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Expansion in North America as Tricornia is dissolved

An Act of Parliament passed yesterday enacted territorial changes which saw the creation of a new Town, the expansion of another, and the dissolution of a third.

One of the two properties composing the new Town of North Nahona

Tricornia, a town annexed only in April, has been dissolved after its founder, Nikola Jovanovic, revealed that he had supplied incorrect information to the government while claiming the land and forged the signatures of its alleged residents.

When claiming new areas of land, the government must strike a fine line between invading the privacy of applicants and being able to verify their claims. It is not believed that any changes to the current system are planned, but this incident has shown that it is not impossible for it to be abused.

Tricornia now holds the unfortunate record of being the land claim with the shortest duration as a part of Austenasia.

However, alongside the departure of Tricornia, a new Town has joined the Empire.

The new Town of North Nahona has been founded with the annexation of two properties from Texas.

A third property has been annexed to the already existing Town of Nahona, which the new town is named after.

Each property is inhabited by two people, with a total of six people thereby joining Austenasia. This offsets the loss of the (alleged) same number from the dissolution of Tricornia.

Both Nahona and North Nahona now consist of two properties, each inhabited by two people, and form a roughly eighteen mile long line stretching approximately north-west to south-east, with the southern two properties in the older town and the northern two in the new one.

In other news, the Pontifex Maximus, Pope Queranus I – better known as Sebastian Linden – has been granted non-residential subjectship by Parliament. Linden has served as Governor of Iostan na Beithe and of Glencoe since January 2018, and briefly reigned as German Emperor in mid-2011.

Military reform passed by Parliament

An Act of Parliament was passed yesterday implementing radical changes to the Austenasian Armed Forces (AAF), dissolving the existing units and making provisions for new ones to be formed.

The majority of soldiers in the AAF had enlisted for the Austenasian Civil War over a decade ago, with most having since fallen out of contact with the central government and some even assumed to have forgotten that they were considered Austenasian soldiers.

The Austenasian Army and Imperial Air Force have therefore been dissolved, with their members receiving honourable discharges.

These reforms reflect that fact that Austenasia has little need of a standing army, having last been in an official state of war in December 2010. In the words of Emperor Jonathan I in Parliament, “the days of teenage gangs marauding around Carshalton in support of various claimants to local thrones is long past”.

Yesterday’s legislation has created three new branches for the AAF.

Local claims may recruit regiments of Limitanei, which will serve as reserve militia to be mobilised for local defence or emergency purposes.

During wartime, the Ministry of Defence will recruit units of Comitatenses, which will not be bound to a specific area but serve as active field troops.

Finally, the Imperial Guard will be a bodyguard unit recruited specifically by the Monarch for their personal protection, and will be the only ordinarily active unit.

IGS Expedition undertaken to Centennial Park

At the end of last month, Lord William Wilson led an expedition of the Imperial Geographical Society (IGS) to Centennial Park in Nashville, Tennessee.

Lord Wilson in front of the statue of Athena

The visit to the park itself took place on 30 May, although the expedition began two days earlier, on the 28th, making it the only IGS expedition to date to have spanned more than one day.

Lord Wilson and his mother Lady Nicole, who serve as Representative and Baroness of Nahona respectively, set off from Nahona on 28 May, crossing the Mississippi River and visiting the village of Whites Creek.

While in Whites Creek, the expedition visited a grocery building where a member of the outlaw Jesse James’ gang was captured in 1881.

On 30 May, the expedition arrived at Centennial Park and viewed the Tennessee Women’s Suffrage Monument before heading to the main feature in the park, a lifesized replica of the Athenian Parthenon.

Once there, Lord Wilson explored the various art exhibits displayed within the Parthenon, including a large statue of Athena.

The expedition ended after walking around Lake Watauga, the reservoir in the park, and naming the northern island Insula Viatorem.

A video of the expedition’s exploration of Centennial Park can be seen here.

Imperium Day sees Emperor relinquish emergency powers

Emperor Jonathan I has relinquished his emergency powers nine days early in response to the end of the political strife that beset the nation during the last week of May.

