|17th Prime Minister of Sierra|
December 16, 1969 – March 20, 1974
|Monarch||Louis III (GR 25 [二十五]–GR 30 [三十])|
|Preceded by||Alfred von Schliefen|
|Succeeded by||Walter Zhou|
|37th K.S. Minister of Defense|
January 3, 1963 – November 18, 1969
|Preceded by||Franklin Ramos|
|Succeeded by||James Plumer|
|16th President of the Board of Regents of the University of Sierra|
July 7, 1957 – December 16, 1962
|Preceded by||Henry Ronald Emerson|
|Succeeded by||John Genba|
Elieser Stojanović Kovrov|
June 6, 1916
July 11, 2007 (age 91)|
|Resting place||Sawtelle National Cemetery|
Social Democrats (1949–1955)|
Royalist (1955–1974; 1999–2007)
|Spouse(s)||Sara Elejalde Stoyanovich|
|Alma mater||Mulholland University (Ph.D.)|
|Profession||Civil servant · Anthropologist · Educator · politician|
|Branch/service||His Majesty's Royal Army|
|Years of service||1934–1937|
|Battles/wars||Great War I|
Distinguished Service Medal|
White Rose Medal
Stoyanovich was born in Medellín, Gran Colombia to a first-generation Slavic-Jewish immigrant family, and was a graduate from Antioquia University. He and his family immigrated to Salsipuedes, Pacífico Norte as refugees in 1934 to escape Colombia's politically terse environment. In 1934, he was drafted into the Royal Army, and served in the Pacific Theater as an officer. After Stoyanovich was wounded in battle, he was honorably discharged and awarded the Distinguished Service and White Rose medals for his service. He resumed his studies at Mulholland University, and graduated with a Ph.D. in anthropology. Stoyanovich taught cultural anthropology and military science at the University of Sierra, Porciúncula from 1950 to 1957, until he was appointed by the University of Sierra to serve as president of the Board of Regents. During his tenure as an educator, he served as an adviser on several military intelligence and foreign relations committee, and founded the World Link Initiative, a special program educating Sierrans and international students interested in foreign service. He also served as the University of Sierra's official liaison to the Conference of American States, and was a key figure in Sierra's decision to join and transition into the Conference of American States as a full member.
In 1963, he was nominated by Prime Minister Alfred von Schlieffen to become Minister of Defense, replacing outgoing Franklin Ramos. The Senate confirmed Stoyanovich unanimously, and he assumed office on January 3, 1963. As Minister of Defense, he rigorously supported escalation of the Vietnam War, and adopted a hardline approach against Landonism. He accomplished various political achievements during his tenure, which included formulating the long-term goal of achieving Vietnamization, updating the structure of the Royal Armed Forces, formulating the establishment of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and improved the standing of the Royal Intelligence Agency with Parliament.
In 1968, he openly expressed interest in running for Prime Minister in the upcoming election, to replace Prime Minister Schlieffen, who would not seek a third term. He narrowly secured the Royalist nomination from Sen. Nathaniel Griffon (R-PL). In the general election, he ran against Democratic-Republican challenger Gov. Hugh Richardson. He defeated Richardson by a 0.7% margin, winning by 62,918 votes, the narrowest in Sierran prime ministerial electoral history. After a contentious battle over recount, Stoyanovich was confirmed the 17th Prime Minister of Sierra.
Stoyanovich successfully deescalated Anglo-American involvement in Vietnam. However, the outbreak of the Colombia War in his home country prevented his goal of ending military conscription, and his Vietnamization strategy became the basis for the Sierran military strategy in Gran Colombia. Under his ministry, domestically, Stoyanovich increased funding towards education and defense, and imposed banking and air quality regulations. The Disturbances continued into and after Stoyanovich's ministry, which saw rapid escalation, forcing the prime minister to lead onto a hardline approach in the Styxie. He also helped resolved the Salt Lake question, and forced the Deseret government to comply with anti-discrimination laws in regards to Canaanites, and oversaw the creation of the Executive Council to improve cooperation between the federal government and the provinces. On foreign policy, he backed the South Vietnamese government with over $25 billion in military and financial aid, and negotiated the eventual independence of the Sierran territories, Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands (which finalized after his impeachment). He supported the Gran Colombian government-in-exile after they were deposed by the Communist Party of the Andes under the United People's Committees.
