1st New Zealand Dictatorship
The 1st New Zealand Dictatorship was a regime that was imposed upon New Zealand in early 2015 after a period of relative decline and stagnation in the nation. It retained a hold on the country for nearly 6 months till it was overthrown in the 2015 New Zealand Democratic Revolution.
eRepublik introduced a new feature Dictatorship in order to add a new dynamic to the game. In New Zealand this feature was not utilized right away but it did allow minor groups, with control of a military unit, to take control of a nation by launching an attempted coup. Thanks to a strong control by the eNZ gov't, the MU were carefully controlled and this ensured that nothing caused a disruption to the regime.
Background-Threats & Stagnation
However, by March of 2015, with the coming to the end of Koska de STRAH, it was noted by veteran player Ronell that an insurgent group was planning to use the new dictatorship option to launch a coup and install a dictatorship. This raised fear among many established members that their hard work would go to waste and that a foreign power would take control of their small nation. It was noted that Australia had also warned eNZ of the looming threat which resulted in strong consideration to address the matter.
On top of the external threat that had presented itself, gov't in eNZ had begun to become dysfunctional. Reduced to between one and two regions, the Congress did not properly function, even when parties like the Ujedinjenje ili smrt (UIS) and Socialist Party of New Zealand (SPNZ) held a majority. Treaties were unable to pass, MPP's failed to be passed in a timely manner and insurgent parties like the Black Party of New Zealand (BPNZ) used their representatives to attempt to increase the flow of new citizens. Koska, who served as Prime Minister for 4 months, sought to alleviate and reform the nation but it failed as his side became complacent while other allies like the Maori Party and Peace 'n' Prosperity Party both had entered a state of neutrality and refused to partake in the regime.
It was in these circumstances that the leading figures of the government, Koska, Ronell, Shone bate and cobie63 agreed to establish a NZ Dictatorship. Former Prime Minister DaRkO 206 and Kurojca also supported the idea. It was felt that this new regime would ensure stability, allow gov't to function in a more proper manner and prevent a takeover of eNZ. Thus in March, the takeover was launched by the Srpski Korpus which had the outside support of a majority of the NZ Army and the takeover came into being.
First Phase - Consolidation
Initially it was agreed that Koska would assume the Dictatorship, due to the widespread support for him and that the elections which followed for Prime Minister would be accepted as the legitimate regime. The idea was for the Dictator to merely facilitate the decisions of the elected leadership of NZ. It helped to allow for some democratic regime while at the same time eliminating the weaknesses of the old democratic order.
Under the new regime order and a semblance of stability was restored to NZ. Under the close gaze of Koska changes were implemented such as the expansion of MU's (although due to the support for the Dictatorship, any threat to it was minor), the signing of rental agreements with Chile, Peru and Australia for its regions with the understanding that one would remain for elections. Similarly NZ soon developed a reputation for mercenary MU's, many of whom understanding their home country was stable, simply became hired guns for the other nations of the New World.
Domestically, the regime was stable as the UIS and SPNZ both offered solid support to it and ensured that their candidates for CP supported the idea of the Dictatorship. They further benefited from a split in the largest opposition party, the PnPP, as the majority opposed the regime but a vocal minority (led by Ronell) supported it. The Maori Party took a neutral position to it, mostly because its membership had since departed NZ but it, like the PnPP, did not support it as a permanent feature. With majority support in the UIS and SPNZ, domestic issues were dealt with efficiently and ensured that any trouble was prevented from growing into a real issue.
BLACK HAND Insurgency
One area that did require attention was the rising numbers of citizens affiliated with the BLACK HAND MU and their political vehicle, the BPNZ. The regime did not let this go unnoticed and while they had not sought to oppose it openly, a major factor in imposing the dictatorship was to prevent new figures from coming into the country and swarming it with numbers. Historically, the BPNZ had operated in NZ and its citizens had a sought a home free from the intrigues of Serbian politics. NZ offered that but their refusal to join the UIS or SPNZ and creation of a party still made them a unit to be looked at with suspicion (even excluding the fact they had held the Prime Ministership 1x).
