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General election takes place after New Virginia given independence

Yesterday saw New Virginia set up an independent state under outgoing Prime Minister, Lord Admiral Joseph Kennedy. Tomorrow will see the Lord Admiral’s successor take office as Prime Minister.

Austenasia’s sixth general election is currently underway, as Prince Dionisiy I and Lord John Gordon battle for the public’s votes to become the fourth Prime Minister of Austenasia.

As announced at Christmas, the towns of New Richmond, Terentia and Augusta were yesterday granted independence from Austenasia as the newly independent Commonwealth of New Virginia.

An uninhabited part of Augusta has been retained by Austenasia as the territory of Fraternitas, which now borders both New Virginia and the United States of America.

Yesterday also saw the Crown Dependency of Oregonia leave Austenasia. Although it did not likewise join New Virginia, the decision to dissolve the crown dependency by its governing commissioner, Adam I of Uberstadt, was based partially on the departure of Lord Admiral Kennedy from government.

Although these losses only saw Austenasia lose 3.28% of its land claims, the population has dropped from 102 to 80.

Outgoing Prime Minister, Lord Admiral Joseph Kennedy, has published a speech for the occasion:

My fellow Austenasians – as you all know, yesterday, the Commonwealth of New Virginia seceded from the Empire. Today marks a general election, and my last day as Prime Minister of the Empire of Austenasia. Together, we’ve built this nation up as a testament to the success a small country can achieve. Our nation has gone from a small home south of London with four residents to a vast empire on which the sun never sets, from North America to Australia. We are one of, if not the, largest functioning democracies in the community of small nations, and it has been my absolute pleasure to oversee this growth for almost five years now.

We’ve accomplished a lot since I assumed the office of Prime Minister back in 2015. We’ve expanded our territories exponentially and more than doubled our population. We’ve established ourselves as a military superpower in our community. We secured peace in New South Scotland, and returned full administration of that crown dependency to the central government. We’ve reformed the executive branch to ensure ministerial accountability to the Prime Minister’s Office and to Parliament through ministerial reports. We’ve made Parliament more accountable to the people through the reformation of our elections and the introduction of the Parliamentary Gazette. We’ve completely reformed our judiciary and introduced the Ministry of Justice. We’ve introduced the Ministry of Culture, which has undertaken various efforts such as a registry of historic locations. We’ve reformed the way Parliament operates through the Parliament Act 2019. We’ve amended our Constitution twice through national referenda. 

The Empire as it stands today, the last day of my term, is vastly different from the one I knew when I came to office, and I am very proud – not of myself, but of the Austenasian people, because my team and I couldn’t have accomplished any of this without your mandate and support. I cannot possibly articulate my appreciation for you, my fellow Austenasians, and for the opportunity you have given me to be your highest elected official. As I leave this noble office, I can say wholeheartedly that this Empire is better than ever.

As I’ve said, I’m eternally grateful for my time as Prime Minister of the Empire of Austenasia. Personally, I’ve grown as an individual during my time in office. I was sixteen years old when I took office, and I am twenty-one years old as I leave. I’ve spent the most important formative years of my life as the head of government of a micronational superpower, and it has been a surreal and incredible experience. We have, as stated, accomplished a vast number of reforms and growth.

Speaking now as Chairman of the Provisional Council of New Virginia, I affirm that the Commonwealth will take great measures to ensure the fraternal bonds shared by our peoples, for which the Territory of Fraternitas is so aptly named, continue to thrive. I am very, very excited to see where our national friendship will take us in the future.

I am furthermore announcing the dissolution of the Imperial Party. The party has achieved a great deal of success in the Empire, however the bulk of its membership has amicably departed for the Commonwealth. I thank the party’s many supporters for the confidence they placed in me as Leader of the Imperial Party.

After discussion with the Emperor, it has been decided that I will stay on as the Emperor’s deputy in North America as Caesar, the Chief Advisor of the Privy Council, and will assume a seat in the Illustrious Senate. While I leave my high offices and retract from political life within the Empire, I will remain a trusted friend and advisor to the Monarch, government and people of Austenasia.

I wish the best of luck to whoever is elected to assume the premiership. I thank you, my fellow subjects, for your continued confidence in myself and my team over the past five years. Serving as Prime Minister has been one of the most challenging – yet rewarding – experiences of my life, and I’m proud to leave the Empire in a better place than I found it. God bless you all, and God save the Emperor.