Less than a year after reelection in 1973, Stoyanovich was implicated in the Blue Bridges scandal, and the Democratic-Republican-controlled House of Commons voted to impeach the prime minister. He was accused of using his position as Minister of Defense to illegally solicit and use funds from his organization, the World Link Initiative, and other sources to help fund his own campaign and the Royalist Party National Convention. He was also accused of obstructing justice when he attempted to cover up evidence of his complicity. After three months of a formal investigation conducted by the Senate, he was found culpable in 5 of the 11 charges made against him, and was convicted. After he was convicted, he was removed from office. In separate proceedings, he was then stripped of nearly all of his honorary achievements and titles, with the exception of his awards in military service. He was tried as a civilian under the criminal legal system, and pleaded guilty to several counts including extortion, embezzlement, perjury, and malfeasance. Under mandatory sentencing laws at the time, he was originally supposed to serve 75 years in prison, but through plea bargaining, he was able to serve only 11 years in prison. He was released on parole in 1986. He spent the years immediately after his release seeking to restore his image and to attain atonement through published books, televised interviews, and speeches.
In his later years, Stoyanovich devoted his time supporting humanitarian projects in Latin America, South Asia, and Africa, and co-founded the Foundation for Academic Empowerment, which promotes affordable, quality education in developing countries around the world. He traveled extensively as an informal spokesperson for Sierra, and presided over peace negotiations, national elections, and campaigns to improve human rights and quality-of-life. Although most of the honors Stoyanovich gained prior to his impeachment and removal office were never restored, he was named Person of the Year by the Sierran Secular and Humanist Society in 2005 for his efforts, and one of the 20 League of Nations Peace Heralds in 2006. He died in 2007, due to complications with his liver, at the age of 91, and was buried at the Sawtelle National Cemetery.
In retrospect, contemporary historians have consistently ranked Stoyanovich in the upper second quartile, or lower first quartile in prime ministerial success rankings. During his prime ministry, Stoyanovich had a 56% approval rating, which plummeted to just 8% during his impeachment and conviction trial. During his imprisonment, he was named the worst prime minister in Sierran history, and failed to exceed 15% in popularity polls. After he returned to civilian life following his release from prison, favorability of the former politician steadily rose, until his death, when 77% of Sierrans viewed his favorably. Reasons for the relapsed favorability were attributed to renewed interest and review of Stoyanovich's achievements during his prime ministry and prior as Minister of Defense, and as an academic leader. His post-prime ministry was also noted by observers and scholars alike for his humanitarian-centered career in his later years. He is now regarded by most historians and political scientists as one of Sierra's greatest prime ministers. In 2017, nearly 10 years after his death, Prime Minister Daniel McComb proposed posthumously restoring Stoyanovich's political honors and titles he had held prior to impeachment.
Early life, education, marriage, and military career
Elieser Stojanović Kovrov was born June 6, 1916, in an apartment of a four-story condominium in Medellín, Antioquia, Gran Colombia, the eldest child of five children. His father was Stojan Georgiev Kovrov, a Bulgarian Jewish immigrant, who worked as a kosher butcher. In Bulgaria, Stojan hailed from a family of Ashkenazi Jews who originated from Russia, and moved to Bulgaria during the 17th century. Stojan was raised in the port city of Varna and worked as a factory worker. Stojan left his homeland during the offset of the Austro-Hungarian War, and traveled to Gran Colombia as a stowaway on a cargo ship en route to San Francisco City, his original point of destination. When his ship passed the newly completed Nicaragua Canal, it made a brief excursion to the port city of Buenaventura, Colombia. Stojan mistakenly took the place for Sierra, and disembarked the ship. Speaking nothing but his native tongue, Bulgarian, as well as grade-level Russian, and some Yiddish, Stoyanovich's father happened upon a guild of merchants who could speak Russian. The guild offered him work, and gave him an apartment lot in the city of Medellín. Stojan quickly learned Spanish, and met Stoyanovich's mother, Diana Sokolov, a Russian student who was studying abroad at the University of Antioquia. The two fell in love and married, and had Stoyanovich as their first child.
Stoyanovich had two younger brothers and two younger sisters (Aleks, Nikolai, Oksana, and Nadya respectively). In school, Stoyanovich was timid and quiet, and had few friends. His thick accent and surname was the subject of much ridicule. His father was a non-practicing Ashkenazi Jew, while his mother was a practicing Russian Orthodox. Despite growing up with an ambivalent religious background, he was sent to San Jose de Nazareth, a local Catholic parochial school, at the age of 12, who wanted him to grow up "disciplined and honorable". His experience there was negative, and he complained to his parents about the establishment's rigidity and strictness. His time here helped influence his attitudes towards religion in his adult life as an atheist. After only 3 years at San Jose de Nazareth, he transferred to Fidel Cano Gutiérrez High School, a public school closer to Stoyanovich's home.
