Union Day celebrated as dental health initiative launched

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Above: The flag of the Confederation was raised in the corn patch next to Government Buildings in Orchardstown.

Union Day was celebrated in the Confederation of Leylandiistan & Gurvata today. On this day two years ago, the Presidents of the Democratic Republic of Leylandiistan and the Republic of Gurvata signed the Treaty of Union at Orchardstown, uniting the two nations into one confederation. Today the two signatories, the current Co-Presidents Fionnbarra Ó Cathail and Pádraig Ó Ceocháin, met at Orchardstown again today to discuss the nation’s progress since 2014. The occasion was celebrated with tea and cake.

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Above: the Co-Presidents celebrated with a lemon & white chocolate madeira cake and tea at Orchardstown.

The Co-Presidents used the opportunity to make the announcement that the Plan for 2016 had been fully implemented. The Plan for 2016, the government’s agenda for this year, was published in January. It has worked as a guideline for the government’s activities throughout the year, particularly in legislative and budgetary matters. While the vast majority of ideas in the Plan for 2016 were successfully implemented, such as the Official Languages Act signed into law last week, two were later discarded. Following the National Budget 2016, where the National Contribution Charge was halved and other taxes were scrapped, it was decided that the National Insurance scheme would be scrapped as further income was not needed. In addition, plans to create a judicial system have been shelved as the low number of citizens and non-existant crime rate mean such an endeavour would produce few results.

In addition, the Co-Presidents launched the National Dental Health Initiative today. The National Dental Health Initiative Act 2016 was signed into law on 22 August. The aim of the initiative is to promote positive dental hygiene. The National Treasury today ordered the first batch of products, which under the terms of the Act are to be distributed to citizens for free. An order of 31 was made with Peppersmith, a British company which manufactures chewing gum and mints from xylitol, a sweet compound which neutralises plaque acids on teeth. Béal na Tíre will be reporting on the progress of the initiative in the weeks ahead.

GUM and Sandus reach agreement

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The Chair of the GUM, Fionnbarra Ó Cathail, has released a statement concerning the application made by the State of Sandus and the subsequent disputes resulting from its rejection. Mr. Ó Cathail apologised for the incorrect portrayal he made in private of one incident in the past involving Mr. Soergel, the leader of Sandus. He also explained how his views on the application were incorrectly conveyed, saying “I did not understand that the Chair was still allowed to hold the opinion of his delegation even after his election.” Mr. Soergel has released a statement via the facebook page of the State of Sandus, apologising for issuing an ultimatum to Mr. Ó Cathail, pledging not to interfere in the affairs of the GUM, and to respect the outcome of the Quorum’s vote without any further protests.

The GUM leadership, the government of Austenasia and the government of Sandus reached an agreement to resolve the impasse. Diplomatic relations between Austenasia and Sandus have ceased following a protracted deterioration worsened by recent events, however Mr. Ó Cathail stated that diplomatic ties between Sandus and Leylandiistan & Gurvata would not be affected, despite the existence of “major political differences”.

The statement may be viewed here. Mr. Soergel’s statement may be viewed here.

Ó Cathail Elected as Chair

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Co-President Ó Cathail has been elected Chair of the Grand Unified Micronational

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Leylandiistan & Gurvata’s Shane Cahill has been elected as the 24th Chair of the Grand Unified Micronational, beating Mcarthia’s Kit McCarthy by ten votes.

Mr Cahill received eleven votes in total.

He said this on election:

 It is difficult to describe adequately how I feel by the vote which has just concluded. Honoured, humbled and elated only go so far. I did not expect to receive an endorsement as large and as overwhelming as the one which you have offered me. It occurred to me how far Leylandiistan & Gurvata has come, and how long I have taken part in micronationalism. I am reminded especially of my first Quorum, in January 2014. Since then, it has always been a pleasure to take part in the Grand Unified Micronational.

I must admit that I do not have any major initiatives or projects to put forward, indeed, it was difficult to make such…

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Ó Cathail begins Chair campaign

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Foreign Secretary Ó Cathail began campaigning today for his bid to become the next Chair of the Grand Unified Micronational. He released a campaign booklet to outline what he would do as Chair. He has pledged to encourage the membership of younger members to allow their own development, and to be held accountable through facilitating questions to the Chair at the beginning of Quorum. Ó Cathail is currently in France, and will be returning on the 25th of June. Gurvatan Co-President Stephen Keohane is currently serving as Acting President of the Confederation until he returns.

Ó Cathail will be running against Mcarthian President Kit McCarthy, who has launched his campaign website earlier this week. Voting begins on the 18th of June, The result will be announced on the 25th of  June, after which the winner will take office.

Historic day as GUM vote earns unanimous support

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Above: election leaflets were erected on bean poles and bird feeders by the Yes campaign ahead of today’s vote.

It was an historic day in Leylandiistan & Gurvata as the country went to vote in the first referendum in the Confederation’s history. In the end, all voters supported the ballot question, which was whether or not to accept the Charter of the Grand Unified Micronational (GUM). Béal na Tíre has the full summary of the day’s events.

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Above: the polling station at Orchardstown after opening for voting.

