Saarland

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Third Republic of Saarland
Westonarian: Republiek van Saarland
Ulthrannic: República de Sarre
Swahili: Jamhuri ya Saar
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Flag Republic Seal
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CapitalPort Vaal
Largest city Loewenburg
Official languages English
Recognised national languages Westonarian
Ulthrannic
Swahili
Recognised regional languages See list
Ethnic groups Westonarians
Ulthrannics
Swahilis
Saarlander Bantus
Demonym Saarlander
Government Presidential federal republic (nominally)
Constitutional presidential dictatorship (de facto)
 -  President of Saarland Morgan Tekere
 -  President of the Senate Carlos de Costa Pereda
 -  Speaker of the Assembly Jan Kruger
Legislature The Unified Republic Congress
 -  Upper house Senate of Saarland
 -  Lower house Assembly of Saarland
Unification of Trans-Saarland and Costa Pereda
 -  Proclaimed 25 August 1755 
 -  Recognized 14 June 1760 
 -  Water (%) 6.4%
Population
 -  2015 estimate 147,652,096
 -  2000 census 163,433,122
GDP (nominal) c. 2015 estimate
 -  Total $868,932,584,960
 -  Per capita $5,885
Gini (2014)63.3
very high
HDI (2015)0.613
medium
Currency United Republic dollar ($)
Time zone WAT (UTC-3)
Date format dd.mm.yyyy CE
Drives on the right
Calling code +886

The Third Republic of Saarland (Westonarian: Republiek van Saarland, Ulthrannic: República de Sarre, and Swahili: Jamhuri ya Saar), alternatively referred to simply as Saarland, is a nominally presidential federal republic located in southwest Ashizwe. From northwest to south, Saarland shares land borders with Semanique, Huamba, Nazali, Husseinarti, Zambezi, Kahemba, Ugala, Westonaria, Albiya, and Ulthrannia. Saarland also shares a maritime border with Eagleland due to its adjacent territory of New Cyprus.

At XX square miles and sporting approximately 147 million people, Saarland is one of the largest nation-states in terms of landmass and population in all of Ashizwe. With extensive savannahs and other open lands suitable as fertile farmland, Saarland has long since been one of the most productive and highest exporters of food and agricultural products in the region and globally. The great Saar River, the formal dividing line between South and North Ashizwe, is a notable and prominent feature of the country.

Historically, Saarland has been characterized by a diverse, yet often harmonious intermixing of peoples and cultures. In the 14th and 15th centuries, the land now known as Saarland was colonized by the Bantu people. In the 15th and 16th enturies, explorers and early settlers from Ulthrannia settled and explored the coastlines, eventually establishing the colony of Costa Pereda. Later, in the late 17th and early 18th centuries, settlers from Westonaria began to colonize and inhabit stretches of southeast Saarland, creating the Trans-Saarland colony. In the late 1750s, both colonies fought off Ulthrannic imperial suzerainty and unified into one independent republic. Saarland morphed into several regime types, from a republic into a relatively short-lived kingdom, and then an authoritarian military dictatorship, which was overthrown in the 1963 Saarlander Revolution into the People's Democratic Republic of Saarland. As the PDRS, Saarland became a major geopolitical player both within and outside of Ashizwe. In December 2001, after the collapse of chief ally and Communist bloc leader the DSRA, the PDRS regime was overthrown in the Blue Revolution and became the current Third Republic of Saarland.

Contemporarily, Saarland has one of the largest economies in Ashizwe with an estimated 2015 GDP of $868.9 billion but also is characterized by extreme income and wealth inequality. It is a member of the World Council, the Pardesi Trade Assembly, and the Pardesi Monetary Fund.

Etymology

The name Saarland emerged from the independent Westonarian frontier colony of Trans-Saarland, itself named after the great east-to-west-flowing Saar River, which is the dividing line between South and North Ashizwe.

History

Geography

The Saarlander geographic landscape is lush and diverse. It includes mid-sized freshwater and salt lakes, many national parks, and Ashizwe's third highest point, Mount Svanji (12,876 ft).

Southeast Saarland is mountainous and includes Mount Injanfani, an active volcano, Mount Svanji, a dormant volcano, and the Mambara and Castillos mountain ranges. Svanji itself attracts tens of thousands of tourists each year, providing substantial tourism revenues. The southeast is also characterized by its domination by the semi-arid Runde Desert.

The western part of the country consists of rolling coastlines and flat land that has been categorized by the World Council's Ecosystem Conservation Fund as part of the Southwest Saarland Wendiya woodlands ecoregion.

