antelope Yunglang selected his son as President-General because he wanted to maintain a balance of power between Gelai and Kiang that would last after his coming death.

    Kiang was angered by Antelope Gelai's rise to the Presidency-General. He declined to attend the inauguration, claiming in a letter to Antelope Yunglang that he was physically ill.

    Death of Antelope Yunglang

    The death of Antelope Yunglang in November NMR 2315 opened up an opportunity for Kiang and Antelope Gelai to undermine each other.

    During Antelope Yunglang's memorial service, several leaders delivered eulogies, including Kiang and Antelope Gelai. Both used the funeral as a platform to establish themselves as the late Chairman's legitimate successor and subtly discredit each other. Gelai pledged that "the Central Council will follow in the footsteps of the Great Chairman in a manner rivaled by none other." After Gelai's eulogy, Kiang took the podium and vowed to be "the Chairman's most loyal student, and carry out the cause of eradicating all reactionaries outside and within to the very end." As Kiang spoke, many jeered or turned their backs in protest. Kiang apparently noticed this behavior, as he and several others left before the service ended.

    In the early morning of November 23, a squadron of GYO members broke into the PTH Headquarters in an effort to sabotage video tapes of the memorial service. They were specifically ordered to cut the parts of the tape which showed mourners protesting as Kiang spoke. However, the break-in was reported from a neighboring apartment block. The intruders were arrested by police and charged for attempted theft of government property. Later that day, the entire memorial service was broadcasted on PTH, the state-run television station. This allowed millions across Namor to detect the chasm between Kiang and his opponents.

    The incident proved embarrassing for Kiang, who moved swiftly to retaliate against his enemies. In November 24, Kiang published an article on the Liberator in which he lashed out against "counter-revolutionaries, opportunists and imperialists...using the death of Great Leader Comrade Antelope Yunglang as a tool to advance their personal interests," adding that "the progressive forces must unleash their anger at the criminals in politicians' robes."

    Overview

    November 25 Incident

    In November 25, hundreds of GYO members held a demonstration outside the Executive House to demand Antelope Gelai's resignation. The demonstrators held portraits of Antelope Yunglang and Kiang Ssxu, plastered the exterior walls of the Executive House with posters and blasted pro-Kiang slogans through loudspeakers set up outside the House. The GYO threatened to overrun the Executive House and capture Antelope Gelai if the government failed to meet their demands. The government of Namo dispatched riot police to keep the demonstration under control.

    Hours into the demonstration, the GYO ordered members to storm the Executive House. Tens of members pushed through police barricades and tried scaling the walls of the House. Police responded by firing tear gas and rubber bullets at the crowd, forcing the GYO to disperse. Over 90 people were injured and 53 were arrested.

    Namo party secretary Kong Jo ordered a restriction on GYO activities in the city, while Antelope Gelai mobilized the People's Gendarmes to protect Central Government buildings from further Kiangite attacks. Police conducted raids on GYO offices, arresting over 200 members. Some members physically resisted the arrests, resulting in violent confrontations with the police. In one raid, GYO members threw rocks at police officers who were approaching their base. The police shot at the GYO members, killing three and injuring eight. One police officer was injured by the GYO.

    Escalation of violence

    Pro-Kiang militiamen brandishing weapons seized during a raid on a police station

    The Kiangites reacted furiously to the events of November 25. Kiang Ssxu delivered a speech calling the crackdown "fascist" and accusing Antelope Gelai and Kong Jo of "collaborating to curb revolutionary activities." He called on the GYO to launch an "all-out revolt against the counter-revolutionary dregs laying waste to the People's Republic."

    In November 26, thousands of GYO members took part in larger-scale demonstrations across the city. They were protected by pro-Kiang militiamen who threatened to kill anyone who tried to restrain the demonstrators. Pro-Kiang militias and GYO mobs besieged municipal jails, where they freed fellow members arrested by police, killed the outnumbered police officers and stole their weapons. The stolen weapons were then distributed among the mob. Kiangites also raided police stations, security posts, government buildings, banks and stores.