Ensuring that the BLACK HAND was kept onside with the new regime took a great deal of diplomatic effort by the Dictators, especially Koska and his successor Kurojca, both of whom ensured participation in the new regime by their members to avoid confrontation and potentially giving the Angry Angels a vital MU ally to challenge the regime (if they ever sought too). This policy worked and the further successor Djeza helped to keep the BLACK HAND complacent and unwilling to risk a overthrow.
Second Phase - Rupture
By the time Kawala023 became Dictator on June 29 2015, the regime appeared to be stable and virtually impossible to remove. Politically it now had the backing of the UIS, SPNZ, BPNZ and eventually the Maori agreed to support it. Militarily it had the three strongest MU's (Srpski Korpus, BLACK HAND, NZ Army) all supporting it. It faced only minimal opposition from a splintered and stagnant PnPP. It had oversaw the holding of multiple training battles with Peru, Chile and Australia, which benefited its citizens for military exposure and economically it had imposed tariffs on all outside goods, making it impossible for anyone outside of the Kiwi market to trade with it.
Yet stagnation had taken hold. The number of active citizens (as seen in Presidential election participation) dropped to around 50 and the overall population fell to 130-140. NZ had entered a period of active decline and many of its most promising and some of its most active simply quiet the game and sought to join other nations. Attempts to reverse this, with the election of Crusadercarl failed as limited gains took place and the regime did not allow much to alter for fear of allowing a new takeover.
Return of Oboacer
The first major challenge/break to the regime came with the return of a veteran player Oboacer, who came back to the game after a three year period. Initially his return was greeted with fanfare and words of encouragement but soon his return set in motion of chain of events that led to the eventual end of the regime.
Obo quickly rejoined the PnPP and within days had been re-appointed to its leadership. He then helped rally the party and grow its membership from 11 to 20 in just days. At the heart of his new appeal was an end to the dictatorship and a return to democracy. He benefited from the fact that remaining members had been those opposed to regime and therefore easily unified them. His recruitment drive was also successfully in effectively eliminating the Love and Peace party, in reducing BPNZ to single-digits and pushing the PnPP into the top-three.
While Kawala023 term ended his successor, DOBRSbanovia, proved mostly aloof to the growing disengagement of the citizens and the growing support for an end to the regime. When the vast majority of Maori Party members jumped to the PnPP, the party quickly sought to harness this group. Similarly, the Deathwatch Guard was reactivated and became the first active hitting MU to openly oppose the regime. It was joined later by the Angry Angels and JW AGAT PARTY who both saw the regime as being stagnant and closed. Oboacer, critically called for democracy in countless posts and successfully began to win support from within the UIS and the BPNZ to finally restore NZ.
With little direction from the Dictator, it became apparent that change was coming
The event which served as the catalyst for the regimes fall was the failure in August to organize a region for elections. First Spain stepped in and took regions without gov't consent ( it later payed for rent) and then it was thrown out after its engagements with Chile and Peru led them to fully invade eNZ. When the regime failed to prevent this, many citizens finally said enough.
A further disruption had taken place earlier when Oliver Q had run as the JW AGAT PARTY candidate for President with PnPP backing and secured the support of the UIS. His victory, marked a final confirmation that even the UIS had seen that the regime needed to open up. After the region mixup, Oliver squarely made it clear the regime had failed and the Dictator had done little to aid his aims (the UIS even agreed a more active figure was needed).
Finally after the entire mess up, Kawla023 returned as Dictator but his regime proved just as incapable to stopping the collapse and more pressure grew to end the regime. Although a UIS candidate was elected President in September, it was not widely popular and the candidate had proven to be half interested in running the nation. Similarly, the invasion by Romania and the failure of the Dictatorship to even secure one region resulted in the final break for many.
On September 12, only days before new party Presidents were elected, Kawala023 resigned as Dictator and Koska De STRAH returned. It had been rumored of his retirement but this change confirmed that to be false. Just as quickly a rebellion broke out on September 14, launched by KrMa, the Angels and the Deathwatch Guard to end the dictatorship and restore democracy. Many in the BPNZ supported the revolution along with a minority of the UIS and SPNZ. Only a day later, having limited support, the Dictatorship came to a end and democracy was proclaimed (2015 New Zealand Democratic Revolution).
