Breaking news from Coruscant: We have the official count in from the Senate Hall about the election. And, we have… Who? Who won? In all my years… Well, denizens of the galaxy, you're never going to believe this one.
—L. Ular Po, Senior Politics Analyst for HoloNet News during the broadcast of the election results
The Galactic Republic Chancery election, 704 BBY—then-referred to as the Election of 296—was a closely contested election that marked the end of Rosock Mekosk's tenure as supreme chancellor. The election initially featured five candidates, but Rimward faction candidate Bepona Apihelra of Ryloth withdrew his nomination three days before the election took place. In an overwhelmingly surprising upset, Anwis Eddicus of Taanab won a majority in the election by a single vote.
In 704 BBY, Supreme Chancellor Rosock Mekosk announced his retirement from public office rather than to seek another term. With the vacancy, over twenty factions initially expressed interest in having their leader run for the office. In the end, only five were officially nominated. The four largest factions in the Senate each selected one individual. The Rimward faction nominated the Twi'lek Bepona Aphelra of Ryloth, the Autonomists nominated the Ithorian Neumasa of Ithor, the Slice–Trans-Perlemian faction nominated the Verpine F'xss Os'klox of Roche, and the Core Power Alliance nominated Cos Peradhi of Corellia. A fifth candidate was nominated, however: Anwis Eddicus was nominated by the small group known as Probitas pro populus to represent them. Media pundits immediately deemed Os'klox and Peradhi as the front runners for the office of chancellor but did not discount the role that Bepona Aphelra could potentially play in splitting the economically and politically influential corporate vote.
Bepona Aphelra of Ryloth
Bepona Aphelra was a senator from Ryloth who had served in the governing body for seventeen years. He had lost in two prior chancery elections as the representative of the Rimward faction. Largely criticized as slothful and indolent, Aphelra withdrew his nomination three days before the election of 704 BBY. In his announcement to withdraw from the race, he declared his retirement from politics, deciding to retire to his homeworld three months following the election to allow for Ryloth to select a proper replacement. Additionally, he threw his support behind F'xss Os'klx of Roche. Aphelra's position on governmental power was similar to that of Os'klox, supporting the decentralization away from Core powers and the promotion of shifting the balance of power toward the Rim. Aphelra, however, was largely supported by special interest groups, such as the Trade Federation, the Commerce Guild, and the burgeoning Corporate Sector. When Aphelra dropped out of the race, these groups lost their strongest ally, for he had supported increasing their direct representation and militarization to compensate for the diluted strength of the Judicial Forces.
Anwis Eddicus of Taanab
A darkhorse candidate, Eddicus was nominated by close acquaintances Zallen Fraajic of Telos and the rookie senator Mithrel Merian of Alderaan. As a stanch independent in galactic politics, his only alignment was to those with he worked most closely, the so-called Probitas pro populus. Media coverage noted that Eddicus was a long-shot, but his clean image and enduring rivalry with Cos Peradhi of Corellia attracted a lot of attention. Three days before the election, Senator Servius Valorum of Coruscant broke ranks from the Core systems and gave his support to Eddicus. The Taanabi senator focused his energy on eliminating corruption, promoting transparency and integrity, and reducing the role of the centralized government. Eddicus also promoted reinforcing the Judicial Forces with stronger planetary defense forces.
Neumasa of Ithor
Neumasa was a long-term senator from Ithor. He had been appointed by the collective Ithorian herds in 742 BBY and was one of the strongest supporters of planetary autonomy and demilitarization. Neumasa also promoted a strong capital flow in the Republic's economy and measures that lifted monetary restrictions. His views were largely supported by some of the Trans-Hydian systems and a few scattered rimward areas that were not controlled by special interests. When Aphelra withdrew his candidacy, some of his corporate supporters turned to the Ithorian, thereby creating an uneasy alliance.
F'xss Os'klx of Roche
Senator F'xss Os'klx was a Verpine representative from the Roche asteroids took up positions of free and unrestricted trade along with planetary autonomy. Os'klx was the only female who ran for the office and was considered to be a favorite, along with Cos Peradhi of Corellia. The Verpine was highly outspoken and often on Core and Inner Rim media outlets, promoting her agenda. Additionally, she was heavily involved in interplanetary relations, believing herself to be a destined leader among all species types. Os'klx's position in the race was bolstered by the support of Bepona Aphelra upon his withdrawal from the race. His support prompted some Rimward systems to throw their support behind the Verpine.
Cos Peradhi of Corellia
An aging lithe man, Cos Peradhi of Corellia was notorious for his connections to special interests and corruption. He was long linked to corporate interests and had been engulfed in the Corporate Sector conspiracy that came to the fore two years earlier. His actions were largely exposed by Anwis Eddicus, among other senators. This created led to a rivalry between Core-centric Peradhi and decentralization-driven Eddicus. The Corellian maintained his seedy connections, even in the wake of the Corporate Sector conspiracy, and continued to be a proponent for corporate and special interests. He also believed in Core dominance backed by brutal military force to subjugate those planets that he viewed as too primitive or unimportant. As a result, he was very unpopular beyond the Core and Inner Rim planets. Nevertheless, the strength of the Core delegations allowed the Corellian to be considered a front-runner for the office. Furthermore, the withdrawal of Aphelra of Ryloth from the race prompted about half of his corporate supporters to shift their allegiance.
When the final tally was tabulated, Anwis Eddicus was declared the winner. He had achieved a simple majority by only one vote, allowing him to become the undisputed chancellor without a run-off election due to a plurality. Even though he withdrew from the race, Bepona Aphelra did receive two protest votes.