EARTH — Ambassador Lily Ventu formally announced her candidacy today for the Presidency of the United Federation of Planets, becoming the first official challenger to incumbent Nan Bacco.
Ambassador Ventu made her announcement earlier this morning from the bridge of the hospital ship Britannia.“I am announcing today my candidacy for the Presidency of the United Federation of Planets,” she said, standing in front of her partner and the Britannia’s commanding officer Fleet Captain Hayden Reynolds.
“The Presidency is the most powerful office in the great republics of the Alpha and Beta Quadrants. Its great mantle provides the ability to provide for the many and varied citizens of the Federation and its allies. The years that immediately follow will involve many vital decisions for our citizens, including our response to the incursions and aggressive motions made by the Klingon Empire—to new alliances and old partnerships between ourselves, new neighbors, and the beneficiaries of renewed commitments—and to the role of the Starfleet and all our other wings of exploration as we push beyond known space.”
“Our preparation for the twenty-fifth century forces the people of the great Federation to choose its direction in a new century. I urge them to choose carefully. In my many years of service as a Starfleet officer and as a Federation ambassador, I have encountered policies that embrace a desire for war, that would seek to minimize exploration and peace, that would turn us from our peaceful, prosperous life and the destiny that we have made for ourselves throughout the Federation’s long life. I intend to ensure the prosperity and perseverance of our citizens, and it is upon this foundation that I wish to become your president.”
Many on Earth know Ambassador Ventu for her narrow defeat by Malcolm von Tesch in the 2389 special election to succeeded deceased Federation Councilor Kasumi Shakaturi. In the time since, the Ambassador has returned to the Diplomatic Corps, being assigned to the Menthar Corridor and the surrounding area and neighboring powers. A recipient of the Campbell Award and the Cochrane Medal of Honor, Ambassador Ventu was formerly a noted Starfleet psychologist and commander of Starbase 118, before resigning her commission to play a key part in the development of the Thracian Alliance. Her career since then, baring her defeat in the 2389 election, has been impressive, and she has handled more than 30 first contact situations.
With her extensive career both in Starfleet and the Diplomatic Corps, Ambassador Ventu is seen as a natural candidate with broad experience in many fields, but not all reactions are supportive.
A Natural Choice?
“I mean who is she really? A psychologist turned failed Starfleet Captain and Ambassador to nowhere? I cannot believe Ambassador Ventu thinks she has a chance of winning this election,” said Mara Kell, former junior Councilor from Betazed.
Others who knew the Ambassador, however, were quick to defend her candidacy.
“I served with Ambassador Ventu back when she was a Commander in Starfleet,” said Lt. Cmdr. Lara Godolphin, an instructor at Starfleet Academy. “She was a fine officer and has made an equally fine, if not better, diplomat. She’s a natural peacemaker and a compassionate woman who has experience in all major areas. She’s got foreign policy experience, military credentials and is a decorated scientist. She wants to bring the Federation back on course for a shining new century. She has my support, and I’m sure much of the fleet as well.”
FNS contributor Maronida Shiir found the Ambassador’s timing of her announcement, in the midst of the current Transport Union strike crisis, questionable.
“While I supported Ambassador Ventu in her quest to become Earth’s junior Councilor, I think she’s jumped the gun by declaring her candidacy,” remarked the veteran Parisian journalist. “I mean, must I remind everyone that the most important prospective candidate, the incumbent President herself, has not yet declared one way or another? We should hold all speculation of other candidates until President Bacco announces her decision to run again or not.”
Given her considerable experience, no one seems to doubt that Ambassador Ventu is somewhat qualified to be President, but it begs the question of just how much of a viable candidate she is. She has attracted only minor buzz since her electoral defeat three years ago, but her natural ability and popular platform made her defeat an electoral upset. Should President Bacco not run, Ambassador Ventu would be the popular candidate for those in the Federation who call themselves ‘idealists’, committed to the virtues upon which the Federation was founded and continuing to push them as the next century inches closer and closer.
Her previous endorsements by popular columnist Maronida Shiir and various retired Starfleet officials and civilian leaders were strong pushes in her campaign three years ago, but it is unknown if these will earn her the same respect on a Federation-wide scale. Regardless, should President Bacco not run, Ambassador Ventu’s early announcement will certainly help her in the long run as she will have several weeks ahead of every other candidate and will have the limelight all to herself. Perhaps this is all the time Ambassador Ventu will need in preparation for the most intensive part of the campaign.
Reporting for the Federation News Service from the FNS Paris Bureau.
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