In an Imperial Edict issued for 4 June, Imperium Day, the Emperor has officially restored the full authority of the Constitution, noting that it was to be overridden only for the shortest time necessary.

The emergency powers he assumed on 25 May were originally to be held until 13 June.

In the same Imperial Edict, the referendum scheduled for this month in which proposed constitutional amendments were to be voted on has been postponed indefinitely, until consensus in government is reached about the purpose and scope of any future constitutional reform.

Imperium Day is a public holiday annually celebrated each 4 June, celebrating the Roman heritage of Austenasia and its monarchy.

It has also been marked today with a donation to the Imperial Numismatic Museum from the Emperor, and Lord William Wilson has announced that a monument is under construction in Nahona.

Statement from the Emperor as Prince Dionisiy resigns – Gordon new PM

The following statement was released by His Imperial Majesty Emperor Jonathan I at midnight this morning, concerning what seems to be the final stage of the tumultuous week Austenasia has been through:

To the Empire and to the world, our greetings.

You will be aware of the troubles which have beset our country over the past week. We have been moved by the statements and messages of goodwill and support from our many friends around the world.

Differences of opinion in regards to the direction Austenasia should take resulted in bitter arguments and divisions within Parliament, culminating in a proposal by the then Fatherland Party that they and the lands which fell under their administration secede from Austenasia. As the unfortunate depth to which these arguments had sunk became clear, this proposal was withdrawn, and consensus was reached that all Austenasian leaders would work together on reforms to fix the problems with our country, under the provisions of emergency powers which our Imperial Majesty reluctantly assumed for that purpose.

The next day, the system of political parties which had been a root cause of so much division was abolished, and Friday 29th saw Lord Edward Gunderson, whose presence was becoming detrimental to the cause of re-establishing order, leave Austenasia with the dissolution of his town of Dragovina.

The Prime Minister Prince Dionisiy, his electoral rival and now deputy Lord John Gordon, and former Prime Minister Joseph Nobilissimus Caesar worked with our Imperial Majesty to draw up a new Constitution which would provide thorough and lasting reforms to bring Austenasia into a new age.

Today was to be when this new Constitution was to be officially proposed. Unfortunately, we address you today with bad news. After a week of reflection, Prince Dionisiy has resigned as Prime Minister and will be leaving Austenasia, together with his friend Lord Krištof Fondrk. This will mean the dissolution of the Towns of Theodosiopolis and Gebirgspark, Harlemum March, and the Territories of Laranda and Seleucia ad Cilicia. Such was the huge array of lands which Prince Dionisiy brought to Austenasia.

These changes have come at a cost. The Austenasian population has fallen by ten people, from 91 to 81. However, we also have some good news. As well as these losses, Austenasia has also made a gain; a net gain, in fact. A huge new territory has been claimed for Austenasia by Prince Dionisiy as a gesture of goodwill, a territory the annexation of which has actually increased the overall land area of Austenasia despite the losses of the previously mentioned claims. This new territory, Chersoneses, will be administered as a Crown Dependency by Mr Oliynyk, a relative of the Prince.

We may also note that the Town of Chalcedon and the Crown Dependency of Trebizond are remaining in Austenasia, despite being included in the initial declaration of secession when this crisis began. What could have been a unilateral secession of more than half the country has become the amicable departure of fewer claims and fewer people.

This past week has been a very difficult time for our country. There is no way to pretend otherwise. But with a new month comes a new start.

Lord John Gordon is now the Prime Minister of Austenasia, appointed directly to the position under our emergency powers. He is the longest continually serving Representative in Parliament, having represented Palasia continuously since July 2013, longer even than our current tenure as Representative of Wrythe. During that time, Lord Gordon has served as Deputy Prime Minister twice, and held office as Home Secretary and as Minister of Defence. We are confident in asserting that there is no more suitable person for the job, and Lord William Wilson has been appointed his Deputy.

The referendum which was scheduled to take place this month will be cancelled, until a new consensus is reached concerning what if any changes to the Constitution may be desirable.

