Protector of the Republic
Awshalim Didanu is the 29th Protector of the Republic of Castar, and was elected to office in 545 S.E. Despite having been elected as the 'peoples' candidate', his Protectorship has seen some of the worst wealth riots in the history of the Republic, with many across Castar unimpressed with his failure to push reforms through the Assembly, or his apparent inaction when it came to dealing with the rioters.
General Physical Condition
Awshalim Didanu is about 5’7” in height who once had a reasonably athletic build, which is now beginning to relax and fill out. His dark brown hair is rapidly receding which has left a substantial bald patch stretching from the front of his head back to the middle of his crown. The hair on the back and sides of his head is neatly trimmed and significant amounts of grey hairs have seeded themselves amongst the brown. He wears a pair of thick sideburns that grow down the length of the back of his jaw and into the hairline on the side of his head. The Protector’s face is oval in overall shape, with a well-defined jawline, and slightly sunken cheeks and eyes. His eyes are a dull green in colour, and have permanent bags beneath them; testament to the excessive stress and sleepless nights afforded him by his position as Protector of the Republic. His face is beginning to reveal a network of lightly set wrinkles that become more defined when he is stressed or angry. Awshalim holds himself with a very upright posture, that some people claim is a stately bearing, whilst others suggest that it reveals an uptight nature. When he walks, Awshalim has a distinctive limp, and supports himself with a walking stick, an unfortunate relic of a previous assassination attempt made against him.
Born in 500S.E., into a middle-class merchant family, Awshalim Didanu had a comfortable, but not lavish childhood, growing up in the family home in the capital of the Republic of Castar, Wardeen. His father had founded his own agricultural trading company, after splitting from the rest of the family due to a business dispute, and from the time that he could walk and talk, Awshalim began to prepare for entering the family business. When Awshalim began actively contributing to the family concern, it was initially in a support role so that he could learn how the business operated, and put into practice the theory and skills he had been taught during his formative years. This gradually led to him being entrusted with greater and greater responsibility by his father, and soon he was visiting their business partners and providers in the other nations of Turoza to negotiate and carry out transactions on behalf of his father. In his early 20s, the family was shaken to its core by the tragic death of Awshalim’s father, and the loss of their only trading ship to a pirate attack off the coast of Castar. As the de facto head of the business and the household, Awshalim managed to steer family through this crisis, not only negotiating with their business partners in the Sultanate of Fashaddon and the Kingdom Dazscor & Aramore, to provide a loan with reasonable terms so that they could re-establish their business dealings, but even managing to negotiate the return of his father’s body from the pirates that had killed him so that it could be given a decent burial. This experience made Awshalim realise that he had a knack for diplomacy, debate and negotiation, and began to steer him towards a career in politics. On his 30th birthday, having spent the last 9 years getting the business back on its feet, re-securing and reinforcing its position in the marketplace, Awshalim Didanu entered the Republican Assembly for the first time as a Legislator. Although Awshalim had been considering this move ever since the death of his father, the exorbitant annual fee that members of the Republican Assembly are required to pay meant that his affairs had to be stable and profitable enough to allow him to make such a financial commitment. Awshalim was and remains a consummate networker, and it did not take him long to establish himself as a key player in the Assembly, and after only a year in the Assembly he was appointed to a variety of ministerial roles, that increased in importance with every appointment. After 13 years of successful wheeling and dealing in the political sphere, and with elections approaching, Awshalim was approached by a political faction within the Assembly, and asked to be their candidate for the Protector of the Republic, the Republic’s head of state, in the elections to be held in 545S.E.. Although initially hesitant, Awshalim agreed and threw the full weight of his ambition behind the campaign, which was financed by his backers in the Assembly. Because of Awshalim’s relatively lowly background and status, when compared to the majority of the other Legislator’s, he was able to gain a significant amount of support amongst the middle classes of the Republic. He eventually altered his rhetoric to present himself as the champion of the hard working, overtaxed and under-appreciated artisans and