The President of Pacific Orange, according to the current constitution, is elected according to a popular vote held once every five years and is responsible for ensuring the implementation of all laws passed by the houses of parliament. Whilst the nation has experienced a rather turbulent and at times autocratic past, the office of the Presidency has survived throughout all four republics though its power has admittedly varied substantially from each rewritten constitution. Nonetheless Presidents have always retained the power of veto which they can exercise at their discretion. Similarly as the official head of state, Presidents have always been appointed as the commander in chief of the nation's armed forces both in times of peace and times of war.
Ian W. Klinn ( "Pawws" ) Edit
Term of Office: 1947 - 1955 , 1968 - 1979
Political Affiliation: Nationalist Party of Pacific Orange
Born into a moderately wealth middle class family in Saint Victoria on the 22nd October 1902 as 'Ian W. Klinn', Pawws is best remembered for his role in founding and uniting the nation of Pacific Orange following the disintegration of the Union of Pacific Blue in the aftermath of World War 2. Always an outspoken and at times headstrong personality, his role as a wartime leader, adopting a policy of no surrender and refusing to capitulate during the nadir of Pacific Orange fortunes in 1951, was instrumental in sowing the seeds for the nation's victory and survival in that war. Similarly, the years of the Pawws' presidency during the 1970's saw the institution of broad economic and political reforms: it was under Pawws that the debilitating stranglehold of the military over Pacific Orange politics was finally overthrown. Nonethless, these years were also marked by increasing corruption, authoritarianism and human rights abuse against political opponents, particularly as the Third Republic came to a close. Forced finally into exile by popular protests in 1979 after surviving two coups and a communist insurrection against his rule, Pawws fled to Taiwan settling later in Newton, Massachusetts, USA where he died in 2001 of an as yet undisclosed disorder.
Thus the legacy of Pawws has been debated continuously. Some view him as a brutal dictator, while others credit him for stopping Pacific Orange sliding towards instability and implementing economic reforms. After the suppression of the coup and insurrection in 1975, Pawws claimed that "All that I have done, has been to further the cause of democracy within Pacific Orange." His supporters have made similar claims. The President of Stalinstan, the_palm, has for example thanked Pawws for "his contribution to this region's stability and prosperity." However, there have been several detailed reports which describe the human rights abuses carried out by the Third Republic and veterans of the 1979 protests, remember vividly the bloodshed that resulted from Pawws' brutal suppression of the Saint Victoria National University revolt. Furthermore, a 1980s government inquiry has revealed that Pawws had embezzled over 40 million Wons in government funds throughout his tenure as president.
Richard I. Tadget-Wraine Edit
Term of Office: 1955 - 1958
Political Affiliation: Pacific Orange Country PartyA Saint Victorian who was similarly instrumental in the foundation of the Pacific Orange state in 1947, Tadget-Wraine was an active participant in farming organisations and the establishment of the Pacific Orange Country Party which he led in the period from 1949 - 1958. Successfully campaigning on the pledge of fiscal economic conservatism and higher tariffs to ameliorate the growing recession during the early 1950's, Tadget-Wraine came to power amidst widespread optimism regarding the potential for his presidency. During the First Great Patriotic War, he had enjoyed considerable success during his tenure as Minister of Armanents; an accolade which had garnered him substantial support. Unfortunately, the spiralling economic downturn and the political instability of the First Republic proved too much for Tadget-Wraine to handle and the years of the Tadget-Wraine Presidency was marked by high unemployment, increasing animosity between the states and the rise of militant left wing extremism.
Rumours of embezzlement and supposed communist sympathies was sufficient to spark a full blown party revolt against him in 1958 and the last months of his presidency were marked by Tadget-Wraine's struggles within the Country Party to retain his position and support. In the end swept out of office by a margin far larger than that which had originally propelled him to power, the presidency of Tadget-Wraine is widely regarded as an enormous failure, one of whose repercussions was the dissolution of the First Republic on the 15th October 1958.
John G. Martineau Edit
Term of Office: 1958 - 1964
Political Affiliation: Pacific Orange Labor PartyStepping into the executive power vaccum amidst the turmoil of the First Republic, Martineau showed almost immediately how "the hour and the man" had met. Quickly passing through measures designed to minimise inter-regional strife and quell the communist insurrection, he oversaw the return of order and stability to a deeply wracked country. But as Martineau soon realised, the country's woes went far deeper than the current political / social sitution. Announcing his decision to rectify the nation's structural flaws, Martineau successfully campaigned for the dissolution of the First Republic in favour of the more federally oriented Second Republic whereby the federal government was empowered with greater legislative and executive authority over the states. Under the new republic and constitution, Pacific Orange saw the first of its 'Golden eras' where stability at home and a boom in the international markets saw the nation soar to new heights throughout the 1960's. Similarly abroad, the Martineau presidency secured for Pacific Orange a range of regional agreements in which the nation looked set to solidify its economic and security links with other powers in the region.
