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The Detapa Council, also known as the Cardassian Civilian Government, was the civilian-controlled government and main political authority of the Cardassian Union. (DS9: "Crossfire", "Defiant") The Council was presided over by a Chairman. (DS9: "Return to Grace") The Council was formed in the 19th century, and was, technically, in control of the Central Command and the Obsidian Order. (DS9: "Defiant")

In reality, the Council had virtually no powers whatsoever, and the civilian leaders had no direct authority over military officers. They were, however, able to convince the military to withdraw from Bajor, despite Central Command's objections. During that time through 2370, Kotan Pa'Dar was an eminent member of the civilian assembly, having once served as a civilian exarch of a Cardassian settlement on Bajor, and later as a prominent politician in the civilian assembly. (DS9: "Cardassians")

After the fall of the Obsidian Order, shortly before stardate 49011, the Council, along with the Cardassian dissident movement, overthrew the Central Command, and established civilian control over the government. Gul Dukat served as chief military advisor to the Council following the revolution. (DS9: "The Way of the Warrior")

The Klingon Empire believed the coup to have been engineered by the Dominion, and used it as a reason to invade the Union in the Klingon-Cardassian War in 2372. During the initial invasion, the Council was evacuated from Cardassia Prime aboard the Cardassian warship Prakesh, transferred to the USS Defiant and given temporary shelter aboard the Federation space station Deep Space 9. The council later returned to Cardassia without incident and several members conveyed their personal gratitude to Benjamin Sisko and the station's senior staff. (DS9: "The Way of the Warrior")

Dukat, who had lost his position as chief military advisor for having a half-Bajoran daughter and was assigned to command the freighter Groumall, later contacted the Detapa Council that year, after having captured a Klingon Bird-of-Prey. Although the council was impressed by his accomplishment and offered him his old post, they also ordered Dukat not to engage the Klingons further. (DS9: "Return to Grace")

The Detapa Council was dissolved permanently in mid-2373, when the Cardassian Union joined the Dominion. (DS9: "By Inferno's Light")

Diane Carey showed the members of the Detapa Council in her novelization of The Way of the Warrior. The Council also makes an appearance in the Malibu comic book issues "Sole Asylum, Part One" and "Part Two" set in late 2371.

Council members

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