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Probably totally wrong but...


Angel of Death
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Angel of Death here after a long absense.

 

I was wondering under what conditions an Amyrlin can be removed from office.

 

Elaida moved against Suian because she believed she was pulling the strings on Rand (not completely untrue). We also know that the last Amyrlin to be deposed (Bonewhin?) was so because she tried to use Hawkwing. So if Suain was 'legally' removed, wouldn't that make Elaida the rightful Amyrlin (even though she is a terrible one). I can't think of much difference between the two removals.

 

Could someone please clarify.

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Yes, Elaida is a rightful Amyrlin. The reason for the removal doesn't matter, it is that the Hall disposed her that is enough.

 

What makes the two different is that while Bonwhin presumably was disposed fully in accordance with the spirit of the law, Siuan was disposed of by only the letter of the law. The Tower Law says an Amyrlin can be deposed of by the greater consensus, which means that every Sitter must stand for the decision. Elaida arranged matters so, that only the minimum number of Sitters necessary to make the Sitting legitimate were informed of the Sitting to depose Siuan. This meant that only Sitters who were informed of the Sitting needed to approve, since it was enough that all Sitters present stood for the disposal and there were the minimum number of sitters for a greater concensus present. Of course this goes very much against the spirit of the law, I believe the Lesser Consensus is normally more difficult to attain than the Greater Consensus where not everyone is informed that the Hall sits. Generally all Sitters must be informed of the Halls sitting, as well as the Amyrlin for Sittings other than to depose the Amyrlin. Since Siuan refers to Elaida having acted within the letter of the Law, there must be some loophole in it that allowed not all Sitters to be informed of the matter for the Sitting for disposal. It is absolutely clear that had the full Hall been present, the Greater Consensus could not have been achieved: even the Reds must have stood against Bonwhin.

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Legally speaking, yes. Then again what Elaida did may have violated custom. I actually do not remember now whether it was law or custom that people need be informed of the Hall's sitting. I remember that this is refered to in several places. Also, as the Sitting for the disposal of the Amyrlin is a special case, it is possible it is not mentioned explicitly in the law that also there all Sitters must be informed that the Hall sits. In the same way as the law for choosing the Amyrlin never specifies that the candidate must be Aes Sedai.

 

In any case, there was nothing like a real consensus amongst the Aes Sedai that Siuan had to be deposed, Elaida only managed it tactically. At least those Sitters who were not informed of the Sitting have cause to oppose Elaida, as well as those they represent.

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I think it's custom, Egwene comments a lot about custom when she's in her early days as Rebel Amyrlin.

 

I think the issue with Suian's deposition was that it wasnt a fair trial. It was rigged, so that the intended outcome was achieved, but those who may have opposed weren't allowed the opportunity to do so. Nothing was technically done WRONG, in that as Graendal's Favourite says, as per the law, a minimum number of people must agree, and that number DID agree, but had they gone about it properly, there would have been debate etc.

 

In my mind, although techinically and by law Egwene is a true rebel in every sense of the word - she is in the wrong, she isnt the real Amyrlin because she hasnt been raised by the 'legal' Hall, but she's still holding the post.

 

If it came down to it, however, I wonder if Egwene et al may get the vote on moral grounds - they stood in opposition of a woman who rigged the vote to have Siuan removed at least partly (IMO) for her own purposes - she (Elaida) wanted the Stole. Egwene on the other hand, was picked properly, had the proper ceremony, holds the Hall to account as an AS should, and is absolutely fastidious about conducting things to the letter of the law, or even custom. Yes she uses it to manipulate them (think going against the Tower and the Hall having to obey her), but she does it. I dont think Egwene would ever rig a vote, whereas Elaida (or perhaps, Alviarin) didnt see any problem with it.

 

The fact that Elaida shunned Alviarin when she discovered / suspected her to be communicating with Rand, and preventing any from approaching him save through the Tower (eg, through Alviarin) suggests to me that perhaps, just perhaps, Elaida and Egwene could actually work something out. Alviarin was trying to do exactly what Elaida had Siuan deposed for.

 

I think...

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So if Suain was 'legally' removed, wouldn't that make Elaida the rightful Amyrlin (even though she is a terrible one). I can't think of much difference between the two removals.
The crucial difference lies not in the removals, but in the rasing of the new Amyrlin. To remove an Amyrlin, one need not have any Sitters from the Amyrlin's former Ajah, but to raise a new Amyrlin, one must have Sitters from all Ajahs. Therefore, while Siuan's removal does obey the letter of the law, no Blues supported raising Elaida, therefore she cannot be considered the lawful Amyrlin. Egwene is also not legal, in that no Reds stood for her. However, Elaida, by abolishing the Blue Ajah, could be seen as trying to give her rise ex post facto legitimacy. So currently there is no legal Amyrlin, strictly speaking. Elaida got away with it because she made her rise part and parcel of Siuan's downfall, which was followed immediately by the fighting, a lot of Sisters, including all the Blues, leaving, and the Blue Ajah being dissolved. At least, that is my understanding.
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Elaida also didn't give Siuan a chance to present her case in front of the hall and defend herself, while as stated above it still falls in that loophole and is "legal" it's still pretty crappy, Elaida knew that if she wasn't sneaky about it, Siuan very well could've stayed Amyrlin and she herself would've probably been stilled.

 

As far as Egwene nor Elaida really being a proper Amyrlin due to not reds or blues in their respective halls, Elaida made hers that way, Egwene did not, and I believe that will count for something when it all comes to a head.

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