Enjoying widespread popularity, Martineau was elected to another three year term - under the constitution of the Second Republic - though was unable to secure control of the Senate. This was soon to present problems for him as the Nationalists began to use their Senate majority for less moral purposes - blocking the passage of the Supply Bills needed to fund the federal budget in a controversial bid to force a coalition government inclusive of the Nationalist opposition. Ultimately unable to secure the bills he required, Martineau decided to rule without supply; leading to political and financial chaos, causing many to speculate that a return to the anarchy of the First Republic. After governing for a period of 6 months, the mounting deficit and inflation forced Martineau to call a national election in order to avoid a full blown economic recession. The voters, no longer unsure of the merits Martineau presidency particularly in the wake of a corruption scandal involving Martineau's Finance Minister, decided against returning Martineau to power and after a decade in opposition, the Nationalists were returned to power . Nonetheless, the Martineau era is seen often as an important turning point in the history of Pacific Orange and Martineau continues to be highly rated as one of the most influential presidents of Pacific Orange.
Leonhard A. Dzionara Edit
Term of Office: 1964 - 1968
Political Affiliation: Nationalist Party of Pacific OrangeWhilst the Nationalists' blocking tactics in the Senate had successfully driven Martineau from power, it earned many of their senior leaders deep mistrust from a public outraged at this abuse of political power. Amidst a flurry of resignations as the Nationalists sought to restructure their leadership in time for the federal elections, the most unlikely candidate became the most likely - 62 year old Leonhard A. Dzionara, an ethnic German hailing from the Schauinsland. The nomination of Leonhard to the Nationalist presidential ticket was a first in many ways, primarily in that Dzionara as a Schauinslander marked a distinctive break from the previously Anglo-Saxon dominated political establishment. Indeed it was perhaps this perceived difference which was so appealing to voters, a 'breath of fresh air' from the stagnant state of Pacific Orange politics, which enabled Dzionara to be voted into office in an election which ironically gave the Labor Party the Senate majority Dzionara's predecessor had so long desired.
A well known political moderate, Dzionara initially hoped to continue with Martineau's series of reforms, including cutting back on defense expenditure in order to inject funds into the nation's economy and infrastructure. Unfortunately, the outbreak of the Second Great Patriotic War soon spelled an end to Dzionara's efforts and the now wartime President found himself leading a country tottering despairingly towards defeat. Forced to ruthless suppress anti war movements which sprang up in the wake of several military setbacks, Dzionara implemented many unpopular but ultimately crucial policies including the widely villified Military Service Bill which introduced conscription throughout the entire Pacific Orange male population. Ultimately however, Dzionara's strong leadership and his success at working closely with military leaders in defending the country earned him high praise from critics and supporters alike and played an instrumental role in turning the tide of the conflict back in the republic's favour. Pacific Orange victory in the war and a favourable peace settlement seemed to ensure the success of Dzionara's bid for reelection and it seems likely that post war Pacific Orange would have been under a Dzionara presidency had it not been for his sudden death from a heart attack in the closing weeks of the war.
Martin P. Bell Edit
Term of Office: 1968 - 1969
Political Affiliation: Nationalist Party of Pacific Orange
With the loss of Dzionara as President, it was widely assumed that his deputy Matthias Ulrich Loewenstein would take over as Nationalist leader and President. But before the ballot could be held, the leader of the right wing faction within the Nationalist Party and Defense Minister, John F. McKenzie, vetoed Loewenstein's candicacy by declaring that neither he nor any of his right wing colleagues would serve under Loewenstein, declaring that whilst he refused to give his reasons, Loewenstein knew what they were. McKenzie's shock declaration triggered a leadership crisis within the Nationalist Party; even more significantly, it raised the threat of a possible factional infighting within the party which would spell electoral disaster for the Nationalists. In the subsequent leadership struggle, the Senate minority leader - Martin P. Bell - was elected by the Nationalists to head the party and thereby also to serve as President, marking the first and only time in the nation's history that a senator has served as the official head of state for Pacific Orange.
