Tänii Juliia Maeko Säpaarv (b.1979) is the current Kanseloori (Chancellor) the head of government of Karolia. She represents the Toopaarti (Labour Party) which are the leaders of the governing coalition. Säpaarv is the youngest person to hold the role, being only 29 when first appointed.
Säpaarv was born on 02.02.79 to Meerk Pooli, a lawyer, and Rosaala da Vreli, a local government official. She was the second of two children after her brother Maarek. In an interview she recalled that she had wanted to be a doctor as a child, but that she found science less engaging than humanities subjects at school so began considering a career in education. Säpaarv also noted that her political awareness was raised by watching news reports of the regime change in Arataran and of the Commonian Crisis.
Start of political career
After studying Linguistics at Vasireii Univeristy Säpaarv worked for NGO Speak International for three years, whilst also serving as a representative in the city council. Her charismatic nature and skills as a negotiator won her much acclaim and attention and in 2004 she became the country's second youngest KL, representing the city-state. From an early point in her career Säpaarv emphasised the importance of securing the future for younger citizens in the country, opposing the trend to vote for measures that favoured the majority older generations.
After the resignation of the incumbent party leader, Säpaarv was persuaded to run for party leader in 2006, although she considered herself one of the weaker candidates. To the surprise of many, she reached the final run-off and eventually won the deciding ballot by 6% against two older and more experienced candidates. Many journalists cited her optimistic language and confident way of addressing more challenging political issues, such as climate change, the Kyori Question and regulation of the financial sector, as a key reason for her appointment. Säpaarv soon appointed a leadership team with a mixture of experienced political heavyweights and young promising KLs.
The Election of 2008
Säpaarv's party were in a reasonably strong position to take power from the ruling Kesketpaarti/KL coalition in the summer of 2008 when an election was called. Campaigning on a core message of securing the future for younger Karolians, energy security and greater co-operation with neighbouring countries, she went into election day projected to achieve at least 2% more votes than the current government. A major achievement was a reconciliation with the Green Party who had previously refused to vote in line with Labour policies on energy, and who subsequently rejoined the ruling coalition.
The 2012 election
The 2012 election was won by a slightly slimmer margin than that of 2008.
The 2015 election
2015 was predicted by some to be the end of Säpaarv's reign as Chancellor. The breakaway New Democrats had forced her hand in calling a vote and major compromises were needed to entice them back into coalition. However, with a majority of just five seats, the coalition passed a vote of confidence in her to continue as leader.
Säpaarv has a long-term partner whom she lives with and who accompanies her at diplomatic functions. The couple do not have any children but Säpaarv has stated that this is for personal reasons, and that she is committed to ensuring women do not suffer any lack of opportunity in their careers if they decide to have children.
Under Säpaarv's leadership, the Labour party have been perceived to have found a comprimise between the more liberal economics of the previous government and the social democracy of its traditional values.
Energy and environment
A key project has been a drive to move Karolia towards renewable energy and a much higher degree of self-sufficiency in energy. As well as the building of two tidal arrays, the proportion of national energy from wind turbines has now increased to 38% and solar to 24%, with the country running for three days solely on renewable power in 2014. Electric vehicle charging stations have also seen government loans to enable expansion, along with funding into the further use of electric power in transportation and upgrades to the national railways to save energy.
Säpaarv has been seen internationally as a figurehead for the rights and opportunities of young citizens and has won much admiration abroad for her stance in this area. One of her first measures on taking office was to pass a Young Citizen's Charter, setting out measures to secure the quality of life and opportunity for young people in Karolia, including the maintenance of free university education, fair pay, advice and support, and availability of subjects in the school curriculum. Aside from this, she has promoted the internet as a channel for free exchange of information, encouraged adult education courses and political engagement amongst the young.