merchants of Wardeen and the rest of the nation. When voting finally took place in 545S.E., Awshalim’s middle-class support base saw him sail to a comfortable victory over his nearest rivals, and he was duly elected Protector of the Republic for the standard 10 year term. Now in his 8th year in office, Awshalim’s political career has not managed to maintain neither the sheen, nor momentum of his political ascension. His change of rhetoric to incorporate issues that directly affected his middle-class support base were never politically sanctioned by his backers in the Assembly, who were happy to allow him to use such an argument to win votes, but were not happy to actually push through any reforms in the Assembly. As a result, Awshalim has been in a perpetual stalemate when it comes to fulfilling the promises he made on election, which has naturally gone down very badly with the middle-class, especially those resident in Wardeen. As a result, Awshalim’s Protectorate has seen some of the worst wealth riots in the history of the Republic, which have left hundreds dead and injured across the country. He has faced backlash from liberals and conservatives in the Assembly for not being able to push through reform on the one hand, and not dealing with the rioters harshly enough on the other. This grown sense of ire against him has resulted in several assassination attempts being made against him, one of which nearly claimed his life and has permanently affected the movement of his left leg. Overall, Awshalim’s Protectorate has been beneficial for the Republic, with its wealth and status continuing to grow, and with its borders secured and new trading agreements established thanks to his diplomatic skill. The stains of his unfulfilled election promises and the violent backlash that has resulted from this, has, however, left a stain on Awshalim’s career that he has not been able to shift. If he does choose to stand again in the 555S.E. elections, his route back to the top will be much harder than his original rise to power.
Like many of the richer citizens of the Republic of Castar, a personal tutor educated Awshalim until his 14th birthday. This tutor lived with the family permanently during this time and undertook all aspects of the young Awshalim’s education, including history, literature, economics, philosophy and maths. After his 14th birthday, Awshalim began his education in the running of the family business, first by accompanying his father, acting as a scribe and assistant during his business meetings and transactions, and then gradually being given full responsibility of aspects of their trade. By the age of 18, Awshalim was deemed suitably competent to be despatched on his own to negotiate price changes and purchasing changes from the family’s partners in the Kingdom of Dazscor & Aramore and the Sultanate of Fashaddon.
Prior to being elected Protector, Awshalim first worked in and then took over the operation of his family’s small agricultural trading business. Their operation was very modest in scale, as they ran their entire process using a single dhow berthed from the Great Harbour. The focus of his business was the trading of sheep from the Kingdom of Dazscor and Aramore, and selling them on in the Sultanate of Fashaddon. At the age of 21, Awshalim took over the running of the business after his father died, and he continued to run the business until 543S.E., when his growing political ambition led Awshalim to hand responsibility for the company to his younger brother, so that he could focus on his election campaign to post of Protector of the Republic. Awshalim entered the Assembly for the first time as a Legislator at the age of 30, in 530S.E., and has continued to pay to be a member of this body ever since. In 545S.E., he was elected to the position of Protector of the Republic and became the Republic’s elected head of state until his term expires in 555S.E.
Accomplishments & Achievements
Although Awshalim’s and his family are not poor by any means, it remains a significant achievement for Awshalim to have been elected to the position of Protector of the Republic. He has the dubious honour of being the poorest Protector in the history of the Republic, but to put this into perspective, the collective wealth of the 28 previous Protector’s combined is about 15 times the wealth of the Republic of Castar as a whole.
Awshalim is an incredibly charismatic speaker, and he has an innate knack of pitching whatever he is saying to match the audience that are listening to him. This means that he is often portrayed as a demagogue by his political enemies in the Assembly.
Wealth & Financial state
Although he is wealthy enough to be a citizen in the first place, and to pay the Republican Tithe each year to remain a member of the Assembly, compared to previous Protectors of the Republic, Awshalim is not particularly wealthy. Indeed, this is one of the reasons that he was elected in the first place, as Middle-class citizens thought that he had more in common with them than the majority of other Legislators.