The northern sections of the nation is a large plateau, which is part of the West Ashizwean Plateau. The northern two-thirds of this plateau is grassland within the Northwest Saarland Wendiya woodlands ecoregion, the majority of which is covered by the huge Tekere National Park. Further north and east of the plateau is very fertile arable land that transitions into more tropical and humid rainforests near the border with Husseinarti, Nazali, and Zambezi.

Climate

Saarland has a tropical climate but has regional variations due to differing topography between the northeast interior and the coasts and southeastern deserts. In the central highlands and mountain ranges of the southeast, temperatures range between 42 and 65 °F during cold and hot seasons, respectively. The rest of the country has temperatures rarely falling lower than 65 °F. The hottest period extends between April and November (79.5–95.8 °F), while the coldest period occurs between December and February (57–66 °F).

Government and politics

Branches of government

Executive

The 2002 Saarland Constitution grants the President of Saarland enormous executive and unilateral powers under his Article I(A)b-f authorities. The President of Saarland is directly elected by all registered Saarlander voters in a first-past-the-post plurality majority system modeled on the Emmerian system.

He is both head of state and head of government, appointing the Congress's Assembly Speaker.

The president serves 4-year terms without term limits. He is the commander-in-chief of the Saarland Defense Force. The office also has the power to sign or veto legislative bills passed by the Unified Republic Congress. He appoints his Cabinet as well as a bevy of senior and mid-level administrative and regulatory posts throughout the government.

The current and only president of the Third Republic is Morgan Tekere, who won the 2002 general election with 59.4%. He has been re-elected in 2006, 2010, and most recently in 2014 with an ever-increasing vote share, hitting 83.4% in the latest presidential election.

Cabinet
Ministry Minister Party
President Morgan Tekere USP
Vice-President Robert Nhema USP
Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Mparifu USP
Minister of Defense Webster de Giles USP
Minister of Justice Seth Moses Mutsekwa USP
Minister of the Interior and Public Lands Martin Dinha-Chinawere USP
Minister of Finance Samuel Dokorenwa USP
Minister of Transport, Communications, and Infrastructure Olbert Tinagena USP
Minister of Health and Public Wealth Maartin van der Grook USP
Minister of Labor, Social Welfare, and Public Works Willard Sipepa-Nkomo USP
Minister of Education, Sport, and Culture Herbert Gazuba USP
Minister of Environment and Tourism Zakia Mjeik-Karume CWSSP
Minister of Agriculture and Mines Jessie Ostlander UDR
Minister of Industry and Commerce Felix de Imperio Raba UDR
Minister of Energy Oberlowe Jinjagji USP

Legislative

The legislative branch of the Government consists of the bicameral Senate and Assembly. It has a total of 642 members. There are 41 senators, two each from the twenty provinces plus the Senate President who is appointed by the body. The Assembly has 600 assemblymen plus an appointed Speaker of the body by the President.

The Assembly is charged with creating legislation, authorizing military force, controls the power of the purse, has the power to create or eliminate public services. Each term of office is four years. The United for Saarland Party has a large supermajority in the body.

The Senate has the oversight of sitting government officials, ratifying treaties, and providing the advise and consent for presidential appointments. It can amend, but not propose, legislation from the Assembly. Each term of office is six years. As part of the 2002 Constitution and the post-communist settlement, a percentage of seats was allocated to various ethnic and ethnoreligious minorities, roughly corresponding to more multiparty representation.

Judicial

Saarland lacks a supreme court and its highest court functions are performed by the Unified Republic Congress's Judicial Committee.

The country has a system of national and provincial courts, all appointed by the President. Local courts are under the jurisdiction of provincial governors. Selective ethnic minorities were granted the creation of their own independent local courts to apply religious, customary, or social law within their own group.

Political divisions

The country is divided into twenty provinces and one territory. They include: Port Vaal Capital Territory, Masvinga, Trans-Shonaland, Transvaal, Northwest Coast, Southwest Coast, Central Plateau, Mpuganga, Svanji, West Saar Riverland, East Saar Riverland, Lusaka, Midlands, Lake Hara, Spice Islands, Ngamiland, Tekereland, Ghanza, Klumba, Loewen, and Costa de Pescado.

Elections

Saarland is classified officially as a presidential federal republic. However, political scientists and political typologists havely uniformly labeled Saarland's government as a de facto so-called "constitutional presidential dictatorship" due to the powers of the Saarlander chief executive.

