Plum Blossom Revolution
|Plum Blossom Revolution|
|Part of the Velkian Spring|
Protesters chanting slogans
|Date||April - May NMR 2330|
|Location||Across Namor, especially in large cities|
|Parties to the civil conflict|
The Plum Blossom Revolution (Моиха Комин) or the Plum Blossom Movement (Моиха Йандонг) was a series of pro-democracy demonstrations held across Namor in the year NMR 2330.
The movement followed the NMR 2330 election, when the country's district assembles elected a Liberationist-dominated 9th Namorese Central Council, which in turn elected Kong Jo, vice president and foregone successor of outgoing President-General Gelai Antelope. Namor had already made noticeable strides towards greater political openness, indicated by the releasing of political prisoners, liberalization of the media and the citizenry's increased control over its own economic livelihood. While Antelope also promised "a more updated form of democracy" as opposed to the strictly single-party system that had dominated Namor since the Civil War, elections remained indirect and only insignificant legislatures at the local level were elected by the populace. In the presidential election, Kong ran unopposed; voting members of the Central Council could either vote for him or against him, turning the election into more of a partially restricted plebiscite. Those in the nebulous but developing opposition found this democratic deficit démodé, especially as pro-democracy movements were unfolding successfully in neighboring countries like Katranjiev.
In the days leading up to Kong Jo's inauguration, demonstrations were held across the country. Hundreds of thousands of people, mostly students, blue collar and professional workers, marched in support for direct elections. The government was initially divided on how to respond - conservative-minded leaders like Gelai Antelope viewed the protests as too radical, but liberals like Kong Jo, while still supporting the dominance of the Liberationist Party, called on the government to reach a peaceful solution with the protesters. As disagreement within the government continued, public support for the protests grew and the Plum Blossom Movement reached its height. The revolution finally subsided when Kong met with protest leaders and agreed to hold direct elections in NMR 2335.
Throughout the NMR 2320s, Namor remained a de facto single-party state ruled by the Liberationist Party, which starting the 15th Congress in NMR 2320 introduced bold reforms that were meant to smoothly transition Namor through the "Third Stage of the Revolution" As part of the reforms, the party became constitutionally separate from the state, the government loosened its grip on the media, power was devolved and dissidents jailed for "incorrect political thought" were released. The Minjuha reforms, as they were called, received widespread support, and as a result President-General Gelai Antelope, who encouraged the reforms, also enjoyed a high degree of support.
In NMR 2325, Gelai Antelope said that one of the main goals of the Minjuha reforms were to bring about "a more updated form of democracy" as opposed to the "democratic system" that prevailed during the "Second Stage" of Liberationist rule. Antelope never elaborated on what this "new democracy" would be like, many perceived that his administration was striving for Namor to become a liberal democracy that is either dominated by the Liberationists or by multiple parties.
Despite the reforms, democracy was limited. While elections existed, only local legislatures were directly elected. These local legislatures would then elect the district legislatures, which would elect the Central Council, which in turn would elect the President-General, Vice President and President of the Supreme People's Court.
Furthermore, in presidential elections there was only one candidate - either the incumbent President-General himself or another person the President-General appointed to run (usually the Vice President). That sole candidate would then be put up to vote in the Central Council, which could either elect the candidate by voting yes or invalidate the candidate by voting no. This scheme not only prevented the opposition from challenging the candidate, it also guaranteed a certain victory for the candidate, as a majority "no" vote would only result in another candidate being put to vote and winning the election.
While Antelope was successfully reelected to a second term in NMR 2325 due to this scheme, few (including the opposition) had protested due to public approval of the Minjuha reforms. This changed ahead of NMR 2330, when Antelope was due to step down after serving two terms, signaling a change in government. Following closed door deliberations, the Liberationist Party decided to nominate Vice President Kong Jo for the presidency. Kong was expectedly elected; although Kong wasn't unpopular, public unfamiliarity with him fueled demands for direct elections.
The first protests began in April 4, NMR 2330. This date was significant for two reasons: it was the 80th anniversary of the Double Fourth Uprising, and it was also the day of the presidential election in which Kong Jo was elected with a supermajority of Central Council votes. On that day, the Democratic Socialist Party, the largest non-Liberationist party at the time, organized protests in Namo, the center of Liberationist rule. A wall in the Dacheng district that had been used to hold propaganda during the Green Fever was revisited by activists, who posted their demands for direct elections and multiparty democracy on the wall. The "People's Wall" quickly attracted national attention, and within a week the wall was filled with messages ranging from laconic slogans to long essays. The wall helped stimulate pro-democracy sentiment as more people joined the ranks of the protesters. Moreover, similar "people's walls" popped up in other cities.
Protests expanded following the publication of the "Plum Blossom Manifesto," a poem that was anonymously posted on the People's Wall of Namo in April 15. The manifesto was striking as it subtly accused the Liberationist Party of "polluting" Namor and associated the plum blossom flower with democracy, providing the movement with a symbol it would stick with.
Gradually, the Plum Blossom Revolution's center shifted from Namo to Mojing, where nearly a million protesters packed People's Square to demand direct multiparty elections. Relations between protesters and police were surprisingly well to the extent that some in the police force sympathized with the protesters and joined in.
