Wallachia is a little-known country in eastern Europe, about the size of Luxembourg. Its main export is slivovica, a potent plum brandy. While the rest of the world is gripped by the financial crisis, the good folk of Wallachia are more exercised by the political crisis that has engulfed their nation. A dispute over the country's future direction erupted between Wallachia's King Boleslav I and its political strongman, foreign minister Tomas Harabis. Boleslav has attempted to dismiss Harabis from the government, while Harabis has declared Boleslav deposed in favour of a new queen mother. All eyes are now on the country's national guard – its support will surely decide the day in favour of king or foreign minister, but if it splits then the country faces civil war.
Disputes of this kind are common in countries where monarchs have remained in place in a figurehead role but retain notional reserve powers. While the more democratic elements in such countries argue that the monarch's prerogatives no longer exist in any real sense, the monarchs often feel that they are still entitled to act in an absolutist manner. Wallachia's current travails point out the necessity for clearly delineating the rights and obligations of different actors in the constitutions of democratising states.
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