(Campech, June 17th) – The Yamaz Independence Referendum Act of June 2017 has been vetoed by Prime Minister Fredrick Montclair, after intense controversy in the Parliament, where the 5 votes needed to pass the act were only cobbled together after intense debate and protests. The bill stated that an Independence referendum would be held on July 1st in Yamaz, where voters would be given 3 options. These options would be “Remain a province of Terwen”, “Become an autonomous province of Terwen”, and “Become an independent nation separate from Terwen”. The bill was introduced on June 5th, only 2 months after the Yamaz Independence Referendum Act of April 2017 failed to pass the Parliament.
The Yamaz Province of Terwen has historically had a major independence movement due to its 90% Native Terwanian population. During Terwen’s original colonization, the native Terwanians were pushed into the Serion Desert south of the main fertile region of Terwen. When Terwen originally became independent in 1809, Native Terwanians were banned from travelling north of the Sevier Line, named after Prime Minister Martin Sevier who ordered the ban.
The Sevier Line created the Yamaz Native Terwanian Territory, which was the only area where natives were permitted to permanently live, and it also caused the famed “Wall of Racism” to be built along the Sevier Line that made it very difficult for Native Terwanians to travel north of the line. The drought of 1821 caused an estimated 250,000 Native Terwanians to die due to lack of fertile land available. In 1847, during the Terwanian Social Reform period (1845- 1857), the Sevier Line was deemed unconstitutional by the Terwanian Supreme Court, and natives were permitted to travel or reside anywhere in Terwen. However, the Native Terwanian population was heavily segregated from the rest of the population. An estimated 700,000 natives were kidnapped into slavery and served at plantations with no rights or freedoms. In 1896, after the controversial election of 1895, where the new Prime Minister’s Vice Minister was assassinated,
Prime Minister Austin Del Rio ordered slavery to become illegal, and while several separatist movements arose, no provinces suceeded or refused to obey the law.
For the next 37 years, the Natives and the rest of the population coexisted, albeit segregated, and nothing major happened. Then, the Communist Revolution of 1932 happened. The democratic government was overthrown, and communists established strict control over the country. During the communist rule, Supreme Leader Joseph Sabinas authorized the Native Extermination Project, where the military blockaded any natives from leaving the Yamaz Native Territory, and strategically stopped all food and supply shipments. During the communist rule, an estimated 2.3 million Native Terwanians died.
In 1941, the communist government was overthrown, and a democratic government was installed similar to the old government. The new government, under the legendary Prime Minister Salinez Askof immediately ceased the Native Extermination Project, and additionally passed legislation to end Native segregation, and let the Yamaz Native Territory become a province.
Since then, the Yamaz Province has several times asked for independence or autonomy, but has never had enough support to hold an independence referendum until 2007, when an independence referendum was held, and the majority of votes ended up being “Remain a province of Terwen”, at 56%. Over the next 9 years, polling results from major news outlets showed that the percent of people wanting independence stayed steady at about 60%. The main reason for only a 60% majority wanting independence was due to the rising tensions and eventual civil war in Takaria, where many feared that insurgents in Takaria could invade Yamaz if the Terwanian military was not present to protect Yamaz.
However, when the Takarian civil war ended in late 2016, the amount of people wanting independence in Yamaz jumped to 85%. For the past several months, 3 bills had been introduced for an independence referendum, but the first two times the bill failed to pass the Parliment, and even when the newest one successfully passed Parliment, the Prime Minister, who had voiced his fierce opposition to Yamaz independence, vetoed the bill, and Parliment was unable to gather the 7 out of 9 votes needed to overturn the veto.
Yamaz Governor Sardek Kuiaso expressed his deep disappointment for the prime minister’s veto in a press conference today, stating, “The Prime Minister’s refusal to support the independence referendum shows the continuing injustice against the Native Terwanian people and the over cautiousness of the Parliment. I hope that eventually, we will be able to hold an independence referendum so that the Yamaz people have a chance to speak for themselves.”
It is currently unknown when the next independence referendum act will be introduced in the Terwanian Parliment or House of Representatives, but inside sources have clued to the Yamaz Governer considering authorizing a referendum himself without the federal government’s consent.