The weather was warm and sunny on the day the Confederation went to the polls. A final bit of campaigning was done by the Yes side, who supported the GUM charter, by erecting leaflets around Orchardstown. There was no campaign put together to oppose the GUM Charter. The Act ordering the referendum set the voting hours as 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. However, the opening of the polling station pushed back to 3:30 p.m., a fact that was announced on the government twitter feed:

Thankfully, no citizen was left waiting outside the polling station. Voting got underway not long after the polling station opened at 3:30 p.m. The ballot box was located centrally in the Government Buildings, the venue for the polling station in Orchardstown, with an area for voters to cast their preference to the left. Béal na Tíre positioned its exit poll surveyer, a tablet on a stand, outside the polling station so voters could avail of it as they exited.

Above: a look into the polling station in Orchardstown, with the ballot papers on the left and the ballot box on the right.

Voters trickled in as the afternoon progressed. Co-President Ó Cathail  was the first to cast his ballot, followed by other Orchardstown residents. Co-President Ó Ceocháin was the last  to cast his ballot, one minute before polling closed at 6:00 p.m. All voters participated in the Béal na Tíre exit poll, which at 6:12 p.m. projected an overwhelming victory for the “Yes” side:

Above: the polling station rules posted on the window (left), voters completed the exit poll survey on the tablet provided by Béal na Tíre (centre), Co-President Ó Cathail casts his ballot (right).

Counting began at 6:30 p.m. and concluded not long after. Turnout was 80%, with one Gurvatan citizen not showing up to vote. All four votes cast were for the “Yes” side, supporting the GUM Charter. The result matched the 100% projection from the Béal na Tíre exit poll.

After the votes were counted, the Co-Presidents signed the Grand Unified Micronational Charter Ratification Act to confirm the result of the plebiscite and consequently ratify the Charter on behalf of Leylandiistan & Gurvata. Commenting on the result, Co-President Ó Cathail said that the vote was “a resounding endorsement for the Confederation’s membership of the GUM, as well as our overall participation in the micronational community.” He added that the success of the referendum paved the way for further decisions to be made through referenda. Co-President Ó Ceocháin said that the result was unquestionable, and that the referendum was very successful. Leylandiistan & Gurvata has been the only nation to put the GUM Charter to a referendum, and with the support of everyone who voted, the Confederation shall now join the 16 other nations who have ratified the Charter in restarting the Grand Unified Micronational. Only one more nation needs to ratify the Charter in order for the organisation to be restarted.

Campaign begins amidst beautiful weather

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Above: oats (left) and barley (right) ripen in the sunshine

The referendum campaign has begun in Leylandiistan & Gurvata as warm sunny conditions were reported across the country. Not a whisp of cloud was to be seen in any corner of the blue sky which has covered the Confederation for the past week, with temperatures well over 20 degrees C. The weather conditions are ideal for cereal crops, like oats and barley, which are currently in the pollinating phase which precedes grain formation. The other crops are also thriving in the pleasant conditions, with the first harvests expected for July.

The beautiful weather today was the backdrop for the start of the campaign. Co-President Ó Cathail was campaigning in support of Leylandiistan & Gurvata’s membership of GUM. He was campaigning under the brand of his mostly defunct party from the pre-Union days, Conradh Daonlathais. He distributed leaflets advocating a “Yes” vote in tomorrow’s referendum. Campaigning will continue briefly tomorrow before voters go to the polls in the afternoon.

Voting begins tomorrow at 2 p.m. with the results being announced after polling closes at 6p.m. Béal na Tíre will be providing a projection of the result before this official announcement using our exit poll, a digital innovation which will be put to voters exiting the polling station. No opinion polling has been carried out to date, so the exit poll will give the first indication of how the Confederation’s citizens voted.

Referendum on GUM Charter to be held

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The Co-Presidents today signed into law an Act which has authorised a referendum to be held this Friday, 3rd June, on the Charter of the Grand Unified Micronational (GUM). The Government decided to put the Confederation’s ratification of the Charter to a plebiscite, the first in two years, since the constitutional referendum in Leylandiistan in February 2014. The Grand Unified Micronational Charter Referendum Act 2016 was signed into law in the newly-declared capital of Orchardstown this evening. Leylandiistan & Gurvata will be the only prospective member state of the GUM to put the Charter to a referendum.

The law on the referendum has allowed for just one polling station, at the Government Buildings in Orchardstown. Due to the lack of a census or other form of citizenry records, the National Treasury was authorised to supply a list of known residents who pay taxes to the Treasury, in order to create a list of eligible voters. The polling station will open at 2:00 p.m. and close at 6:00 p.m., after which the votes will be counted.

Béal na Tíre will be providing extensive coverage of the campaign and the vote itself. Arrangements are being made to provide an exit poll, surveying voters exiting the polling station, giving an approximate result half an hour before polls are closed. The campaign will be short, given less than 72 hours remain until the vote begins. Co-President Ó Cathail, a former Vice-Chair of the GUM, is expected to campaign for a “Yes” vote, with Co-President Keohane’s position being unclear.

In other news, Co-President Ó Cathail has written to Co-President Ó Ceocháin to notify him of his absence from office for three weeks, beginning this Saturday. He has invoked the procedure outlined in the Acting Presidency Act 2016, in order to allow Co-President Ó Ceocháin to serve as the Confederation’s acting president for the first three weeks of June from Saturday. Ó Cathail will continue to serve as Foreign Secretary, although he will not be able to exercise this office to full capability due to the lack of access to an internet connection during his absence, which is due to a holiday.