Aurora, Roseney --- The perpetual crisis of the Monica Nucci government has continued just a day after more defections rocked the Democratic-Liberal majority to its core. Protests have continued for the second week in the street of Aurora as popularity for the Premier and her party continue to plummet, and have only grown tenfold when the Labor Ministry released its monthly job report. According to this report, the unemployment rate jumped from 5.3% last month to today's 6.5%, the highest number in almost two decades. The report states that "At the current rate, if the trend of losing jobs continues, Roseney will be in the midst of a recession by the end of the year." Although the natural gas and oil industries have been hit hard by regulations, and increasing taxes, the greatest area of unemployment comes from mass retail and big box stores, which have been closing en mass since the end of last year. The Minister of Labor, Liberal Assemblyman Charles Lewis, said that retail has been collapsing since 2019, when fast shipping websites began to offer services to Roseney. Several retail chains have completely dissolved in the last ten years, but the collapse of Commonwealth Market, the largest chain of retail big box stores on the island, has hit the country hard. Of the thirty-seven stores open in the country last year, half have closed since then. Yesterday, the remaining fifteen announced that they were closing, sparking much of this increase.
Although Nucci has suggested that this decline was long in the making, voters so far have no sympathy for her or the government. Approval ratings continue to crash, and support for the Conservative Party under Harriet Alvaredo continues to rise. In a new series of ads launched this morning, Alvaredo is promising a bright future for the island, dominated by small business, family values, and a nation secure from a disastrous future under Nucci's Democratic Party. When Nucci made the announcement early this morning of the snap-election, she also announced that she would be standing for re-election in her district, and that she will continue as Leader of the Democratic Party. The Democratic Socialist Caucus and even moderate Democrats have meanwhile called for her stepping down. In a poll taken earlier today, Nucci's personal approval ratings are even lower than her party's, and Democratic Socialist Chairman and Democratic Assemblyman Patrick O'Donnell is being spoken of as a possible challenger to the embattled Premier. Although no official challenge has been lodged, the Democratic Party Conference from July 7 to July 9 will be expected to be exciting as the increasingly divided party faces likely defeat in August. As Roseneyan's ask how this crisis spiraled out of control, it is also necessary to look at what happened over the last few days.
Two days ago, when Liberal Assemblyman Jeet Ashtekar announced his abandonment of the Democratic-Liberal coalition in favor of the Liberal Conservative Party, this ruling coalition was thrown into crisis. One more defection would force a vote of no confidence and a political crisis the likes of which no political party had seen in decades. Political leaders in all parties held discreet meetings all across Aurora to discuss the crisis, and protests continued to grow like wildfire. Approximately 10,000 people marched through the heart of Aurora last night, demanding Nucci's resignation or the call of a snap-election. The crisis only worsened when former Premiers Robert Yao and Jennifer McCoy both were reported to support changing the Democratic Party leadership and getting rid of Nucci. McCoy, who still has a lot of popularity within the party and was last in office twelve years ago has been named another possible contender for the Democratic leadership, mostly as someone to guide the party to defeat as a shepherd guiding the sheep to slaughter. The possibility of a snap-election has been mentioned for months, but only intensified in the last few days. Although the next election was slated for August 2034 as constitutionally mandated as every election must take place at most five years since the last, many would not be able to tolerate this government lasting for another three years. Between now and August 7, anything can happen, although it is very likely that Monica Nucci will not be Premier after this election simply based on the odds, and her even making it to the election through a leadership challenge is even increasingly slim.