Bell was initially quite a popular leader. In his public image, Bell cultivated a reputation as a more relaxed, affable leader - a visible contrast to the aloof and at times arrogant Dzionara. He also began to follow new policies such as the creation of a state funded pension program to look after both veterans and the aged within the country. However he continued to champion the necessities of rearmanent and on domestic issues he favoured centrist policies at the expense of the states, a position which he had inherited from Dzionara. Unfortunately, Bell proved to be a rather poor public speaker and he was soon cast by the media as foolish and incompetent, a reputation which was not helped by Bell's disastrous attempt to foster an indepedent Pacific Orange film industry. With less than a year to go to the federal election and growing unpopularity in the polls, Bell lost the nomination for the Nationalist presidential ticket to the supposedly more dynamic alternative of Pawws. It marked the only time so far in Pacific Orange history that a President failed to secure his party's renomination for a second federal election. Recent historiography has viewed policies enacted under the Bell Presidency in a far more benign light - in particular his decision to embark upon a program of Pacific Orange cultural nationalism - and Bell is commonly considered by contemporary figures both conservative and liberal alike as "a great president who never was."
Eduard M. Suttler Edit
Term of Office: 1974
Political Affiliation: Council for National Order and SolidarityA former field marshall in the Pacific Orange military, Suttler was appointed by the military junta as a caretaker President entrusted with maintaining the military's grip over Pacific Orange society. Favoured originally by many elements in the military establishment - dissatisfied with the decline in the role of the military in Pacific Orange affairs - Suttler was seen as a committed militarist, with a long family background and personal career in the military corps. Under the Suttler Presidency a series of controversial measures were carried out. Cultural mandates were enforced in a heavy handed effort "to restore morality and decency to Pacific Orange society". Furthermore, Suttler embarked upon a course of economic nationalism, in which the Pacific Orange people were to support only Pacific Orange products and therefore destroy the foreign hold on markets. Ultra nationalist policies were also undertaken; indeed in a speech Suttler compared foreigners living in the country as a blight upon the land.
Unpopular from the start, Suttler relied purely on military support to back his regime and was forced increasingly to enact harsh repressive sentences against opponents in order to stifle dissent against the government. As popular demonstrations quickly broke out and the up until then burgeoning Pacific Orange economy began to decline, the days of the Suttler Presidency were numbered. Finally after much wrangling and behind the scenes dealings, Nationalists with the support of key sections of the airforce and navy successfully wrested back control of Pacific Orange. Faced with prosecution and the likelihood of a death sentence if captured, Suttler fled the country to Paris where he died soon after 1979.
Matthias Ulrich Loewenstein Edit
Term of Office: 1979 - 1984
Political Affiliation: Nationalist Party of Pacific OrangeWhen Dzionara succumbed to stroke in 1968, Loewenstein as vice President was assumed to be his automatic successor. But John McKenzie announced that he and right wing elements of the Nationalist Party would not serve in a government led by Loewenstein, forcing instead Loewenstein's resignation from government and the appointment of Martin Bell to the Presidency. Nonetheless, Loewenstein persisted in his efforts at remaining involved in Pacific Orange politics and throughout the Third Republic he was a critical participant in the government of Pawws - openly denouncing at times some of the more controversial measures carried out by the President. It was only Loewenstein's close personal friendship with Pawws - a friendship fostered since childhood - which many suspect saved Loewenstein from the same fate of Pawws' other political detractors.
A long known moderate within the cabinet of the Third Republic, Loewenstein was crucial in the restoration of democracy to Pacific Orange in 1979, successfully convincing several key hardliners in the Nationalist Party to resign rather than attempt to quell the popular revolts against Pawws' increasingly authoritarian rule. Indeed it has been rumoured that Pawws decision to step down in August 1979 without seriously attempting to suppress the political opposition stems from Loewenstein's efforts. Campaigning effectively on his credentials as moderate conservative, Loewenstein was successful in his bid for the Presidency managing to secure for the Nationalists control once again over both Houses of Parliament.
