EDITOR'S NOTE: This is a revision of a story posted yesterday. It has been updated to include links to original sources. Click on underlined copy to get the full scoop.
TAKMIJINSTAN–Shafir Ohamaji, billionaire oil magnate of the little-known (and truly quite little) former Soviet Republic of Takmijinstan, is making headlines today as rumors circulated that he has bribed countless poll officials just days before their presidential election.
"If Shafir Ohamaji overthrows Takmijinstan's democratically elected president, this quiet, peaceful country will devolve into chaos, which could further disrupt an already volatile region of the world," said Howard White, World Politics professor at Northwestern-East University. "This isn't a sane man. He's a veritable time bomb, and we have no idea what could set him off.”
Much like his home country, Ohamaji hasn't previously made international headlines, but his stances on women's rights and other hot-button issues have frequently upset the reasonable majority of his progressive homeland.
"He once admitted that he finds his daughter to be so hot, that he'd date her if they weren't related," said White. "People originally laughed off that statement, but beneath its core is a much darker, more sinister view of women."
Ohamaji inherited his oil empire from his father, which he repeatedly drove into the ground but was able to exploit Takmijinstan’s tax code by filing for bankruptcy, passing the buck for his business failures along to the people of his country while he personally racked up billions in net worth not necessarily through smart decision-making, but primarily through a simple matter of compounded interest from his inheritance. He boasts that “all” the women on his staff frequently flirt with him, which he deems to be “expected” and has frequently noted that women wouldn’t be appointed to important roles if they “weren’t beautiful.”
“At times, he’s divided women under his influence according to who is and isn’t – by his standards – ‘attractive,’ and has subjected those he deemed to be less attractive to psychological torture,” said White.
Ohamaji is a fan of Hollywood films and has stated that his favorite quote from Pulp Fiction is "Bitch be cool,” a command he feels should be uttered to any female who gets out of line. Ohamaji is unable to engage on an intellectual level with intelligent women who logically challenge him, and responds to their well-reasoned questions not with well-reasoned answers but, rather, with accusations that they have “the face of a dog” or by saying they’re “fat and ugly.”
“Give a man like this political power, and his schoolyard-type bullying could undo all the progress the women of Takmijinstan have made since the dissolution of the Soviet Republic. This is perhaps one of the most progressive countries in the region, but he has absolutely no respect for women unless they’re exceedingly attractive and ‘on their knees’ in front of him,” said White. “He doesn’t believe working mothers are valuable members of the workforce, and has termed mothers who breastfeed to be ‘disgusting.’”
But women aren’t the only people who could suffer a blow if Ohamaji successfully rigs next week’s presidential election. Ohamaji, who was previously considered to be agnostic at best, has recently become hyper religious in an effort to appeal to the radical underground – who could further help him fix the upcoming election.
“Various ethnicities and religions have cohabited peacefully in Takmijinstan since it became an independent republic back in 1991,” said White. “Islam, Christianity, Hinduism, Judaism and Buddhism had struck an uncanny coexistence that few countries have seen not just in this neck of the woods, but in the world at large. That could change if Ohamaji rises to power, as he has taken a very hard-line stance on the growing Christian population.”
Ohamaji has proposed building a wall around the southernmost part of the country – where the vast majority of Christians reside – in order to keep them out of the nation’s capital. He has also proposed a “national registry” for all religious minorities, and would require Christians and Jewish people to carry a form of ID that identifies their religious affiliation. At one point while campaigning, Ohamaji attempted to reach out to Jewish voters, but wound up littering his speech with offensive stereotypes.
“It’s actually quite terrifying,” said White. “He’s been able to rally the most radical segment of his country around him, and is using fear-mongering and hateful rhetoric to expand his political reach. He's applauded for speaking his mind, despite the fact that his mind is actually quite twisted, and no one is free from his bullying. Not Takmijinstan's disabled, not their military... no one. He regularly misrepresents opinion as fact, and his supporters seldom question his rationale. It’s the sort of blind hero worship we see in cults. And much like the leaders of most cults, I honestly think he’s mentally ill.”
“And yet,” White continued, “There’s a very good chance he’ll soon be President.”
Ohamaji is also no darling when it comes to international diplomacy.
“He has managed to rally radical support by repeatedly lauding his country as the best in the world, while simultaneously refusing to engage with anyone with a differing opinion. Some of the things he’s said about other world leaders are the political equivalent of poking the bear,” said White.
"My biggest fear, honestly? He gets fired up quite easily," White continued. “This isn't a man you want in charge of a nuclear arsenal.”