PARIS, EARTH – On the penultimate evening of her extraordinary thirteen-year term, outgoing President Nanietta Bacco delivered her farewell address to the Federation.
Speaking from her office on the fifteenth floor of the Palais de la Concorde, Bacco began by reflecting on a 500-year-old quote by Earth leader Red Cloud: “My sun is set. My day is done. Darkness is stealing over me. Before I lie down to rise no more, I will speak to my people.”
“While these words seem most fitting for someone approaching an end,” Bacco said, “I actually had them in mind thirteen years ago when we first began this journey together.”
Elaborating, she continued: “The office of President is timeless; its officeholders are not. Knowing from the outset that my time as President was finite, and that someday I, like all my predecessors in this office, would ‘lie down to rise no more,’ I made it my goal to seize every opportunity to speak to you, the people.”
Having campaigned on a platform of transparency and consultative decision making, President Bacco’s policy of regular and substantial two-way dialogue between citizens and the Federation government has been a defining aspect of her tenure. She has often been quoted as saying she presided over “not just a Federation, but a conversation.”
Much of Bacco’s address was devoted to the major events that had taken place in the Federation since she took office in late 2379, and the words that evoke their memory.
“When I began my work as your President, our Federation was still rebuilding after the devastating war with the Dominion. The conclusion of the post-war trials gave us a sense of closure, but the Battle of Bassen Rift proved that peace is not simply born out of a peace treaty. It must be something to which we actively and ceaselessly aspire.”
Bacco also touched upon the great advancements in culture and technology that occurred during her term.
“Our scientists helped to restore the Cardassian homeworld to the verdant and sustainably fertile planet it once was. Our intelligence experts extinguished one of the galaxy’s most insidious criminal organizations. Our engineers brought the focus of our Starfleet back to exploration and discovery, forever changing the way we travel through space in the process. Our diplomats have worked to heal centuries-long gulfs between peoples, and our Federation family has grown to include new members such as Bajor and Hova M’u.”
Despite her long list of achievements as president, however, many will remember her term as one marred by political instability and turbulence unheard of in modern times. Relations with Cardassia and Romulus had warmed somewhat by the early 2380s, but interstellar conflicts with the Gorn and the Vaadwaur prevented the Federation from experiencing true post-war prosperity for any appreciable period.
Only months after the Vaadwaur threat passed came the destruction of Romulus, further upsetting the delicate balance of power in the quadrant. The following year, a hijacked Galaxy-class starship was involved in the destruction of the Betazoid city of Ohmallera, which resulted in the deaths of 1.2 million people.
The Ohmallera incident proved to be a watershed for Bacco’s political career. Many analysts believed her presidency could not survive such a catastrophe, and she faced pressure from both the public and members of her own cabinet to resign. Her decision to continue in office made her a polarising figure in Federation politics, and her approval ratings never again reached pre-Ohmallera levels.
In her address, she attempted to view the events through a more positive lens: “Each time, when faced with adversity or the threat of destruction,” she said, “our Federation has responded with openness, innovation, a collaborative spirit, and a commitment to our principles. While some may define the last decade as one of conflict, I see it as a decade of Federation stability in the face of uncertainty.”
Despite her original campaign focusing mostly on domestic issues, President Bacco’s time in office was instead dominated by the urgency and infinite demands of galactic security. In her address, she expressed regret that the constant threat of conflict forced the delay or cancellation of some of her most sought-after domestic reforms.
“As I prepare to lay down the responsibilities of office, I cannot ignore the disappointment I feel in myself at what I was not able to achieve,” she said, among which included a reform of the federal system, increased accountability and transparency in executive agencies, and a Federation-wide emergency early warning system. “However, I know that my successor will enter this office with an agenda of her own, and I wish her and all who will labor with her the very best of fortunes in its implementation.”
In closing, President Bacco thanked the people of the Federation for their trust and support. “It has been the honor of my life to serve as your President,” she said.
“And in this, my last goodnight to you from this office, I leave you with the same words I spoke when we began this journey together thirteen years ago: May we be ever unswerving in devotion to principle, confident but humble with power, and diligent in pursuit of the ideals of our great Federation, so that, in the goodness of time, all peoples will come to live together in a peace guaranteed not by weapons or treaties, but by the binding force of mutual respect and friendship.”
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