The NZ Dictatorship operated within the confines of the eRepublik game mechanics. They did not impose their authority upon the citizens but sought to retain some form of government that included all the different groups within NZ. It was a calculated move that had been intentionally designed to ensure a little disruption took place to NZ as possible.
The regime operated with the following characteristics and positions
This position was at the top of the regime and held all the power. Whoever held the position had the ability to pass whatever laws they saw fit, declare war, initiate mutual protection pacts and pass any budget that was seen fit. It was at the peak of the regime and the final source of authority. However, under the NZ Dictatorship it merely sought to pass those laws approved by the Cabinet which still existed and operated. The position was largely designed to ensure that decisions were made in a quick and easy process. It also ensured that NZ avoided the civil wars which plagued other nations as the strongest military units backed the Dictatorship.
Country President & Cabinet
The position of Country President and the Cabinet still existed. Elections were held but they remained meaningless as final authority rested with the Dictator. However, the position was held by the more politically active members of NZ and it allowed citizens from different segments of society to take part in the regime. It also provided a veneer of democracy as the Dictator typically followed the advice of Cabinet and the Country President. Reserving the use of its authority only when it was deemed in the nations best interests.
Like the Country President, the Congress lost its full authority with the imposition of the Dictatorship. Elections still took place and candidates took office but they were not awarded gold and had no authority to pass laws or protection pacts. As was the case during this time period, the regimes supporting parties (UIS, SPNZ, BPNZ) typically won a majority, ensuring any opposition was muted in the still recognized Congress.
Due to the small population of NZ, the Dictatorship adopted the policy of "renting regions" and it effectively sought to merely hold control over one of the 4 original regions. Nations like Australia, Peru and Chile all signed rental agreements with the regime in order to widen their population. These agreements allowed for resistance wars and constant combat between the two sides to ensure their citizens gained military experience. It became a hallmark of the Dictatorship policy that NZ only one region at any time and rented the rest.
This system operated without interruption and effectively a small cable of figures within NZ ran the country. Due to the lack of democracy few citizens had the ability to influence the incumbent regime. This led to the growth of stagnation in the nation, many citizens simply left the country while others accepted that little change would come under the circumstances. At the same
- Koska De STRAH (Ujedinjenje ili smrt) (March 01, 2015 - April 29, 2015)
- Kurojca (Ujedinjenje ili smrt) (April 29, 2015 - May 30, 2015)
- Djeza (Ujedinjenje ili smrt) (May 30, 2015 - June 29, 2015)
- Kawala023 (Ujedinjenje ili smrt) (June 29, 2015 - July 29, 2015)
- DOBRSbanovani (Ujedinjenje ili smrt) (July 29, 2015 - August 29, 2015)
- Kawala023 (Ujedinjenje ili smrt) (August 29, 2015 - September 12, 2015)
- Koska De STRAH (Ujedinjenje ili smrt) (September 12, 2015 - September 15, 2015)
The NZ Dictatorship had broad support when it was first imposed upon the nation but it managed to draw its support from a specific segment of the political and military sectors of the country. In this case, the Serbian Kiwi community and a segment of the English speaking. The Slovenian and a larger segment of the English speaking did not support the regime.
Political Party Supporters
Military Unit Supporters
It should also be noted that a segment of the New Zealand Defence Forces also supported the Dictatorship which caused division among its ranks. The Serbian members supported the regime as did some English speaking elements but there was a large segment which did not support the creation of the regime.
The Dictatorship was not universally supported in NZ and a significant minority did not support the new regime. It was made up of members of the English speaking community and the remaining figures from the Slovenian community. These two groups did not support the takeover but a segment of the English Speaking community did, thereby dividing it and preventing a uniformed opposition from taking shape.
While the Maori Party was openly opposed to the regime, the PnPP membership was split on its attitude towards it. This prevented the leadership from actively taking a stance against it and some of its most veteran membership actively supported its imposition. The failure by the PnPP to take a direct stance was one of the biggest faults within the opposition and prevented a coherent response from being developed. It undermined many citizens faith in the alternative and only further solidified the regime.