After nearly two years of suppression, the People’s Reactionary Party will finally be allowed to register Yurtyzstani members and field candidates in the March parliamentary election.
The Provisional Government voted 4-2 to add the People’s Reactionary Party to a list of legally registered political parties yesterday as it planned for the March 1 elections. This represents the first time that the organisation has been allowed to legally exist; it was founded in June 2011 by Felix Yurtzhinsky but never officially recognised.
Its founding and the subsequent Workers’ Party crackdown marked the height of popular discontent with the rule of Supreme Potentate Yurt Kyong-yon, then J.J. Hakimoto, in the wake of the devastating Yurtyzstan-Longhouse War. The PRP attracted many Yurtyzstanis angered by Hakimoto’s refusal to acknowledge the failure of Yurtyzstan’s command economy and to scale back military aggression against civilians. (Hakimoto had been carrying out a campaign of terror directed at black markets and counter-revolutionaries since May 1, the date of the fall of Algonquin Town.) However, support for communism remained fairly high, and the Workers’ Party had no intention of relinquishing its grip on power; on June 13, 2011, Yurtzhinsky was convicted of multiple grave crimes in a show trial, stripped of all titles and decorations, and banished to house arrest within the Gulyang counter-revolutionary control zone. Fearing further reprisals, Yurtzhinsky fled with a contingent of PRP members to the East Longhouse Kingdom.
The PRP was then assimilated into the organisational structure of the Anti-Yurtyzstan Front, of which Felix Yurtzhinsky was (and still is) the Supreme Commander. It continued to operate, albeit feebly, spreading pro-capitalist flyers and encouraging Yurtyzstanis to defect. The fall of 2011 saw a drastic decline in the group’s popularity; J.J. Hakimoto encouraged border-crossers to remain home and cooperate with the government in August, followed by a state-led construction drive and accession to the Nemkhav Federation in September. With the end of Hakimoto’s emergency powers, the nation’s first multi-party election was held in December 2011; the PRP was barred from participating, and Hakimoto swept the election. The PRP remained a banned organisation in the May 2012 elections, which saw another victory for the socialists, though by a slimmer margin.
The lifting of the ban represents one of the many dramatic political changes in the wake of the July 2012 government collapse; the reunification and Provisional Government period has also seen a rise in support for privatisation of industry, the redivision of the Longhouse region, and a flourishing of small startup enterprises.