    Although police tried to fight back, they were increasingly overwhelmed by the Kiangites and ultimately lost control of the situation. By the evening of November 26, the Kiangites had exercised control over several suburban neighborhoods in the outer parts of Namo and a few urban neighborhoods within Namo proper.

    Besides attacking authorities, the Kiangites also targeted the civilian population of Namo. With the help of neighborhood People's Security Committees, Kiangites conducted door-to-door raids in search of suspected counter-revolutionaries. Many were dragged out of their homes, beaten and executed, while their property was destroyed or looted. The Kiangites' actions antagonized city residents, many of whom resorted to force to defend themselves in the absence of police. Others fled to government-controlled areas or the city altogether.

    Martial law

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    Antelope Gelai announcing martial law on the day of the coup

    As the situation worsened, the municipal government turned to the Central Government for assistance. The Central Council held an emergency meeting in 11:00 pm of November 26 to discuss the Kiangite unrest. Without much debate, the Central Council unanimously voted to declare a state of emergency in Namo and ordered an end to all GYO activities nationwide. Kiang Ssxu was identified as the chief instigator of the unrest and charged with subversion and mass murder.

    In a televised address to the Central Council, Antelope condemned Kiangite attacks on police and civilians as "a blatant, counter-revolutionary attempt to undermine our Constitution, ideology and laws." He attacked Kiang as "a megalomaniacal brute who manipulates Liberationism for personal gain" and urged Namorese to disregard orders given by Kiang, the GYO or pro-Kiang militias. The address, which was viewed worldwide, secured public support for Antelope.

    Suppression

    Shortly after the declaration of martial law, thousands of NLA troops from across Southern Namor moved into Namo. The Kiangites responded by placing homemade roadside bombs on roads leading into neighborhoods under their control, causing the NLA's advance to slow considerably.

    Frustrated with the slow progress, the NLA resorted to more forceful tactics, from hanging captured GYO members in public to shooting on sight anyone who carried a gun. The Liberation Air Force flew bomber jets over the city that attacked Kiangite targets from above. The number of casualties on the GYO side climbed, and the Kiangites gradually lost ground. By November 30, the Kiangites had lost control of all of its suburban neighborhoods. All remaining urban neighborhoods under GYO control were surrounded by the NLA, which cut off their food, electricity and water supply.

    In order to deal a final blow to the Kiangites, Antelope Gelai promised to pardon all GYO and militia members who surrendered. In December 3, the last Kiangites surrendered to the Central Government, and fighting within the city virtually ceased. However, the whereabouts of Kiang Ssxu remained unknown.

    Katranjian embassy siege and capture of Kiang

    The embassy of Katranjiev in Namo

    As days passed without any trace of Kiang Ssxu, speculations arose that Kiang had been unknowingly killed as the NLA entered Namo, or that he had fled the country. The KGB offered a P50,000 reward for any information leading to Kiang's arrest. In fact, days before the Kiangites were finally suppressed, Kiang and his family had sought refuge in the embassy of the People's Republic of Katranjiev in Namo. Since Katranjiev's leader, Huankun Chen, had been highly supportive of the Kiangites, he sent a telegram to the Katranjian ambassador, ordering him to secretly shelter Kiang and wait for further instructions from Krasimir. However, this telegram was intercepted by the KGB and exposed Kiang's location.

    On December 6, People's Gendarmes surrounded the Katranjian embassy and cut off all contact between the embassy grounds and the outside. The government also cut off the embassy's heat and electricity until Kiang was turned over. The Katranjian ambassador denied that he had sheltered anyone. After a 24-hour standoff, the Gendarmes raided embassy grounds. Kiang, the Katranjian ambassador and all staff within the building were detained. The Katranjian diplomatic delegation was later released and expelled from Namor, while Kiang stayed to face criminal charges.