Morgan Tekere is the son of former PDRS Premier Arthur Tekere, and the grip he and his party, United for Saarland Party, have over Saarland politics has led political analysts to label Saarland an illiberal democracy and dominant-party state with significant concerns about the maturation of Saarland's democratic process.

The center-left United for Saarland Party (USP) party is the dominant ruling political party. It is opposed by the chief opposition and center-right Union of Democracy and Reform (UDR), and the minor left-wing United Saarlander Left Solidarity Front party (USLSF) and regionalist Coalition of Western and Southern Saarlanders Party (CWSSP).

In 2010 and 2014 elections, in an effort to undercut the USP, the UDR and CWSSP joined together to form the Saarlander Democratic Opposition Bloc, which tried to recruit the USLSF as well but the USLSF refused to join.

Foreign relations

Since the fall of Red Saarland, the country has pursued a policy of disengagement from global affairs and has adopted an official policy of armed neutrality. It has largely distanced itself from its former KosCo allies, and is currently opposed bitterly by former ally Husseinarti, which retains its insular state socialist government and has become the exile of choice among many Saarlander communist hardliners, whose influence has caused Husseinarti to pledge to restore Communism forcefully to Saarland.

Saarland has maintained its distance from both the CDI and RCO, although it has complex relationships with former Cold War foes Eagleland (now CDI) and Ulthrannia (now RCO), viewing both as lingering threats to imagined Saarlander hegemony of Southwest Ashizwe. However, it has built ties with both Rodarion and Westonaria bilaterally since the mid-2000s.

Military

The Saarlander military is one of the most well-equipped, modern, and larger standing armies in Ashizwe. Relative to the rest of the global's military powers, however, most analysts note that Saarland's armed forces are comparably undertrained, armed with largely-decaying Communist-era weaponry, and demoralized in the arguable disillusionment living under the post-communist corrupt regime of Morgan Tekere.

On the continent itself, it maintains a confident and assured posture towards hostile states such as Husseinarti and Ulthrannia and its smaller neighbors. The military's posture since 2002 has been that of self-defense and armed neutrality. In addition, Saarlander forces have partaken in several World Council peacekeeping missions.

Economy

The economy of Saarland is still considered a primarily industrial economy with $868.93 billion GDP, one of the highest in Ashizwe. However, this is tempered by the low Human Development Index score of 0.613, which, while high among Ashizwean states, is still fairly low for a nation of Saarland's development. In addition, it has an extremely high Gini of 63.3, signifying a polarizingly-high wealth and income gap in Saarlander society. Agriculture, industry, tourism, and mineral exports propel the country's economy.

Agriculture

Saarland has over 88,000 miles of cultivated farmland, along with another 109,620 miles of grazing and natural veld lands. It is the largest food and agricultural products exporter in Ashizwe, and is known colloquially as "the breadbasket of Ashizwe."

Crops grown are led by wheat, followed by soya, sorghum, sunflowers, potatoes, asparagus (both white and green varieties), corn, cereal, and cherries. Biofuels and animal products make up over 25% of agricultural exports.

Industry

Leftover from its PDRS and pre-communist days, the country has a robust, if decaying, industrial base on its western coasts. It focuses largely on light industry, including cheap household and textile goods for export in Ashizwe and the Far East.

Its heavy industry is centered around vehicular construction, mostly of agricultural vehicles, as well as concrete, refined stone, and industrial-scale metal products. It is known throughout the Far East as a hub of production of quality electrical engineering equipment.

Tourism

Saarland depends on tourism for nearly a fifth of its economy, accounting for over $168.79 billion in revenue.

Popular attractions include the Saarland National Park System, volcanoes and mountain-tops such as Mount Svanji, the beaches and hotels of the Spice Islands and the western coast, and safaris through the Central Plateau and Saar River lands.

It caters in particular to wealthy black Ashizweans, North Lusankyans, Rodarian, and Ulthrannic elites, and Westonarians and Dacians.

Minerals and natural resources

Infrastructure

Demographics

Ethnic groups

Languages

Health

As of 2012, life expectancy at birth was 61 years. This number has slowly improved since official World Council tracking began in 2002. The mortality rate for children under 5 years of age was 54 per 1,000 births in 2012, and does not include children who did not receive a certificate of live birth. Malaria is considered to be the number one cause of death for children under 5 years of age, with diarrhea, HIV, and measles, in that order, being secondary leading causes of death in children.

