Gu Nianzhi hung her Senate personnel name tag around her neck and adjusted her collar before walking up from the Senate personnel seating area.
Huo Shaoheng's Special Operations Forces personnel were working as the military police in charge of maintaining order.
When they saw Gu Nianzhi, they were slightly shocked but didn't act as if they were very familiar with her. They blocked her way in a businesslike manner and said, "You cannot freely access the podium."
Gu Nianzhi lifted up her name tag to show them and said with a smile, "I work for Speaker Long and have something to say to him."
The person walked a step closer to check Gu Nianzhi's name tag, and his lips moved very subtly to say in a quiet voice, "Don't go up there. This will be very troublesome…" Gu Nianzhi winked at that person and indicated that there would be no problem. The person stepped aside and watched with worry as Gu Nianzhi went up on stage.
Gu Nianzhi came to Speaker Long's side and keenly sensed that Speaker Long was in fact very nervous as well. When she carefully considered it, she also understood that today's situation was basically being broadcast around the world. While Tan Dongbang was being shameless, and it didn't matter what kind of fuss he made, Speaker Long could lose his entire political career if he wasn't careful. Even if Huo Shaoheng was the one standing there, he'd probably be nervous, too? The thought quickly went through Gu Nianzhi's mind as she finished planning her strategy.
She discovered that she wasn't nervous at all under such circumstances. It was as if she naturally belonged there and belonged on that stage. But upon further thought, perhaps she wanted Tan Dongbang to be completely removed from office so badly, so that's why she didn't have the energy to feel anxious.
Speaker Long saw that Gu Nianzhi was there, so he glanced at her inquisitively. Gu Nianzhi nodded at him and pointed to the first envelope in Speaker Long's hand. As announced by Speaker Long previously, those were the recalculated results from the first election. There had been errors with Tan Dongbang's votes.
Speaker Long instantly understood and smiled subtly. He winked at her as indication she had free reign to fight Tan Dongbang. It had to be said that Speaker Long's stress was instantly alleviated when Gu Nianzhi arrived. For today's occasion, he had prepared to reveal the fraudulent activity from both elections. However, he hadn't prepared to publicly argue with someone. Or perhaps regardless if he won the argument or not during such an occasion today, it would still damage his image. As for Tan Dongbang, he was willing to injure himself in the process of bringing down Speaker Long. He wouldn't care if he damaged his image at all.
The audience was extremely shocked to see a beautiful and charming young girl suddenly walk on stage. General Ji and Huo Shaoheng exchanged a glance and saw the confusion and worry in each other's eyes. "You don't know what she's doing there, either?" General Ji frowned. "Today isn't a typical occasion. How did she become so brazen?"
Huo Shaoheng curled his lips and revealed a faint smile on his face. He replied languidly, "She's spoiled rotten."
General Ji, "!!!" Couldn't he speak properly!? Why did he have to suffer their sweet romance at his old age! He was so weary! General Ji turned his eyes away from Huo Shaoheng and only stared blankly at Gu Nianzhi on stage.
When Cai Songyin and Tan Guiren saw Gu Nianzhi walk to the podium, they both widened their eyes and had no idea what she was going to do. Tan Dongbang's neck was puffed up and red from agitation, but his hands nearly cramped up with excitement when he spied Gu Nianzhi walking to the podium.
There were even more people who didn't know Gu Nianzhi, so they all whispered to each other trying to figure out who this incredibly pretty young girl was. Aside from the audience watching television, everyone from the Huaxia Empire to people abroad and anyone watching the livestream all developed great interest in her. Online searches about her were quickly climbing. Countless people were searching the same name, "Gu Nianzhi."
Gu Nianzhi had no idea she was causing such great online commotion. She never attended such events, nor did she know what the globally anticipated livestream meant for her. She certainly walked up to the podium like a newborn calf unafraid of a tiger and appeared before everyone in the world.
Gu Nianzhi looked at Tan Dongbang, who stood up in front of the stage, and replied calmly, "Mr. Tan, please be careful with your verbiage. If you need to complain, please use legal procedures and do not obstruct the normal proceedings of today's conference."
Tan Dongbang had been waiting for someone to debate with him. He believed his debate skills were unparalleled, and during the first election, it was thanks to his sharp tongue that he was able to render Bai Jiancheng speechless. He also gained many fans in the process.
He originally intended to argue with Speaker Long today and make the entire world see that Speaker Long was an old man now, so he should retire instead of holding his position without doing any actual work. It would also remove an obstacle for his own future work. However, Speaker Long refused to take the bait and didn't argue with him.
Luckily, the brazen Gu Nianzhi had arrived now, so she shouldn't blame him for not showing mercy. With his tenure as a lawyer and as Minister of Justice, he had ample skills to snuff out Gu Nianzhi. Tan Dongbang sneered as he crossed his arms and replied calmly, "Careful with my verbiage? May I ask who you are? What right do you have to speak with me?"
Gu Nianzhi's eyes curved into crescents, and her tender voice was slightly soft like malt candy made during Lunar New Year. It was so sweet and soft, yet it stuck to one's teeth. She replied calmly, "I am Senate personnel and am in charge of maintaining normal proceedings of the conference. Mr. Tan, all are equal before the law. You are a prime minister elected by the citizens in order to service the citizens. Yet you are taking a holier than thou position before personnel like myself, and even refuse to speak properly with me. I think those who voted for you would certainly be very disappointed to see you like this."