    The embassy raid was condemned by Katranjiev as a breach of diplomatic immunity. Katranjiev further slowed its displeasure of Namorese actions by publicly condemning the anti-Kiangites as revisionists. The Namorese argued that the raid was justified as Katranjiev had interfered in Namor's domestic affairs by providing Kiang shelter. Although diplomatic relations were reestablished a year later, the raid deteriorated Namo-Katranjian relations.

    Aftermath

    Trial of Kiang Ssxu

    Following his arrest, Kiang Ssxu was detained at a military base, where he stayed for a month before he put on trial. He declared himself unable to afford his own attorney and was provided one by the court.

    Kiang was tried by the District People's Court of Namo. The proceedings were attended by a 100-member jury and televised nationwide. Procurator-General Tzang Kangchen presented the government's case, while public defender Bích Châu led the defense. The government argued that Kiang had committed treason by mobilizing the GYO and allied militias to overthrow the Central Council and other state organs inscribed in the Constitution. It also argued that Kiang was guilty of mass murder as his directives resulted in the deaths of those who opposed him. The defense argued that Kiang was not guilty of treason because he still pledged allegiance to the People's Republic of Namor while demonstrating his dissatisfaction with Antelope Gelai's policies; nor was he guilty of murder because he neither committed nor ordered any of the murders in the crisis.

    The court found Kiang guilty of treason and mass murder and sentenced him to death on February 2, NMR 2316. However, Kiang argued that the court had given him an unfair trial by packing the jury with anti-Kiangites and handing down a verdict on the 80th anniversary of Antelope Yunglang's birthday for political reasons. The Appellate People's Court of Southern Namor and Capital District rejected the appeal, and Kiang took the case to the Supreme People's Court. The SPC in NMR 2318 agreed with Kiang and reversed the lower court's verdict, marking the first time the SPC has ever rejected what was essentially a death sentence by the government. The decision was initially very unpopular, but was later recognized as a watershed for the development of rule of law in Namor.

    "Rectification" within Liberationist Party

    Kiangite members of the Central Committee of the Liberationist Party were arrested for encouraging treason. The reorganized Central Committee named Antelope Gelai the party's interim leader. In NMR 2316, the party officially named Antelope Gelai Secretary-General while elevating the late Antelope Yunglang to Eternal Chairman.

    The ouster of the Kiangites allowed moderates to take control of the party and launch a "rectification campaign" to remove the party of Kiangite elements. In the next several years, thousands of party members who were persecuted during the Green Fever were exonerated. At the same time, the party expelled members who committed crimes during the Fever or were seen as sympathetic towards the "Kiangite deviationist line." Writings by Kiang that were promoted and studied during the Fever were removed from the party ideology. The Young Liberationists replaced the GYO as the party's youth wing.

    At the 15th Party Congress in NMR 2320, the party declared that rectification had been complete and it was ready to explore bold economic and political reforms.

    Legacy

    Statue of Seji in Namo, built to commemorate the Green Fever and the crisis of NMR 2315

    Effects on Namor's political development

    Many historians regard the crisis of NMR 2315 as the end of the Green Fever and the impetus for political reforms in Liberationist Namor.

    The crisis is widely accredited for establishing the state as the most powerful force in the country, as opposed to the Liberationist Party. Before the crisis, most power was concentrated in the Central Committee of the Party led by the Party Chairman. While the Constitution has always granted the President-General and the Central Council certain powers, such as the power to promulgate laws, issue emergency decrees and mobilize troops, none of these powers were really used until the crisis, when the Central Council voted to suppress the Kiangites with military force. In the years that followed, both the President-General and Central Council continued to use their constitutional powers to enact reforms, while the Liberationist Party went along with the reforms in spite of its political dominance.

    The crisis also set the foundation for the strengthening of rule of law and judicial independence, as clearly demonstrated by the Supreme People's Court's ruling in Kiang v. People's Republic. By declaring Kiang's trial unfair and reversing the decision of the District People's Court, the SPC effectively banned the government from manipulating the composition of juries to affect the outcome of criminal cases. Despite possessing unchallenged power, Antelope Gelai refused to challenge the Court's decision.