As with children, malaria is considered to be the number one cause of death and debilitation within the nation, and is considered to have a "huge economic impact" on the Saarlander economy according to a 2013 World Council Health Organization report. Records indicate that in 2008, 11.5 cases of malaria were active and untreated within Saarland, primarily in the rural countrysides and impoverished settlements.

The people of Saarland receive aid from a number of international support groups and monetary assistance funds from throughout Pardes. These include the Aisling Children of Ashizwe Fund, which is used to provide basic necessities, healthcare and educational aids to poverty-stricken families in Ashizwe. Other international aid programs operating within Saarland are Glioca's Way, an Aisling missionary and charity group, and the Romulan Catholic Church aligned Association of the Immaculate Heart of Rodarian.

Education

Based on 2012 data gathered by the World Council, the literacy rate in Saarland for persons aged 15 and over is estimated to be 67.8%. Education is compulsory until children reach age 15, at which point they may choose to depart from classes with no penalty. In 2010, 74.1% of children age 5 to 14 years were attending school. The primary school completion rate was a record breaking 80.8% in 2012.

Religion

Culture

Music

Saarlander Bantu flava rapper Motto Super Motto

One of the most popular genres of music in Saarland is taarab, a blending of traditional Bantu tribal music with Ulthrannic Islamic music. In modern times, a distinctive flavor of hip hop known as Bantu flava, a mix of transitional taarab stylings and modern hip hp rhythms, has also emerged. In 2006, Saarland hosted its first international music event, inciting hip hop and rap artists from around the world to preform at Tekere Arena in Port Vaal. Notable Bantu flava artists include Blu Cru and Moto Super Moto

Mtindo is a particular rhythm, dance or style identified with a particular band. Many different bands, both foreign and domestic, have their own mtindo according the Saarlander culture. This unique reaction to a bands performances has made Saarland one of the favored venues for any international bands world tour. World famous entertainers such as Aislings Hannie Faustina Cea and Catarina Mazon, as well as Estovnian singer Petra Jůl have large followsings within the nation and commonly make Saarland a stop on any international tours.

Cuisine

Locally grown vegetables are commonly sold at market in any settlement

Saarland cuisine is an incredibly unique mix of Ulthrannic, Westonarian flavoring upon the culinary traditions of the indigenous Bantu peoples. Some other foreign culinary traditions, such as Eaglelander and Anikatian, can be found in specific regions of the nation. Eagleander cuisine is commonly found along the nations northern islands, particular those that border New Cyprus. Anikatian influence of Saarlander cuisine can be traced to the influx of Anikatians following the 1963 Saarlander Revolution; during which scores of Anikatian physicians, engineers, and military consultants came to Saarland from the Democratic Socialist Republic of Anikatia. This influx has resulted in some recipes and ingredients, such as soy sauce and kimchi, becoming commonplace within Saarland.

The primary ingredient of dishes tends to be meat and locally grown vegetables such as maize, tomato and onion. Spices tend to also be of local origin, and include cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg.

Ugali is one of the most common meals consumed within Saarland and is composed of corn and is similar in consistency to a stiff paste or porridge. Despite is being one of the most common meals served within Saarland, it is not common outside of Saarland, as its ease of preparation and low cost have caused it to be considered a lower-class food by locals

Sarapatel is an Ulthrannic-influenced dish based on the previous dietary habbits of the Bantu tribes, and features the generally unused portions of an animal, such as the tongue, heart and liver. These pieces are boiled with a mix of hot spices, tamarind and vinegar. This dish remains one of the most popular examples of Saarlander entrees abroad. Another Ulthrannic-influenced native recipe is Boku-boku; a skew of meat cooked in maize, ginger, cumin, chili, tomato and onion.

Saarland spice cake is a common dessert served in Saarland, and has become extremely desirable in affluent communities in other nations. It is made of a pastry with a mix of locally grown spices such as cinnamon, clove, nutmeg and chocolate.

One of the more exotic delicacies of Saarland is Pweza wa nazi, a seafood dish consisting of octopus boiled in coconut milk, curry, cinnamon, cardamom, garlic and lime juice.

Media

Sports

Football is among the most popular sports in Saarland, with teams regularly participating in AFP affiliated games and tournaments. There are several professional football clubs operating within Saarland, the premier of which is the Saarland Youth Football Association. All football clubs are governed by the Saarland Football Regulatory Commission.

Outside of professional sports recreational sports such as netball, boxing, volleyball, and rugby are also popular.

Saarland is one of the premier locations in Ashizwe for safari trips, which include both big-game hunting activities as well as wildlife photography, owing to its geographic location and politically stable climate.