However, Loewenstein's popularity was soon undermined by high inflation and in the June 1983 elections, it was only the failure of the Socialist / Labor coalition to update their ideological programs which allowed Loewenstein to outperform his political rivals. Similarly, Loewenstein's second term in office was marked by the growing economic recession and government ineptitude, a situation not helped by the transformation of the Labor Party into an at last capable political counterweight to the Nationalists in Pacific Orange. With polls predicting that the Nationalists were heading towards a crushing electoral defeat, Loewenstein's deputy and Chancellor of the Exchequer - Zujin Qian - successfully pressed for Loewenstein's resignation and the nomination for the Nationalist Presidential ticket. Loewenstein remains a highly debated figure in Pacific Orange history with his supporters crediting him for the restoration of Pacific Orange democracy and his detractors pointing to the ineffective nature of both his terms as President.
Zujin Qian Edit
Term of Office: 1984 - 1992
Political Affiliation: Nationalist Party of Pacific OrangeBorn into a relatively wealthy merchant family in Matsu Island, Zujin Qian enjoyed a highly effective reign as Minister for the Chinese Territories but as a virilent critic of the violent excesses of the Third Republic, he was dismissed from this position in 1975, denounced as a "stinking remnant of left wing dissent" and forced into exile. He worked for a while as part of the Pacific Orange League for Democratic Restoration until his rehabilitation by Michael Loewenstein in 1979. Sent to oversee the redevelopment of the Barras which had been economically devestated under the Third Republic, Qian turned the region around by introducing radical and successful market-oriented rural reforms, which led to an increase in industrial production and agricultural output within three years. Loewenstein saw the "Barras Experience" as the model for future Pacific Orange economic reform and in October 1982, Qian was appointed to head the Committee for National Reconstruction. Under his direction, several economic policies crucial for Pacific Orange's future growth were implemented - including the decision to implement a process of semi-nationalisation wherein key areas of the Pacific Orange economy would be developed under initially government run firms, funded by a mixture of state revenue and private investment.
After six months as head for the Committee for National Reconstruction, Qian was elected as Chancellor of the Exchequer and thus to deputy leader of the Nationalist Party. It was due largely to Qian's effectiveness as Chancellor which secured the Nationalists a second term in power. Whilst it is for his economic and financial eptitude that he is best remembered, one of the highlights of Qian's political career is nonetheless his 1984 victory in an election which many had considered as "unwinnable" ( though with a drastically reduced margin and loss of the Senate to Labor ). Ultimately Qian's downfall lay in the events of 1992. Rising discontent in the Thai communities of Rayong Saiyan to the south of Pacific Orange led to increasing political pressure for intervention into that region. Whilst personally committed to the overthrow of a regime in every inch as nepotistic and oppressive as the Third Republic Qian had fought to end, he faced hostile opposition from the majority of his Nationalist Party colleagues who favoured a restricted immigration policy and warned of the economic burdens of unifying with Rayong Saiyan.
Unable to convince a necessary number of party members to overturn the Nationalist majority in the Lower House opposing intervention into Rayong Saiyan, Qian made arguably the hardest sacrifice of all. Banking on the sucess of the unification movement, Qian announced his resignation as President in November 1991 making way for the election of the first Labor President in over 30 years - the unificanionist ( and incidentally first ever female President of Pacific Orange ) Anka San Suu Aung.
Anka San Suu Aung Edit
Term of Office: 1992 - 2002
Political Affiliation: Pacific Orange Labor PartyAnka San Suu Aung was born on 19 June 1945. Her mother, Khin Kyi - an ethnic Burmese Chinese hailing from Lanyu - helped to negotiate the compromise agreement between the mainland and Chinese territories which led to the foundation of the original Pacific Orange state. Following in her mother's footsteps and influenced by the Gandhian philosophy of non violent protest, San Suu Aung gained similar prominence through her demonstrations against the Third Republic. Placed under house arrest by the Pawws government, San Suu Aung continued her calls for a restoration of democratic rule, even against the military junta which briefly overthrow Pawws' rule, claiming that the pursuit of absolute power no matter for what cause was unjustifiable and immoral. In one of her most famous speeches, she argued that:
"It is not power that corrupts but fear. Fear of losing power corrupts those who wield it and fear of the scourge of power corrupts those who are subject to it."When in August 1979 the Third Republic was overthrown, San Suu Aung was released to popular acclaim. When in 1989 the population of Rayong Saiyan pressured for unification with Pacific Orange, San Suu Aung was one of the earliest supporters of the unificationist movement eventually becoming its leading spokesperson and figurehead. Enjoying widespread popularity particularly amongst the newly established electorates of the New Territories, San Suu Aung was nominated by the Labor Party as President in the 1992 elections. Subsequently elected to power in a landslide victory in which Labor for the first time secured control of both Houses of Parliament, San Suu Aung embarked on a comprehensive legislative program. She established the Pacific Orange National Training Authority, reviewed the Sex Discrimination Act, and developed bilateral links with Pacific Orange's neighbours, primarily Pacific Orange's largest neighbour Stalinstan. One of San Suu Aung's most far reaching legislative achievements was the introduction of a national superannuation scheme, implemented to address low national savings, an accomplishment which won her a second term as President in February 1997. Consistently voted as the top President in Pacific Orange's history, San Suu Aung stepped down from power in August 2002 following the completion of her second time in office.
