WARNING! This article contains MAJOR spoilers for the recently released novel Available Light. Caution is advised.

Kellessar zh'Tarash was an Andorian zhen who was elected President of the United Federation of Planets in the 2385 Special Federation Presidential Election. (ST - The Fall novels: A Ceremony of Losses, Peaceable Kingdoms)

Prior to her election, zh'Tarash served as the leader of the Progressive Party caucus in the Parliament Andoria. (ST - The Fall novel: A Ceremony of Losses) She had ascended to that position in 2383 after the previous Progressive leader, Iravothra sh'Thalis, had been deposed as Presider in a vote of no confidence and the Andorian Empire had seceded from the Federation. (ST - Typhon Pact novel: Paths of Disharmony; ST - The Fall novel: A Ceremony of Losses)

Two of zh'Tarash's bondmates, Isal and Hosh, were killed in 2381 during the Borg Invasion. After the attack on Andor, zh'Tarash continued to live with her sh'za, an artist named Rane. Exclusive sexual relationships between two Andorians, known as a tezha, had once been taboo on Andor; following the Invasion, such sexual minorities became more open about their lifestyles, and the taboo began to lessen. Public reaction against zh'Tarash's and Fane's tezha was mitigated in part because their prior Shelthreth had produced one child, a thaan named Sennifaal "Senn" th'Tarash. (ST - The Fall novel: A Ceremony of Losses) A well-known political liberal, zh'Tarash's religious views--she believed that Uzaveh the Infinite would not have endowed the Andorian species with the capacity to engage in scientific and medical research if He had not intended them to use this capacity against illnesses and their ongoing fertility crisis--had more than once proved very controversial. (ST - The Fall novels: A Ceremony of Losses, Peaceable Kingdoms) One of her key advisors was Rasanis th'Priil, who went on to become her chief of staff. (ST - The Fall novel: Peaceable Kingdoms)

Leader zh'Tarash had opposed Andor's secession, and worked with the Progressive Party's allies to undermine the administration of Treishya-aligned Presider Ledanyi ch'Fortua. When Federation Starfleet Commander Julian Bashir arrived in Andor orbit in September 2385 and requested asylum from the Federation in order to deliver the cure for the Andorian reproductive crisis, Leader zh'Tarash attempted to arrange a "stealth vote" in the Parliament to ensure asylum was granted. After this failed, former Starfleet Lieutenant Thirishar ch'Thane hijacked the broadcasting systems of the Andor News Service, alerting the public to Bashir's cure and the administration's refusal to grant asylum. As a result of public outcry, Leader zh'Tarash was able to arrange for a vote of no confidence against Presider ch'Fortua. The vote succeeded, and zh'Tarash arranged for the Progressive Party to enter a new coalition administration in alliance with the New Restoration Party, Unity Caucus, and Alliance Party. Unity Caucus member Solloven zh'Felleth was named Presider, and the new administration repealed the Andorian Secession Act and applied for re-admission to the Federation. Many had expected Leader zh'Tarash to become the new Presider; she, on the other hand, announced that as soon as the Andorian Empire had been re-admitted to the Federation, she intended to run for Federation President. (ST - The Fall novel: A Ceremony of Losses)

In October 2385, the Andorian Empire was re-admitted, and Leader zh'Tarash addressed the Parliament Andoria. In her address, she declared her candidacy and pledged to continue the foreign policy direction of the late Nanietta Bacco of Cestus. The speech, carried by the Federation News Service, was very popular, and led public opinion polls to measure a 3% increase in support for zh'Tarash in the 2385 Special Federation Presidential Election. At this point, public opinion supported her opponent by only 9 points. (ST - The Fall novel: Peaceable Kingdoms)

After the Baras conspiracy was exposed, Kellessar zh'Tarash won the election. She was inaugurated President of the United Federation of Planets on 31 October 2385, giving a speech and holding an inauguration ball. The next day, President zh'Tarash gathered her key advisors and reminded them that her goal was to live up to the legacy of President Bacco. (ST - The Fall novel: Peaceable Kingdoms)

President zh'Tarash agreed to honor the decision by the Dominion to isolate itself. (DS9 novel: Sacraments of Fire)

President zh'Tarash was also hesitant about allowing the Ascendant link to enter the Bajoran wormhole. (DS9 novel: Ascendance)

After the court martial of Doctor Julian Bashir was completed zh'Tarash issued Bashir a pardon. Additionally she used her influence to have Bashir's discharge upgraded from dishonorable to honorable. (ST - Section 31 novel: Disavowed)

In 2386 zh'Tarash learned of the existence of Uraei and Section 31, along with the many crimes Section 31 had committed over the past two centuries after journalist Ozla Graniv provided her with a datapad showing some of 31's activities. zh'Tarash promised Graniv that she would excise 31 from the Federation government. After Uraei was deactivated zh"Tarash followed through on her promise, arresting two members of her cabinet and four Federation Councillors for their links to 31. (ST - Section 31 novel: Control)

Following the Section 31 revelations, zh'Tarash had the difficult task of bringing Section 31 agents to justice while preserving the public's faith in the institutions of the Federation and Starfleet. She was determined to operate in a transparent and aboveboard manner in dealing with all of 31 and it's surviving agents, regardless of who they were and the positions they held. zh'Tarash worked closely with Attorney General Phillipa Louvois and Fleet Admiral Leonard James Akaar in managing the Federation's response to Section 31. Even though it would likely cause him considerable problems at home, Chancellor Martok contacted zh'Tarash to offer his support of her efforts. (TNG novel: Available Light)


Preceded by:
Member of the Parliament Andoria
Succeeded by:
Preceded by:
Iravothra sh'Thalis
Leader of the Progressive Party Caucus
of the Parliament Andoria

Succeeded by:
Preceded by:
Nanietta Bacco (President)
Sipak (Pro Tempore)
President of the United Federation of Planets
31 October 2385–Unestablished
Succeeded by:
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