Aenderian Presydent Russell Gilzem was cleared of electoral fraud by the Speaker of the House yesterday following a contentious proceeding that at one point devolved into mistrial.
The Speaker was accused by counsel for the Presydent Joshua Mullins of being biased against Presydent Gilzem, and at one point requested a mistrial, though backed down apparently on the request of his client.
Following the conclusion of the proceedings, Gilzem was at first restored to office, a move opposed by Vice Presydent and former Acting Presydent Horatio Eden, who insisted that under the terms of the law that made him Acting Presydent in the first place, the decision to restore Gilzem to office had to be taken by the Aenderian Lawmaking Council, the Aenderian legislature – the vote has not yet been proposed. The Speaker later acknowledged that he had acted beyond his authority, and the ALC made it clear that Vice Presydent Eden was still Presydent in an acting capacity.
The original case revolved around the 2018 Vice Presydential election in Aenderia, whereupon accusations were made that the Presydent was intending to perform electoral fraud – and, further, that if he were impeached either by the results of the trial or by the ALC under the direction of Conservative Vice Presydent Eden, he would attempt a coup d’etat. Neither accusation stuck during the proceedings.
In related news, Gilzem appointed his former counsel, Joshua Mullins, to the post of Attorney General of Aenderia. No law creating either the post of Attorney General or a department of justice has been approved by the legislature. Following the ALC asserting Eden’s continued Presydency, Eden announced he would uphold his predecessor’s appointment, naming Mullins to the position of Acting Attorney General.
CLARIFICATION: This article was updated at 13:12 BST to carry new information from the ALC pertaining to Eden’s continued presidency.