Group Special Envoy for the Lauchenoirian Conflict, and de facto Guarantor of the Haven Accords, Ambassador Robert Smyth yesterday moved to dispel talk that the Matriarchy of Kerlile was planning to interfere in the Aelurian Independence Referendum. Speaking to reporters outside of his temporary office in Buttercity, Smyth called the concerns “well-intentioned, but not well-founded”.
While the fears of interference had always been a silent undercurrent, new Laeralian President Liu Mei-han poured accelerant on the talk, when she expressed concern over the weekend over the possibility of Kerlilian subversive behaviour. Liu, who supports Aeluria remaining a part of Lauchenoiria, also expressed her hope that the referendum would be “free and fair”. She is the most high-profile person to date to suggest the referendum process in Aeluria is at risk.
In response, former Sanctarian Deputy Prime Minister Smyth told reporters that “as guarantors of the referendum, Sanctaria is doing everything in her power to ensure no illicit and criminal interference occurs. Ballots are being protected, both pre- and post-vote, by skilled members of the Sanctarian Defense Forces, there will be independent Sanctarian observers in every polling station, and I personally will be certifying the results. If there’s even a hint of conspiracy, the results will be voided.”
Smyth, internationally respected after his time as Secretary-General of the Council of IDU States, said that “President Liu is well intentioned, and it’s good to hear that she has the interests of the security of the IDU at heart. I know people have these concerns, and I know Lauchenoirians have these concerns. They are well-intentioned, but not well-founded – I will not allow an referendum I believe to be tainted to be validated. And I’m confident in the processes we have in place here.”
Some Sanctarian election observers, including members of parliament, were most recently in Laeral to observe the recent general election processes there. Independent, foreign election observers are common in elections across the IDU thanks to a well-established diplomatic network, as well as an underlying regional commitment to diplomacy.
The referendum on Aelurian independence takes place on Sunday, 03 March.