NIMBUS III — Federation President-elect Narala has left her home planet of Nimbus III this morning, en route to her inauguration on Earth. In keeping with the tradition observed by many of her predecessors, she will undertake an informal tour of Federation member planets during the trip.
The day of her departure began early; by 0300h local time, a crowd of well-wishers had formed outside the passenger terminal at Memorial Spaceport in the Nimbian capital of Paradise City. Security personnel had cordoned off nearly all public entrances to the spaceport in preparation for the President-elect’s arrival. Narala was spotted at just after 0415h, exiting a hovercar on the far end of the terminal. Shortly after, she made a brief statement to those who had come to see her off.
“Nimbus III is an inextricable part of me. This planet and its people have influenced for the better the course of my life,” she said. “This job will not be easy, but I am confident that Nimbian values, those of truth, of justice, and of unity, will sustain me on even the most taxing of days… [A]nd when the job I have been elected to do is complete, I will come home to Nimbus. To you.”
A shuttlecraft carrying the President-elect departed the spaceport at 0457h, and minutes later docked aboard the Norway class USS Budapest, which will deliver her to the inauguration ceremony on Earth upon completion of a brief tour of the Federation.
Narala is expected to make stops on Sauria, Bolarus, and Benzar, before visiting the Federation’s charter members: Tellar, Vulcan, Andoria, Alpha Centauri, and finally, Earth.
Tour of Tradition
The pre-inauguration tour as a presidential tradition can be traced back to the 2230s, when Trill candidate Madza Bral was unexpectedly elected Federation President over the Andoran incumbent. Julia Burnside, professor of Federation History at the University of New Orleans, describes the modest origins of the tradition: “The nature of interstellar travel at the time was such that the journey from Trill to Earth required multiple resupply stopovers, and the voyage had very little of the ceremony and formalities we see today.”
The succession of human presidents in the mid-23rd century rendered such lengthy travel arrangements unnecessary, and President-elect Bral’s initial voyage failed to set a precedent. A more ceremonial incarnation of the tour was first undertaken by the Efrosian President-elect Ra-Ghoratreii in 2289, during which he visited Vulcan and Tellar while en route from Efros Delta to Earth.
“By the 2360s, the tradition of a pre-inauguration tour was well established,” said Professor Burnside, “and involved the home planet of the President-elect, the five charter Federation planets, and a few others that may be along the chosen route.”
Since the turn of the century, every President-elect has undertaken the tour, with one exception.
“Jaresh-Inyo refused to participate in the tradition,” said Professor Burnside, “and some historians believe this inauspicious start to his presidency precipitated the somewhat lackluster course his administration later took.”
Outgoing President Nan Bacco fondly recalled her journey from Cestus III to Earth on the eve of her first inauguration, which included stopovers on Risa, Xyrillia, and Terra Nova. Speaking in the gardens of the Palais de la Concorde, she remarked, “It was a unique opportunity to connect with the people I had been elected to serve, and mentally prepare myself for the challenges to come.”
While on her own tour, Narala is expected to observe the finals of a youth Kal-toh tournament on Vulcan, and be presented with a specially distilled variant of Saurian brandy that will bear her name.
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