She calmly changed the topic to Tan Dongbang's greatest concern, the voters. Her intention was to completely quell Tan Dongbang's arrogance. If she didn't do that, then Tan Dongbang would refuse to treat her as an equal to speak with.
If Tan Dongbang continued to uphold his holier than thou attitude, then it would cause the audience to automatically perceive that Tan Dongbang was more qualified than Gu Nianzhi and thus more reasonable. As the saying goes, reason does not side with the louder voice. But in politics, sometimes using a louder voice could cause others to believe one is correct. Gu Nianzhi wouldn't give Tan Dongbang that initial opportunity.
Tan Dongbang immediately reacted and smoothed over his expression. He coughed before saying, "Very well then, I'm not going to argue over trivial matters with you. I am asking for Speaker Long's stance, and this has nothing to do with you, so you should get down from there."
Gu Nianzhi shook her head with a polite smile. "Mr. Tan, you are not my superior and have no right to command me to do or not do something. I've already reminded you twice now, and this is the third time I am reminding you. Please pay attention to your verbiage, and do not break the law or obstruct the established procedures of the General Assembly."
Tan Dongbang didn't think that Gu Nianzhi would refuse to come down from the podium, so he also became angry. She was asking him to pay attention to his verbiage? So he should ask which of his words were illegal?!
Tan Dongbang uncrossed his arms and walked up from his seat to arrive in front of the podium. He looked up at Gu Nianzhi and said, "You keep claiming that I should pay attention to my verbiage. Then may I ask which of my words were inappropriate? Or did I break the law somehow?!"
Gu Nianzhi wiped the smile from her face and sternly looked down at him. "You've already forgotten the words you said yourself? If your memory is that terrible, how will you be able to take on the busy and complex task of being prime minister?"
Tan Dongbang was so angered by Gu Nianzhi's words he could scarcely catch his breath. The corners of his mouth twitched, and he waited for a long moment before saying, "Of course I remember everything I said! But I don't know which one of my words violated the law! Am I not a citizen? Do I not have the right to know? Is Speaker Long really going to do as he pleases for this entire election?! So I can only accept being slaughtered by others?!" It had to be said that Tan Dongbang's speech had a certain incendiary quality, so it was no wonder he had achieved the position of prime minister.
Gu Nianzhi subtly smiled as she listened to Tan Dongbang spout a series of parallelisms and replied keenly, "Alright, I'll tell you, then. Your first statement that violated the law was when you said that Speaker Long had yet to think of a reason to smear your reputation. This statement is sufficient to be considered slanderous, so isn't that illegal?"
Tan Dongbang carefully considered it and thought he had truly been too impulsive. From a legal perspective, such subjective assertions could not be said outright. As soon as it was said, he certainly had to bear the legal consequences.
He immediately replied, "That's because I was too angry. There are many people slandering me today, so I was merely warning the people who were attempting to slander me."
"So you admit that in a moment of anger, you publicly slandered Speaker Long?" Gu Nianzhi pressed him step by step and set the trap.
Tan Dongbang instantly felt very awkward. If he admitted it, then he had previously played "victim" for nothing. But if he denied it, then he must present evidence to prove that Speaker Long was attempting to slander him. Either choice would push him down a deep pit. Tan Dongbang didn't want to choose either one, so he could only angrily glare at Gu Nianzhi with gritted teeth.
Gu Nianzhi calmly glanced throughout the entire conference hall before continuing, "The second statement was when you said that you wouldn't allow us to bury the truth! You wouldn't accept any results 'manipulated from behind the scenes!' Under the circumstances of no evidence whatsoever, you deemed the entire election as 'manipulation from behind the scenes.' The truth is, you want to overturn the results of the entire election? Not to mention, we certainly can't only take your word to make this kind of conclusion on such serious allegations. May I ask if you have evidence to prove your perspective that this was 'manipulation from behind the scenes?'"
Tan Dongbang was anxious to draw everyone's attention away from the first question, so he quickly said, "The first statement was a warning. I already made it very clear that I can't accept results 'manipulated from behind the scenes,' but that doesn't mean I won't accept the results of the election. Why wouldn't I accept them, if the election was fair, open, and just?"
"Oh? Is that so?" Gu Nianzhi nodded subtly, then quickly asked him, "So you would also accept the election results, even if you hadn't won?"
"Impossible! If I'm not the winning candidate in the results, then it must be…!" Tan Dongbang nearly blurted out the words in his mind, but managed to slam on the brakes at the final and critical moment.
Gu Nianzhi followed up with another attack. "Then those must be the results of our 'manipulation from behind the scenes,' is that right? So from the way Mr. Tan sees it, it is only considered fair, open, and just if you are the one to win election. Otherwise, it's all 'manipulation from behind the scenes,' right?"
Laughter erupted from the audience in the conference hall, and the audience watching the livestream on TV also began to laugh. It turned out the "manipulation from behind the scenes" so claimed by Prime Minister Tan was any result aside from his own victory?!
What a joke!
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