Emperor Jonathan I yesterday gave Imperial Consent to the Armed Forces Act 2015.
The Prime Minister, Lord Admiral Joseph Kennedy – the author of the legislation – released a statement briefly describing the main points of the Act:
“The Armed Forces Act 2015 has codified the rank structure of the Armed Forces in a code similar to that used by the United States Armed Forces, has completely reformed the ranks of the Imperial Air Force, and has established the Joint Administrative Chiefs for the overall administration of the Armed Forces during peacetime.”
The Austenasian Armed Forces (AAF) are comprised of the Austenasian Army, the Imperial Navy, and the Imperial Air Force (IAF). The new legislation also adopted flags for the three branches of the AAF.
The Austenasian Army currently has 27 personnel, the Imperial Navy has 18, and the Imperial Air Force has 6.
This weekend saw the Empire celebrate seven years of independence.
Independence Day took place on Saturday 19th as the third Saturday in September, but the actual seven year anniversary of Austenasia’s foundation was on Sunday 20th.
A military parade was held in New Richmond, and celebrations also took place in Terentia and Thanasia. The occasion was also observed by many of Austenasia’s foreign ambassadors.
Emperor Jonathan I travelled back to Wrythe for the weekend from Roehampton, where he recently started his third and final year of a university course.
As is customary, an honours list was published by the Emperor on Independence Day. Recipients of honours included Queen Carolyn I of Ladonia, who was knighted into the Order of the Bullmastiff, and King Adam I of Überstadt, who was granted the title Duke of Washington.
Meanwhile, Lord Admiral Joseph Kennedy published a speech as Prime Minister, which can be read here.
The First Amendment to the Austenasian Constitution of 2011 has now been approved by Parliament and will enter into force on 20 September.
Several amendments to the constitution (explained here) were proposed last month by Emperor Jonathan I, the first time that any change to the constitution has been formally proposed since its adoption in September 2011.
Constitutional amendments require approval in a referendum and the approval of over 80% of the Representatives in Parliament. The Monarch must also give their consent.
A referendum held on 31 August had 89.47% of voters (with a turnout of 77.55%) support the amendments. An Act of Parliament was soon proposed to implement the amendments, to which nine out of the ten Representatives would have to support in order to reach the threshold of over 80%.
As soon as the ninth Representative gave their support last night, the Emperor granted Imperial Consent to the Act, making it law.
Now that Parliament has approved of the amendments, they will come into force at one second past midnight on the morning of Sunday 20th September.
In other news, the Emperor has announced that 13 September was the first day of autumn 2015 in the Austenasian calendar.
Lord Charles Clarke, Duke of Grantabridge was yesterday elected as the first Speaker of the House of Representatives.
The Speaker of the House of Representatives Act 2014 was passed in October last year, but specified that the first holder of this new office would be elected after the next local election.
With the local election that took place on 31 August now over, the Representatives – newly confirmed in their mandate – chose Lord Charles as the first Speaker.
The duties of the Speaker will be to preside over and maintain order of meetings of the House of Representatives, recognising motions and counting votes. To date, this function had been de facto performed by the Monarch or Prime Minister.
Lord Charles Clarke has served as Representative of Lichtenstein since that Town’s foundation.
A referendum held yesterday saw proposed amendments to the Austenasian Constitution of 2011 approved by a majority of 89.47%, while local elections held at the same time saw all incumbent Representatives re-elected.
Out of the 49 subjects eligible to vote in the referendum, 38 did so, a turnout of 77.55%. Three votes (7.89%) were cast in abstention, and only one person (2.63%) voted against the proposed amendments.
The main amendments which had been proposed were explained for the benefit of voters in a YouTube video which can be seen here.
Now that the amendments have been approved by referendum, they must be approved by Parliament. A requirement of over 80% of Representatives to be in favour of any constitutional amendments means that if more than one of Austenasia’s ten Representatives opposes the changes, they will not be able to be passed.
Should Parliament approve the amendments, they will come into force at one second past midnight on the morning of Sunday 20th September.
Alongside the voting for the amendments was voting for Representatives, with local elections taking place at the same time. All the incumbents were re-elected, and under the provisions of an Act of Parliament passed in October last year, the Representatives will shortly choose from amongst themselves a Speaker to help moderate parliamentary proceedings.