The Empire has gained six residents, two residential properties, and a small island with the foundation of the Town of Harenfall.
Harenfall, located on the Norwegian island of Bolga, was annexed to Austenasia yesterday evening by an Act of Parliament after its people contacted the government and requested to join the Empire.
One of the properties part of Harenfall borders the coast, and contains the island’s post office and local store.
Lord Sivert MacLean, a resident of Harenfall, has been appointed its Acting Representative until the next local election.
Changes have been made to the Papacy of the Parva-Religions, with the Pope now being known as the Pontifex Maximus.
Since June 2013, the Papacy of the Parva-Religions has been an institution designed to “defend” the religions of micronations. However, with no real opportunities being found to exercise this function, the Papacy – which was initially founded in 2004 to lead a cat-worshipping cult in a predecessor state of Wilcsland – yesterday underwent several reforms to increase its relevance and activity.
The office held by the Pope – currently Lord Joseph Kennedy, who holds the papal name of Alexander IV – has been renamed to the Pontifex Maximus.
The function of the Pontifex Maximus is now to produce works of theology and philosophy, to write commentaries on sacred texts, and to record oral traditions which may otherwise be lost, looking at a wide range of different beliefs and traditions.
The Pontifex Maximus is to be appointed by the Emperor from the College of Pontiffs (formerly Cardinals), who are to be appointed by the Pontifex Maximus as advisors and prospective successors.
As Austenasia is a secular state, the writings of the Pontifex Maximus will in no way shape or define official government views. However, the creation of the post of Pontifex Maximus will be a means of forming the first Austenasian works of theology and philosophy, a great boost to the cultural and intellectual life of the nation.
Emperor Jonathan I has today celebrated his Paper Jubilee – two years – as Austenasia’s Monarch.
It was two years ago today that Jonathan I ascended to the Throne after his predecessor Declan I abdicated.
As with last year’s jubilee, the Emperor marked the occasion with Prime Minister Countess Eritoshi, the two of them having lunch together at Roehampton.
Several military units have held ceremonies in honour of the occasion.
Jonathan I is set to become the longest reigning Emperor of Austenasia on 22 February later this year.
The Empire has once more expanded, with the Crown Dependency of Enfriqua joining Austenasia.
Enfriqua has a population of four and is bordered by Algeria. It was annexed at a minute to midnight last night after a request was received from its residents to join the Empire.
As a Crown Dependency, Enfriqua is to be administered autonomously by a Governing Commissioner. Mr. Akka Bey has been appointed to the position.
Earlier today, His Imperial Majesty Emperor Jonathan I called for a general election to take place in seven weeks time, on 3 March.
The most recent general election was held in November 2013, with Countess Eritoshi of Memphis being elected Prime Minister.
Up to four years can pass from a general election before another must, under the Austenasian Constitution of 2011, be called. In an exclusive statement to the Austenasian Times, the Emperor explained his reason for calling one so much earlier than necessary:
“Although Countess Eritoshi won the November 2013 election with two-thirds of the vote, Austenasia has expanded so much since then that those who voted for her now make up a mere 16% of the electorate. We have called this election not out of any displeasure with how she has been fulfilling her role as Prime Minister, but out of a wish to ensure that the holder of said office has a genuine democratic mandate.”
It is expected that Countess Eritoshi will run to be re-elected Prime Minister. It is also expected that Lord Joseph Kennedy – and maybe others – will run against her. Candidates will be announced on 3 February after being formally approved by the Emperor.
The Scotland Office has been founded in Edinburgh by Deputy Chief Ambassador Sir James von Puchow.
It will function as a “centre of official communication and diplomatic affairs” and be jointly administered by the Austenasian Foreign Office and the government of von Puchow’s home nation of Landashir, the latter of which will officially host it.
The Scotland Office, which was officially established on Monday 5th after the idea was first raised several months ago, is also the consular office of the Empire in Scotland, with von Puchow yesterday appointed Austenasian Consul-General in Scotland by Chief Ambassador Countess Eritoshi.
It is hoped that the Scotland Office will be used for hosting summits and meetings between national leaders, with several members of the MicroWiki diplomatic community studying at the nearby Edinburgh University or planning to soon do so.
New Year’s Day 2015 has been heralded with the appointment of the year’s consuls, with a traditional walk on Wimbledon Common going ahead despite participants dropping out.
The Prime Minister, Countess Eritoshi, has appointed as the Consuls for 2015 her sister Lady Imogen Easton, Baroness of Thanasia, and the Heir to the Throne, Crown Princess Caroline.
The two Consuls of Austenasia are the Empire’s highest judicial authorities, with the duty of passing sentence on convicted criminals. However, due to Austenasia’s amazingly low crime rate, their function is mostly ceremonial, primarily being used to name the year after.
Meanwhile, a New Year’s Day walk on Wimbledon Common traditionally undertook by the immediate Imperial Family and their relatives the Boxalls went ahead, despite long-standing participants who would customarily have organised it dropping out.
Since the early 1990s, members of Raynes Park Methodist Church had organised the annual walk on the common, but this is the first year when none of them were able to go on the walk, either due to old age or having moved away. However, the Emperor’s relatives decided to maintain the family tradition and hold the walk regardless, later going to a restaurant for lunch.