There remain no obstacles to Austenasia’s stability and prosperity. We have had people and places come and go, but remain a vibrant, diverse nation spanning the continents, a nation of 80 people and more land than we have ever had before. We have every confidence in the new administration of Lord Gordon, and as such we plan to surrender our emergency powers nine days before planned, on June 4th, Imperium Day. On this public holiday, Austenasia celebrates its imperial status and Roman heritage. Let it be a day for us to also celebrate the endurance of this great country, its perseverance, and its bright future.

Imperator Caesar Jonathan Augustus
1 June 2020

Lord Gordon appointed Deputy Prime Minister as Dragovina dissolved

Yesterday saw Lord Edward Gunderson replaced as Deputy Prime Minister with Lord John Gordon, after Gunderson’s town of Dragovina was dissolved.

Lord John Gordon, Viscount of Thetford

Using the emergency powers he assumed on Monday 25th to restore order and unity to the country, Emperor Jonathan I yesterday dismissed Lord Gunderson from his Austenasian positions and offices, and appointed Lord Gordon as his successor in the position of Deputy Prime Minister.

Shortly afterwards, Parliament was convened and passed an Act dissolving Dragovina.

The wording of the legislation alludes to Lord Gunderson causing difficulties in the process of restoring unity to the government.

Lord John Gordon is the longest continually serving Representative in Parliament, and previously served as Deputy Prime Minister to Countess Eritoshi between 2013 and 2015. He recently received 40.9% of the vote as opposed to Prince Dionisiy’s 52.3% in February’s general election.

As such, being appointed as Prince Dionisiy’s deputy is to be seen in the context of cementing the drive for unity and common ground agreed upon by Parliament earlier this week, with the two rivals now agreeing to work together.

Statements by Austenasian officials in Parliament and associated chat groups following yesterday’s events suggest that the current period of crisis is seen to be coming to an end.

Partisan politics forbidden in unity drive

An Act of Parliament was passed yesterday evening which abolished the system of partisan politics that has grown up over the past two years.

Representatives voted in favour of no longer being formally grouped into political parties, which will no longer be registered or officially recognised.

The division of Representatives into “Government” and “Opposition” groupings, a concept introduced in Austenasia only in June last year in imitation of the United Kingdom, has also been abolished.

The Fatherland Party and Peoples Party have both announced their dissolution, whereas the Whig Party will continue to exist as a private organisation.

This Act was proposed by Emperor Jonathan I just a day after having assumed emergency powers to combat deep divisions which have emerged in Parliament.

Returning Austenasia back to a non-partisan system is seen as the first step towards healing the said divisions, which primarily ran along party lines.

Emperor assumes emergency powers to heal deepening divisions in Parliament

His Imperial Majesty Emperor Jonathan I this evening made an unprecedented announcement, assuming emergency powers in accordance with the Constitution’s provisions for an “existential threat to the state” with the support of the Senate, the Prime Minister, and the Leader of the Opposition.

It is understood that in the space of the past 48 hours, disagreements primarily related to recently proposed constitutional amendments have spiraled out of control, splitting the House of Representatives deeply along party lines. A vote of no confidence in the Prime Minister was tabled by opposition Representatives but failed, there are rumors that a coup was considered, and some Representatives suggested secession as a response to the ongoing arguments. The announcement by the Emperor is reproduced in its entirety as follows:

In accordance with Article II, Section E of the Austenasian Constitution of 2011, with the support of the Prime Minister, Leader of the Opposition, and a majority of the Senate, we hereby temporarily enact the following provisions and accordingly override the Constitution where necessary in order to enable their enactment and exercise:

1) The House of Representatives shall not meet or convene without a prior summons from the Monarch.

2) All titles, offices and positions shall be held at and by the sole will and permission of the Monarch.

3) The position of Proconsul is hereby created, to be held by two individuals each of whom will hold the powers and authority of the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister shall not be divested of his powers and authority, but the three shall work together under the direction of the Monarch to aid in the re-establishing of civil order and constitutional government. Lord Edward Gunderson, Count of New Grémmia and HG Bradley, Duke of Dullahan shall serve as the first two Proconsuls.

These three provisions will remain in place until 13 June 2020, when they will be reviewed to ascertain the necessity of expanding, extending or revoking them.

Threats of coups and secession, civil strife, and the inability of incumbent Representatives to productively work together has resulted in what can accurately be called “a time of great crisis and existential threat to the state”, as required by the Constitution for these emergency measures.