While Stoyanovich and his siblings were still attending school, their father became heavily involved in local politics. His father was a member of the Colombian Liberal Party, and worked part-time as a party recruiter and event organizer. Stoyanovich recalled nights when his father returned home bruised and battered, due to fistfights with political opponents, and rivals within the Party. After receiving several death threats from Conservative sympathizers and fellow Liberals, Stoyanovich's parents made the decision to leave Colombia, and emigrate to Sierra. Allured by the booming job market there, Stoyanovich's father sold all their property, and used the money to purchase a boat trip to the Sierran territory of Pacífico Norte in 1932, months before the outbreak of Great War I].
After arriving in the city of Salsipuedes, Stoyanovich and his family surrendered themselves to immigrations and customs officials to be processed. His father formally applied themselves as political refugees, and they were subsequently granted permanent residency status. During the process, Stoyanovich, who was now an adult, was able to choose his legal name. He switched the order of his patronymic name (Stojanović) with his surname (Kovrov), and his surname with his first name (Elieser), and altered the spelling of Stojanović to Stoyanovich, legally changing his name to Kovrov Elieser Stoyanovich. Despite the objection of his parents, his name was formally approved by a notary public. When Stoyanovich delivered his inaugural address as Prime Minister in 1969, he mused:
I changed up my name when I came to Sierra because I wanted to assert myself as an independent-minded thinker. I felt emancipated. A new country and a new world. I couldn't resist. It wasn't so much animosity towards my parents more than it was my own pride. I set off to create my own path, and when the moment came when I knew I could pick my name, I did so.
Stoyanovich was drafted into military service months into Great War I and served in the Sierran Royal Army in the Pacific Theater. He was recruited as private first class and was deployed in Hawaii, and was later commissioned as a uniformed officer, upon graduating the Royal Army Officer Training Academy in Honolulu in 1934. He served in the 16th Armored Division in Tondo, and was later relocated back to the mainland in order to defend the Kingdom from Continental invasion. In September 1936, he was injured by a mortar shrapnel, receiving a deep wound near his right shoulder. After spending two months in recovery, he was formally discharged, and he was accepted into Mulholland University as a student. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal (for his service) and the White Rose Medal (for his injury in battle). During his studies at Mulholland, he met his future wife, Sara Elejalde Navarro, and began a romantic relationship.
The two were later married in 1940. In addition, he finished his doctorate in anthropology whilst choosing to double major in military science. As a military veteran with distinguished marks, he was enrolled in a special program at Mulholland University linking students with top military advisers in the country. Through his access through this program, Stoyanovich had an intimate connection to Sierran military and foreign policy, and learned from a broad interdisciplinary matrix that transcended the immediate scope of his majors. He wrote his doctoral thesis analyzing the ongoing effects and consequences of the Sierran Cultural Revolution which was still going on at the time.
Stoyanovich graduated as a member of the Sigma Theta Alpha (ΣΘΑ) from Mulholland University with a doctor of philosophy in anthropology and a master's in military science (through an accelerated education plan) in 1946 as an egregia cum laude.
Academic and administrative career
Stoyanovich began his career in the academic sphere of life within months of graduating. He was hired as an assistant professor in anthropology at the University of Sierra, Porciúncula, a relatively recent campus established by the University of Sierra (US) public education system for the academic year of 1946-47. He was promoted to associate professor in the summer of 1948, and then a full professor in 1952. He was named chair of the university's social sciences and humanities department in 1954. During his tenure as a professor, Stoyanovich helped advance research in the cross-sectional fields of anthropology, sociology, political science, economics, and military science. He contributed scholarly journals on cultural differences in Latin America and East Asia, and joined an Anglo-American association of higher education teachers following the mission creed, "Educating thinkers for a democratic tomorrow". During Great War II, he served in a panel of military experts and analysts for the Sierran government. From 1955 to 1957, he also served as the official liaison for the University of Sierra in the Conference of American States. At the time, Sierra had not yet joined the Conference as a full member, but nonetheless cooperated heavily with the Conference's member states across all fields including education.
In 1957, Stoyanovich was elected onto the Board of Regents as its president. He moved to Bernheim, San Joaquin in order to fulfill his duties, and spent time lobbying for more funding from the federal government, and expanding students' rights across the system. During his tenure, he oversaw the opening of two new US campuses: University of Sierra, Diamond Head (1958) and University of Sierra, San Diego (1960). As a Great War I veteran, he ensured military veterans were able to attend the University affordably, and supported the establishment of the Student Veterans Alliance (SVA), a student-led organization of attending veterans with chapters in all the US campuses.
