The President's Office's statement reads: "It comes as a blow to this democracy and a personal shock to the President that a good man such as Autrech should decide to step down. His reasons for doing so are doubtless solid and just. The Foiritan Administration wishes the candidate the best of luck in whatever tasks he chooses to undertake next."
Senator Blaque's statement, meanwhile, describes Autrech as "reneging on his duties to this country and this democracy" and "bowing under the pressure of competition." It furthermore states that the candidate's withdrawal, while "a tragedy for the man himself and his supporters" is "nonetheless a blessing for those of us who are serious about our participation in this race, as well as for everyone who is serious about seeing our nation scale the height of its potential."
Autrech's withdrawal, announced yesterday morning, follows nearly a year's period of census-taking and district-rebordering by the Federation government. The period, known due to its pervasiveness of propaganda as "The Winter of Slogans," has seen a quietly escalating battle of imagery and ideology rage between the three candidates, a battle which now sees its first casualty. Already this afternoon, on streets bordering Mercury Square in Caille, workers were seen pasting a new line of Blaque posters over the frayed remnants of Autrech images dating back to January of this year.
Questioned about the other candidates' reactions to his withdrawal, Mr. Autrech declined to comment.