Senator Lee Zhang

First Minister until 3208.001 when he was removed from his post by the First Citizen and arrested. Subsequently cleared of any wrongdoing.

Biography

Born in the Shanghai Arcology in 3112, to a Senate family Zhang was always expected to enter politics. During his teens he lived in Quadrant Seven where his mother was Governor for five years. He disliked the atmosphere and the politics and at 18 he joined the Pacifier Corps of the Imperial Navy. Unfortunately recurrent claustrophobia resulted in a series of staff jobs. While serving as a Squadron Leader he studied Interstellar politics and Economics, gaining a Doctorate in 3140. As a Wing Commander he ran the Space Traffic Control facility on Phobos before being promoted to Group Captain in 3145 and serving several years as deputy Military Attache to the Wolf Commonwealth.

Career in IAO

In 3150 at the age of 38 he was recruited by the Imperial Audit Office and appointed Director of the Pol/Mil Audit Bureau investigating corruption amongst Ambassadors and Attaches. Over the next few years his IAO career took him into covert auditing and further promotion reaching its climax during his undercover investigation into the Lexmark Scandal while serving as Deputy Governor of Quadrant Two.

Entry to Senate

His cover was perfect for this role as he had been made a probationary Senator under the tutelage of the then Justice Minister. During this time Zhang wrote the treatise “The Lost Wealth of Empires” in which he compared the Earth Empire to the Roman and American Empires in their declining decadent years. The treatise received a very chilly reception from academics and the government, but it earned him sufficient notoriety to get him selected as Senator for Shanghai in the 3166 elections. Aged 54 he officially retired his IAO post.

For the first ten years in the Senate Zhang was a member of the Loyal Opposition, serving on Select Committees to understand the machinery of Government. During this time he rewrote and published his treatise, and followed it with another on the IAO “Knowing Me Knowing You, A-ha”. This further increased his notoriety and led to a stint as Chair of the Select Committee on Imperial Justice. Here he led an investigation into the IAO, identifying several areas for improvement, but generally giving the organisation a clean bill of health.

Early Government Positions

In 3176 Zhang was elected to a government post as Deputy Minister for Justice, and given the task of implementing his own recommendations. In 3181 he was appointed Governor of Mars, and relished the complex entanglements of Martian politics. In 3186 he continued his rise in the Government and was promoted Minister of the Home Systems. During his tenure he further improved his understanding of Interstellar Economics and wrote his first work of fiction “Money, Money, Money” a future history in which he envisaged the economic collapse of the Home Systems and their integration into the surrounding polities. The subsequent outcry resulted in his de-selection from the Council of Senators at the next election in 3191

Wilderness Years & Re-election

During the next five years he struggled to regain his credibility, but continued to debate fiercely in the Senate as a non-voting member. He was always a popular speaker and through his contacts at the IAO he was soon revealing scandal and corruption on the floor of the Council. In 3196 he was re-elected to the Council and took over the Chair of the Defence Select Committee.

First Minister

The coincident start of the Exterminator War and a series of military debacles allowed him to catch and ride a wave of criticism of the Government, such that he was the only real candidate for First Minister when the Government collapsed in 3199.

Since that time he has worked to reinvigorate the war effort, and forge new alliances, not least of which was the formation of the grand alliance under the Treaty of New London. His latest move has been to prepare the ground for large-scale economic reform in the Home Systems, and revitalise the economy towards supporting the war effort. It remains to be seen how history judges Lee Zhang. The First Minister is now 95.

Downfall

Over the New Year holiday for 3208 Senator Zhang, his wife and most of his household were arrested on suspicion of espionage. Some details about the arrest and detention of former First Minister Lee Zhang are now emerging. It seems that several staff of the Zhangs, both domestic and part of their charitable foundation, had been working for some years for Martian Intelligence. No formal charges are to be brought against Lee or madame Zhang, who have both been released, and Lee Zhang remains part of the Grand Council of the Senate.

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