The nation had emerged from a bloody civil war. Hundreds of thousands of dead on both sides had finally brought agreement on the reforms the people wanted. The Senate looked at the vast new voting blocks that had come into existence and knew their days of power were numbered. They began to scheme and plot.
They elites knew the elections would bring new populist representatives that would enact the economic reforms promised. To thwart the reforms the new citizens were broken into strangely shaped voting districts, their power diluted by the old-time conservatives. Each district lacked enough of the populists to win an election. The vote was held and the old senators and local representatives returned to office. The promised reforms died for lack of support. The people were outraged.
One of the Senators, a supporter of the reforms, decided the Constitution had been compromised; the people cheated. He and several supporters took over the Senate. An armed mob backed him in his revolution. In short order the conservative senators were brought to trial for their "crimes". Some were banished from The Republic. Many were executed in the Public Forum. Those who tried to escape were hunted down and executed for crimes against the people. Entire families were hanged, beheaded and killed. Some of the oldest names in the history of Republic were destroyed. As always happens, this reign of terror began to consume its own, as individuals used the trials to eliminate rivals for power. Chaos ruled the land, especially in the Capital.
At this point the army returned from the war with the Dear Leader. The Generals were not pleased with the state of things. General Sulla had made his reputation fighting in the various wars of The Republic. He was a hero. He had retired to public life serving in the government. he was from an old conservative family. he was a strict Constitutionalist. He had come back to the Army to fight in the social wars. he was the general in charge of the campaign against the Dear Leader. his soldiers were loyal to him to a fault..
General Sulla saw his only duty was to restore order in The Republic. He undertook a action never before dreamed of in the long history of The Republic. He broke centuries of tradition. Always the military had been directed by civilians. Sulla determined the civilians were no longer serving The Republic, but themselves. He vowed to restore order..
He marched his army on the capital.
Society was faced with a new paradigm. The Constitution was subverted to save the Constitution. Is there rule of law when rule of law is used to further an agenda? Despots since time immemorial have used just such logic to leverage their way into power.