INTAKI PRIME – After days of speculation by an anxious public, the Intaki Assembly’s Interstellar Relations Committee has concluded its hearing on a bill calling for the secession of the Assembly from the Gallente Federation.

The committee took up the issue three days ago, but closed its chambers to the public and media. When the committee adjourned this evening, Chairman Zheet Chandrark, of Kapda, spoke with reporters in a brief press conference.

“We have reviewed the merits of the bill and, while it does raise some valid concerns, it is the opinion of a majority of the members of this committee that there is not enough justification to proceed with the bill,” he said. “Our forefathers made a commitment to our Gallente cousins at the founding of the Federation and it is important for us to honor that bond.”

Chandrark told reporters that the committee heard from a number of political scholars and economists as well as representatives from the Federation Senate and Navy during the three days of hearings. Ultimately, a motion to once more table the matter indefinitely was called and approved by a 4/5 majority.

Sahjan Assemblywoman Desri Yauvani, who sponsored the bill but is not a member of the Interstellar Affairs Committee, also hosted a press conference following the conclusion of the hearings.

“I am deeply disappointed that the committee chose not to advance this bill, especially in light of the inflammatory actions of members of certain Federation political organizations,” she said. “It is a shame that rather than stand up to bullying tyrants within the Federation, the committee has chosen instead to bow to their wishes and remain silent in the face of a clear threat to what remains of the Intaki Assembly’s rightful authority in its own space.”

Yauvani went on to warn that if people like Nationalist Party Chairman Alain Octirant have their way, there will be no more Intaki Assembly. Octirant recently commented publicly that the Assembly should be censured for blocking Federation Naval vessels from entering the prime system. He also questioned the Assembly’s awarding of shipping and security to corporations with Caldari ties, making allusions that the contracts might have been the result of coercion during the time when Caldari militia forces controlled space bunkers located in Intaki Space.

Veteran observers of the inner workings of the Intaki Assembly seemed to be unsurprised by the recent turn of events, however.

“It’s happened a number of times in the past,” said Jamaal en Deek, a professor of history at the University of Caille. “Elements of the Intaki population will become agitated and elements within the Gallente establishment respond with violence, either real or implied. The most extreme example is the exile, of course, but it has happened to a lesser extent more often than people realize.”