The government became increasingly concerned with the protests after the state-supervised Namorese United Front of Trade Unions, or Kungtongsen, broke with the Liberationist Party by issuing a directive to all workers, urging them to join the Plum Blossom movement and "fight for our rights." Subsequently, millions of workers, including government employees, went on strike, paralyzing certain industries as well as the government itself.
In April 23, the Kungtongsen and various opposition parties convened and agreed to a set of five demands that they wanted the government to accept. The "Five Demands" were a directly elected President-General, a directly elected Central Council, directly elected local assembles, a non-governmental trade union and a multi-party system. The demands became represented by the five pedals of the plum blossom flower.
The Liberationist government was divided on how to respond to the protests. Many of the ruling party's conservative elite, including outgoing President-General Gelai Antelope, were alarmed by the bold demands of the protesters. Antelope said "We've made tremendous progress in implementing reforms. Everyone should understand that Liberationism is the only ideology that can carry this country on, because any alternative is unthinkable. The Party still has a lot of work to do."
The party's liberal faction, on the other hand, called for dialogue between the government and protesters. President-elect Kong Jo said "The demands made by the majority of protesters aren't absurd. The demonstrators love our country and support our reforms, but they feel that more needs to be done." However, Kong was critical of the anti-Liberationist views held by some protesters, stating that "Liberationism is a progressive thought. If we are going to create a better future for all of us, we'll have to do it within the framework of our ideology." All along, Kong was able to persuade the government to tolerate the protests.
Kong Jo agreed to meet with protest leaders in his inauguration held on May 1. He met with opposition leaders Daiji Suang, Kungtongsen leader Win Xe and several student leaders the following day. The meeting, which lasted an hour and a half long, was televised on PTH.
Not so long after, a compromise was reached - the government would hold direct, multi-candidate elections for President-General, the Central Council and all lower legislatures in NMR 2335. The Kungtongsen would no longer be subordinate to the Liberationist Party and members would not be encouraged to join the party at any time. In turn, the protesters would cease their activities and accept the results of the NMR 2335 election.
The compromise was widely seen as a victory for the Plum Blossom Revolution, whose leaders proclaimed in a statement that "Democracy has prevailed." The Kong administration was also satisfied that it was able to negotiate a peaceful end to the protests; Kong later noted that "All around the world, numerous governments have been toppled because of movements similar to the one that happened here. But thanks to our civility and foresight, we managed to keep up with the passage of time without jettisoning our constitutional order. That's a remarkable achievement."
"Little Plum Blossoms"
Protests inspired by the mainstream Plum Blossom Revolution, known as "Little Plum Blossom Revolutions" or simply "Little Plum Blossoms," broke out Peitoa and Txotai. In both places, the protests did not last very long.
Around the same time the Plum Blossom Revolution was reaching its peak in mainland Namor, nearly 800 activists on Peitoa - most of them intellectuals - demonstrated in favor of lifting martial law. They were granted an audience by President Hu Sheng, who agreed to enact reforms and lifted martial law in NMR 2331, paving the way for the first general election on Republic of Namor-controlled territory in 44 years.
In Txotai, hundreds of Otekians took to the streets demanding that the government lift martial law in the region, hold free elections and consider a referendum on independence. The demonstrations were quickly suppressed; the Namorese Foreign Ministry later reported that 98 people were imprisoned for allegedly collaborating with the Central Intelligence Agency and the Knights of Saint Luther.
NMR 2335 election
As promised, direct elections for President-General and Central Council were held in NMR 2335. The Liberationists won the legislative election and Kong Jo was reelected in the presidential election. Prior to the election, Kong had initiated more reforms, including some advocated by the Plum Blossom movement. This boosted his credentials as a reformer as well as his popularity, which kept the Liberationists in power for some time.
feel free to add stuff here
- Chorea - The Plum Blossom protests in Namor were said to have profoundly impacted the democracy movement in neighboring Chorea, whose Communist government was also in decline. Months after the protests subsided, the Chorean Communist Party split into the liberal Democratic Party and the conservative People's Party. In 1992, the Chorean constitution of 1948 was installed, formally ending the People's Democratic Republic of Chorea (PDRC). The newly-elected Prime Minister of Chorea, De Guk-ying, said to Kong Jo that "Many factors resulted in Chorea becoming a democracy; the movement in Namor is one of them."
- Katranjiev - Former President Baikun Qing stated that "We cannot exactly determine whether Namorese have had enough of Liberationism, for they have varying conditions. That said, I have hopes that Minjuha [in Namor]] shall be completed before things are too late." King Apostol XIV personally gave his well-wishes to the protesters.
- East Luziyca - Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs William Mishnev explained that "these protests are like the protests in Katranjiev: the Namorese people are having enough of Liberationism, and I have high hopes that Namor shall return to freedom." However, with the limited reforms, President Respicio Lo Prete expressed disappointment, saying that "while it is a good start, the real issue is that the Green Commies still maintain a stranglehold over the Namorese people in mainland Namor."