Harold G. Olson Edit
Term of Office: 2002 - 2007
Political Affiliation: Pacific Orange Labor PartyAn active member of the Labor Party who stood unsuccessfully for election ot Parliament at various stages throughout the 1960's, Olson was instrumental in the refounding and reformation of the party following the nation's return to democratic rule in late 1979. It was under Olson's leadership that the Labor party repudiated its wholly socialist economic plank, modifying the party from a 'social democratic party' to that of a 'democratic socialist party'. Further aligning himself with the reformist factions of the party, Olson worked to modernise Labor's image, announcing his decision to drop Labor's previous committment to ensuring that all employees be part of a trade union. In the 1986 elections, the Labor party led by Olson enjoyed its first significant electoral success since 1963 extending its representation in the Legislative Assembly and gaining actual control of the Senate.
However events were not to be with Olson. Believing that the more popular Annette San Suu Aung presented a better candidate with which to appeal to the unificationist sentiment of the early 1990's public, the party voted almost unanimously in favour of San Suu Aung as Labor's presidential candidate. Nonethless, Olson continued to be significant figure within the Labor party and Pacific Orange as a whole - serving as Prime Minister he helped to create many of San Suu Aung's social and economic policies. A well respected and influential figure by the end of the San Suu Aung presidency, Olson successfully carried the 2002 election to at last become President of Pacific Orange after waiting for a period of over 20 years. Whilst in power, Olson has been both credited with and criticised for moving the Labor Party towards the centre of Pacific Orange politics, towards more pro-market policies and away from the more collectivist policies which the party had espoused in the past. Nevertheless the success of his economic policy cannot be doubted - Olson's tenure saw increased government spending on health and education, yet at the same time the Pacific Orange economy performed well and Olson kept his committments on not increasing income tax. After his first term as President expired, Olson decided to retire from politics altogether citing his wife's ailing health as a reason.
Abhisit Phanomyong Edit
Term of Office: Incumbent
Political Affiliation: Pacific Orange Labor Party
The election of Abhisit Phanomyong as President of Pacific Orange marks a first in the nation's history in many ways. Phanomyong's narrowest of margins of victory in the March 2007 Presidential election has been the only time in Pacific Orange politics that two recall elections have had to be held in order for a clear winner to be determined. Furthermore, as an ethnic Thai hailing from the New Territories - albeit one who was raised for the most part outside of Pacific Orange - and at the age of fourty seven, Phanomyong enjoys the status as the nation's first Thai and youngest president. Throughout the late 1980's and early 1990's, Phanomyong was a crucial figure in the unification movement pressuring key public figures to support the campaign for the admission of the New Territories into Pacific Orange statehood. In addition, the election of Phanomyong represents the first time in the nation's history that a popularly elected President has not been the head of his/her political party as the current leadership of the Pacific Orange Labor Party rests in the hands of the Prime Minister Chuan Leekpai. Thus in the eyes of many political commentators, Phanomyong's election marks the endpoint of Labor's constitutional reforms begun under San Suu Aung in a bid to prevent future Presidential dictatorships with political power returning to the Legislative Assembly.
A long term Labor party member ever since his student days in the 1970's, Phanomyong was instrumental in handling several key defections from the Thai Democrats Party during the 2000 and 2003 elections to the ruling Labor government which subsequently saw Labor extend its time in office though with a reduced majority in both cases. Nonetheless, as a reward for his contributions to the party, Phanomyong was nominated to head the Labor Party's presidential ticket in the 2007 elections. Campaigning strongly on a program of moderate reform, multicultural initiative programs and a promise to retain the state funded welfare programs challenged by the Nationalist Party, Phanomyong led the party to its fourth successive victory. Whilst the initial months of the Phanomyong presidency has been favourably recieved by the Pacific Orange public, intense speculation still remains over whether Phanomyong will be able to keep many of his campaign pledges which originally propelled him into office in the years to come.