The Political System
Chania was the capital of the new state, which had its own flag and constitution. On internal matters the Cretan State had full autonomy in the form of an elected parliamentary body - the Cretan Assembly - and its own bureaucracy. Cretan citizens had their own separate nationality, and the new state even differed from the Ottoman Empire with regard to state honours and postage stamps.

The only limitations imposed were in the area of foreign policy. The Cretan State did not have the right to declare war, though it was accorded the right to defence in the case of external attack.

On 24th January 1899 the first elections to the Cretan Assembly were held. On the basis of the population ratio holding between the two communities, 138 Christians and 50 Muslims were elected. On 8th February the new body held its first session. The Cretan government was formed shortly afterwards, on 29th April, and consisted of five Councillors (ministers) with portfolios in the areas of Justice (Eleftherios Venizelos), Finance (Konstantinos Foumis), Internal Affairs and Transport (Manoussos Koundouros), Public Education and Religion (Nikolaos Giamalakis) and Public Security (Hussein Genitsarakis).





1898  |  1899  |  1900  |  1902  |  1905  |  1906  |  1908  |  1909  |  1910  |  1911  |  1912  |  1913
The Constituent Assembly of Crete, 1898 (R. Behaeddin, N. Alikiotis Press, Vikelaia Municipal Library, Heraklion)
A group of Christian deputies at the First Cretan Assembly. Eleftherios Venizelos is visible in the centre, 1899 (Eleftherios K. Venizelos National Research Foundation, Chania)
Eleftherios Venizelos (Eleftherios K. Venizelos National Research Foundation, Chania)
The flag of the Autonomous Cretan State (Yiorgos I. Panayiotakis)
The front cover of the constitution of the Autonomous Cretan State (Ioannis M. Tzanis Collection)
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