Stoyanovich was a prolific figure in Sierran politics, and formed close ties with members of the Sierran ruling elite, including Prime Minister Alfred von Schlieffen. Stoyanovich's expertise and dedication impressed the prime minister, and was frequently invited to provide counsel and advice to Schlieffen, and even the King in the Privy Council. While Stoyanovich continued his role as board president, he expanded his outreach to national defense and foreign policy think tanks. He became an editor and occasional contributor to the Regal Inspector, a premiere magazine focused on world news. By 1960, Schlieffen had begun considering appointing Stoyanovich to a Cabinet position, and Stoyanovich privately desired to become Minister of Defense himself. At the time, the law did not require that cabinet ministers have a seat in Parliament. After Stoyanovich opined his interest, Schlieffen selected Stoyanovich to shadow then-Minister of Defense Franklin Ramos, who was a Weiren-era politician nearing retirement age.
Early political career
Stoyanovich was inaugurated as prime minister on December 16, 1969. During his inauguration speech, he promised to "bring firm leadership to Porciúncula, lift up allies, and strike fear into the hearts of adversaries."
As Prime Minister, Stoyanovich continued on the Vietnamization plan he had helped lead during his tenure as Minister of Defense. Stoyanovich helped the South Vietnamese government in implementing land reform, policies which were long sought for by agrarian farmers, thereby reducing the appeal of the Viet Cong and other communist elements in the country. After the South Vietnamese victory in Operation Lam Son 719 in 1971, two years after Stoyanvich's departure from the Ministry of Defense, the victory greatly boosted morale for both South Vietnam and Sierra, and accentuated the success of Stoyanovich's policies. The victory proved the success of Vietnamization, and showed that the Southeast Asian country was capable of defending itself in an invasion without outside help. Achieving a determined state which resisted collapse, Stoyanovich was able to persuade Parliament that "the war can be won".
Blue Bridges scandal
During Stoyanovich's tenure as Prime Minister, internal sources from within the Getty House notified Sierra's chief ombudsman agency, the Central Auditing Office, of Stoyanovich's financial proceedings with his think tank organization, Blue Bridges, which they felt were being conducted outside established law and protocol. The Office began an investigation to assess Stoyanovich's financial activity, but were initially denied access to the prime minister's records when the Getty House Chief of Staff refused access to them on the account of executive privilege.
Impeachment, conviction, removal from office, and criminal prosecution
Later years and death
Personal life and family
Stoyanovich's religious views were the subject of controversy during and after his life. Throughout most of his adult life, Stoyanovich was atheist, although he did not disclose his personal beliefs until much later in life. His ambivalent attitude towards religion was often brought up by his opponents and even his own supporters. While he frequently made positive remarks towards Christianity in the public and gestures of respect towards the Sierran religious community, Stoyanovich rarely made explicit statements about his own faith. Towards the end of his life, Stoyanovich was awarded by the Sierran Secular and Humanist Society as their "Person of the Year" for his secular life of philanthropy and goodwill service. During his final months however, Stoyanovich admitted he had begun to "reevaluate his spirituality" through his conversations with close ones and in his personal journal-keeping. Although he never explicitly made any declaration of faith, he had begun attending a local Seventh-day Adventist Church shorty before his death, leading some to believe he may had considered conversion. Officially, his surviving children, who are also irreligious, have maintained Stoyanovich remained an atheist unto death, while acknowledging that he was indeed "exploring other belief systems", while Stoyanovich's friends and the pastor of the church Stoyanovich attended disputes this.
Stoyanovich was baptized as an infant into the Russian Orthodox Church. While his father was a non-practicing Ashkenazi Jew, his mother was a practicing Orthodox and was responsible for his spiritual upbringing as a child. He attended the local Orthodox church in his town often with his mother and siblings. Growing up in a predominantly Catholic environment however, he was exposed to Catholic teachings in San Jose de Nazareth, a Catholic parochial school. Unhappy with the disciplinarian style of teaching there, he developed an aversion to organized religion and privately renounced his beliefs at the age of 14. Despite this, Stoyanovich continued attending church well into his adult life, which he admitted, was out of respect for his mother. During his teenage years, Stoyanovich described his religious status as a "nominal Christian, practicing agnostic". He did not officially embrace atheism until he turned 20, when he immigrated to Sierra.
Personality and public image
Honors, medals, and awards
|Preceded by|| Prime Minister of Sierra
December 16, 1969–March 20, 1974
| Minister of Defense of Sierra
January 3, 1963–November 18, 1969
Henry Ronald Emerson
| President of the Board of Regents
of the University of Sierra
July 7, 1957 – December 16, 1962
| Liaison of the University of Sierra to
the Conference of American States
|Non-profit organization positions|
|New title|| Chairman of the
World Link Initiative
Tyler Dominguez Merodio
|Preceded by|| Oldest living Prime Minister of Sierra