From:bortaS
To:*Cardassian-Union and *Galactic-Enquirer
Stardate:20030122.2154
Subject:Haradar Vedak Released - Address to the Union

The ankh-shaped seal of the Cardassian Union appears on the screen against a background of sable. It lingers for a beat or two, and then fades into that of the Detapa Council, the ruling civilian body of the nation. It too lingers, only to dissolve to a scene: a podium, arranged before what is obviously a press conference. A male Cardassian, tall and possessing a certain feminine grace steps before the microphones. As he speaks, his voice is calm, almost lilting, yet possessing a certain aspect that lends itself to authority of command. Most Cardassians would instantly recognize him as Haradar Vedak.

"Friends of the galaxy, citizens of the Cardassian Union, and leaders of those that would seek to detach themselves from the Union; the events of the past several weeks have been tragic, an unforeseen event that many might have predicted possible but never truly believe would have occured. It was a grievous mistake of undeniably grand proportions, and one that must not be allowed to happen again. The Detapa Council has been restored to its previous status as ruling body of the Union. Rest assured that myself and the rest of your Council representatives, despite the rather violent overthrow of the government, are no worse for wear aside from minor injuries. Many of the other council members are still being interviewed by the Obsidian Order, but are expected to be released soon.

"I have been informed by agents of the Order that it is indeed true that unbeknownst to him, Gulida Tulant was subject to the influence of certain rogue elements within his command structure, possibly deep-cover agents of Starfleet seeking retribution for the unfortunate and unsanctioned acts of terrorism committed upon them just months ago by one of our own citizens, Sekara Tolsed, a matter which the Union dealt with internally with profuse apologies to the Federation. Though the suspected parties are still being screened by the Order, it is citing the rapidity of the Federation's fleet response to the cries of Pelag-Pelag as further evidence that the destabilization of the Union was possibly not only expected, but planned. We all eagerly await the results of the investigation."

The Haradar pauses for a breath, as though preparing himself for a statement that, though it must be said, saddens him to make.

"While in the care and protection of the Obsidian Order, the Detapa Council convened an emergency meeting, reflecting on these recent events and how they came to pass. The power of our Madrasad is awesome; there's little doubt of that, and our citizens are thankful of that power when times of crisis arise. However, the potential for that power to be abused by one man, or others through him is too great; as has been demonstrated by this unfortunate turn of events, allowing the Madrasad to remain the sole source of military power without any form of checks and balances is a potentially devastating folley.

"For centuries, there has been an official mandate, established by the Central Command of the Madrasad and until now upheld through the civilian government, preventing the Obisidian Order from maintaining military assets of its own. In view of these past weeks, the Detapa Council has ruled to lift this mandate, and allow the Obsidian Order the freedom to assemble and maintain its own fleet of warships with the intent to wield it against any such future acts of aggression by the Madrasad and its leaders against the government of the Cardassian Union. Also is the Order's responsibility to Madradad Central Command severed, officially rendering it answerable only to the civilian government. In return for this appeal, the Obsidian Order freely waives the command authority over Central Command granted to it by Gulida Tulant.

"Governor Velant, your cries demanding Gulida Tulant's retirement from the Madrasad have not fallen upon deaf ears. Many hours were spent deliberating this issue alone, and upon reflection of these events, the civilian government is prepared to go one step further: a unanimous vote has been cast in favor of a public poll for the potential dissolution of the position of Gulida, rendering his authority to the combined admiralty of Central Command itself, which is ultimately answerable to the civilian government and the Detapa Council. Let the people of the Union decide whether one man alone should be allowed to control the power of the Madrasad.

"And the final issue is one of Detapa Council itself. One month from now, open elections will be held to replace the representatives of all member worlds, including the office of Haradar. We feel that for the betterment of the Union, if our administration causes such unrest, we be replaced with new leaders of our peoples' choosing, such that a fresh perspective on the future of Cardassia can be had. Glory to Cardassia, my friends."

Fade to black.