Furthermore, we hereby decree that the referendum scheduled for 30 June 2020 to vote on the proposed Third Constitutional Amendment is brought forward to 12 June 2020.

Decreed at Wrythe this twenty fifth day of May during the eighth year of our reign, in the year of the consulship of Hannah Augusta and Brenda Bargerii Nova Richmondiae Domina, anno mundi 7528.

*

It brings us no pleasure to make this announcement. Many of you may not even have been aware of the deep divisions within Austenasian government. However, such divisions exist and have been getting worse. With the support of our Prime Minister and newly appointed Proconsuls, we shall work together at healing these divisions moving the country forward into a new age. All around the world, societies are falling prey to division, hatred and strife due to political differences. Austenasia shall prove to the world that in this respect, as in many others, there is a different and better way. This way is what we shall find and follow, towards the goal of a brighter future for our beloved country. God bless you all, and God save the Empire!

Referendum on constitutional amendments called for 30 June

An Imperial Edict was passed on Friday 15th May in which Emperor Jonathan I formally proposed various amendments to the Constitution, to be voted on at the end of June.

This follows on from a broadcast by Prince Dionisiy in February, shortly after his election as Prime Minister, in which he proposed various changes to Austenasian government.

Work is currently underway on a system of “e-Government”, which will once completed provide an online system for the Austenasian electorate to easily vote on various legislative matters directly.

The constitutional amendments to be voted on at the end of June, however, primarily concern the other major change proposed by Prince Dionisiy, which is to replace the Prime Minister as head of government with the Consuls.

Currently, two consuls are annually appointed by the Prime Minister for a year-long term, and are in charge of judicial sentencing.

Under the proposed constitutional amendment, the consuls would instead be elected by the House of Representatives at the nomination of the Monarch, or by the public themselves should a third or more of the Representatives present alternative candidates.

Prince Dionisiy was elected on a platform part of which was to strengthen the Roman culture of Austenasia. Establishing the consulate as the head of executive government would be a further step towards consolidating the Empire’s Roman heritage.

Other more minor changes in the proposed amendments include removing the requirement for the Empire’s Archdukes (that of the Archduchesses was not required; a typo with discriminatory consequences) to give consent for the Monarch to bestow the titles of Augusta and Caesar outside of the Imperial Family, and to allow an abdicated Monarch or a clergyman to officiate in a coronation if the head of government is unavailable.

The amendments would also make the rules governing the institution of the Senate more flexible, giving Parliament more say over its composition and permitting the Princeps Senatus (its chair) to resign that post without leaving the Senate itself.

Should the proposed amendments be approved in referendum on 30 June, they will still require the support of over 80% of the House of Representatives, as well as Imperial Consent. They would comprise the Third Amendment, with the Constitution also having been amended in 2015 and 2018.

Should the Third Amendment pass, the changes – including the dissolution of the office of Prime Minister – would come into effect at midnight on the morning of 1 January 2021, although the process for electing the new system’s Consuls for that year would begin in December.

Kingeston expands into Town

Lord Austin Jaax, Baron of Kingeston

Monday 11th saw the Crown Dependence of Kingeston expand into Austenasia’s newest Town with the annexation of part of a nearby residential property.

Kingeston’s governing commissioner, Austin Jaax, claimed a part of his house in which both he had his brother live, offering the land to Austenasia with the consent of the property owners.

The section of the property was officially claimed by an Act of Parliament and annexed to Austenasia as an exclave of Kingeston, which was transitioned into a Town.

As the now Lord Jaax was already a non-residential subject, this has raised Austenasia’s population by one with his brother – who has been appointed Kingeston’s Police Inspector – now also living in the country.

Lord Jaax, who was appointed Baron of Kingeston, has also been appointed its Acting Representative and will therefore represent the new Town in Parliament until a local election is called.

Now serving in Parliament, Lord Jaax has also succeeded Lord John Gordon as Leader of the Peoples Party and therefore as Leader of the Opposition.

Kingeston was originally annexed in December 2018, and until this recent expansion consisted of parkland bordering Canada.