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The Realm of Balder Balder Forum Population - 4,612 nations ~ Delegate Endorsements - 156 ~ Endorsement Cap - 15 ~ Forum Posts - 106,304 Monarchy Queen - Rach Eriksen Crown Prince - North East Somerset Statsraadet (Executive) Statsminister - OnderKelkia Minister of Foreign Affairs - Zander Cerebella Minister of Integration - Tom Vasentius Minister of War - Theoden Sebastian Minister of Culture - Gradea Storting (Legislature) Lawspeaker - Arastaoir MP - Gradea MP - Onder Kelkia MP - Theoden Sebastian MP - Tom Vasentius Election News & Future Plans In the latest round of legislative elections, three incumbent MPs were returned (Arastaoir, Theoden Sebastian and Tom Vasentius) and two new legislators were elected to the Storting (Gradea and OnderKelkia). Within the Storting, the outgoing Lawspeaker Tom Vasentius did not seek re-election. Arastaoir and Theoden Sebastian emerged as the two candidates for this position, which serves as presiding officer in legislative debates. A close contest ensued. After voting was tied, Theoden Sebastian withdrew from contention, leaving Arastaoir to be elected Lawspeaker as the remaining candidate. The process for selecting the new Statsminister went more smoothly, as OnderKelkia was elected unchallenged, following a term as Minister of Integration and after topping the polls in the Storting election. The Statsminister serves as Balder's head of government. OnderKelkia was quick to announce his cabinet and detailed plans for improving the performance of each government department. Under the new administration, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will be developing our valuable relationships with existing allies, while forging ahead with new partnerships which cement Balder's position both among fellow game-created regions and as a leader of the wider Independent sphere. The Ministry of Integration will build on the progress made with manual naturalisation telegrams during the previous term to mentor new forum members and direct them to activities which are beneficial to the region. The Ministry of War will be organising Balder-led military occupations and building up our capacity to provide significant reinforcements led by our allies. The Ministry of Culture will be working on a major event to mark the fifth anniversary of Balder's creation and maintaining growth in general forum activity. Integration Ministry Reformed The biggest institutional reform announced by the new Government thus far is the re-branding and restructuring of our Integration functions. Previously, the Balder Civil Service was administered centrally through the Ministry of Integration-Civil Service. Following an announcement by Statsminister OnderKelkia, Civil Service appointments will be directly managed by each member of the Statsraadet within their own department, while the Ministry of Integration will retain ownership of this agenda as part of its wider outreach to new and existing members. It is believed that the new system will provide greater flexibility and allow assistant ministers to become directly engaged in the actual running of their departments. The new grade of Deputy Minister was also created and the Statsminister announced Sygian Vasentius as the first Deputy Minister of Culture. Treaty News Over the last two months, Balder has seen a significant amount of new diplomatic activity. In July, we formed the GCR Sovereignty Accords with our allies in The Pacific and The West Pacific. The Accords rapidly obtained the unanimous approval of the Storting. This partnership represents an exciting opportunity expand our cooperation in good faith and enhances the security of all signatories against potential adversaries. The Realm of Balder is firmly committed to carrying forward this agenda. The Treaty of the Ancient Gods with Osiris was updated and revised in late August following talks between both parties, with new language to remove an out-dated reference to the Imperial Sovereign Realms Army. In reaffirming our alliance, Balder is glad to have renewed commitments to our fellow sinker. Back on 18th July, there was an announcement in the Gameplay forum delivered by Glen-Rhodes, The South Pacific's Minister of Foreign Affairs, that TSP was dissolving its treaty with Balder. Following this announcement, it emerged that the requisite legal approval for dissolving the treaty had not been obtained in The South Pacific when Glen-Rhodes issued his statement. It is now over 2 months since Glen-Rhodes made his announcement. Despite the passage of time, we have still yet to receive the required five-days' notice from TSP that the treaty has been dissolved in TSP's embassy on our forum, even though providing this notice is a requirement of our treaty. Statement on the Grey Wardens' Aggression against Osiris As we approach the fifth anniversary of the creation of Osiris and Balder next month, our commitment to the welfare of our sister sinker remains strong. We are therefore disturbed by recent developments. On 7th September 2016, the Pharaoh of Osiris issued a royal proclamation concerning unprovoked aggression against Osiris perpetrated by the Order of the Grey Wardens. Specifically, the Grey Wardens re-founded Islamic Republics of Iran, a territory belonging to Osiris since 2013. This action followed general threats by the Grey Wardens to engage in hostilities against regions which are prepared to undertake offensive military operations. The Realm of Balder hereby announces its full support for the retaliatory steps announced by Osiris and our opposition to the Grey Wardens. Barring exceptional circumstances, such as multi-regional anti-Nazi missions, we will not cooperate militarily with the Grey Wardens and we will not entertain any diplomatic relations with their organisation. We will also be developing and implementing security and citizenship policies to maintain the safety and integrity of Balder. The Grey Wardens seized Islamic Republics of Iran as a calculated and gratuitous insult to the sovereignty and security of Osiris. In needlessly choosing to attack Osiris, to minimal practical effect, the Grey Wardens not only gained the enmity of Osiris; they earned the enmity of the allies and friends of Osiris. We will not allow our allies to be singled out and intimidated by enemies who seek to constrain their military autonomy. Balder stands boldly and firmly with Osiris. Furthermore, by their actions, the Grey Wardens have illustrated that any assurances they offer cannot be trusted. On this occasion, they proceeded to seize Islamic Republics of Iran in spite of the High Constable of the Grey Wardens having previously implied that they represented no genuine threat in conversations with the Pharaoh of Osiris. Clearly, the Grey Wardens are willing to offer misleading impressions to preserve the political position of their members in their target regions, but in the long run they cannot help themselves from jumping on the limited number of military opportunities which arise to undermine their targets. In this context, trusting the Grey Wardens would be naive in the extreme. Any region which is willing to raid has good reason to identify the Grey Wardens as a hostile force which must be contained. Independent regions like Balder have as much reason to fear as Raider regions like Osiris. Accordingly, Balder will be consulting with our allies to develop an appropriate response to the political project represented by the Grey Wardens. Authored by Zander Cerebella and Onder Kelkia. Thank you for taking the time to read our update. We hope you enjoyed it.