The results of today’s election will be announced on the morning of Thursday 13th.

New Virginia to secede on 11 February

11 January 2020 2 comments

Yesterday saw an Act of Parliament passed establishing Tuesday 11 February as the day on which the majority of New Virginia will secede from Austenasia to become an independent state.

As announced at Christmas, the City of New Richmond and the Towns of Terentia and Augusta will be leaving Austenasia to form the Commonwealth of New Virginia.

An uninhabited part of Augusta will be retained by Austenasia as the Territory of Fraternitas, which will be administered by Lord Admiral Joseph Kennedy as its Governor.

Lord Admiral Kennedy, the incumbent Prime Minister, will remain in office throughout February 11th and 12th, with the latter due to see his successor elected in the upcoming election to take office on February 13th.

Lord Admiral Kennedy will retain Austenasian nationality alongside Lady Vice Admiral Eryn Lewis and Lord Riley Kennedy, the three Representatives of the towns in question. The other residents of New Virginia will lose Austenasian nationality, bringing Austenasia’s population down to the mid-seventies.

Furthermore, the Imperial Navy – the modern iteration of which was based entirely in New Virginia – has by the same Act of Parliament been disbanded.

The legislation authorising the creation of the Commonwealth of New Virginia states that “maintaining a close and special relationship with the Commonwealth of New Virginia… [will be] a top priority of the Austenasian Government.”

Emperor announces changes for 2020 in Christmas broadcast

25 December 2019 2 comments

His Imperial Majesty the Emperor used his annual Christmas broadcast to announce that February 2020 will see a general election and the secession of New Richmond and Terentia from Austenasia.

He has also revealed exclusively to the Austenasian Times that the Town of Augusta will be joining them, and was not mentioned in his broadcast due to a mistake.

The three towns will create a new Commonwealth of New Virginia, to be recognised as an independent state.

New Richmond is the most populated single town of the Empire, with 15 inhabitants, and is home to the current Prime Minister, Lord Admiral Kennedy.

Augusta – which was part of New Richmond before becoming its own town in June this year – has three inhabitants, and Terentia has six.

New Richmond and Terentia both originally joined Austenasia in 2013. It is understood that their desire to leave Austenasia and create their own country is primarily due to the growth of their own local identity and culture during this time.

With the impending departure of the incumbent Prime Minister’s hometown, a general election has been called for 12 February 2020.

At the time of writing, the Whig Party is expected to put forward Lord John Gordon and the Fatherland Party Lord Dionisiy Tezdzhan-Smahin as candidates. Applications for candidacy will be confirmed by the Emperor by 15 January.

The Christmas broadcast was published this morning on YouTube, and can be heard here. Jonathan I has broadcast a Christmas message every year since his ascension to the Throne in 2013.

Other than the publication of the Emperor’s Christmas broadcast, the Imperial Family celebrated Christmas Day by attending a morning church service at Carshalton Methodist Church and later opening presents and enjoying a Christmas meal at the Imperial Residence.

The Emperor and Crown Princess light the Advent candles at Carshalton Methodist’s morning service.

The Imperial Family was joined at the church service by members of the extended Imperial Family as well as the former residents of Zephyria.

Although most of the Imperial Family is Methodist, Emperor Jonathan I joined the Orthodox Church in 2011. He attended a service at his own church yesterday for Christmas Eve, but often attends the morning Christmas Day service at the Methodist church with his priest’s blessing in order to spend time with his family at Christmas.

During this year’s service, Jonathan I and Crown Princess Caroline were invited to light all five of the Advent candles to mark the beginning of the service.

Christmas wishes have been sent to and received from numerous foreign national leaders by cards and e-mails.

Territorial reforms enacted by Parliament

12 June 2019 1 comment

The Empire sees various territorial reforms with the passage of the Amerdansk, Augusta and New Richmond Act 2019.

The Act, proposed to the House of Representatives by Prime Minister Lord Admiral Joseph Kennedy, has separated the former New Richmond borough of North New Saint Josephsburg from that City, becoming the Town of Augusta. The now Lord Riley Kennedy, Baron of Augusta – the younger brother of Lord Admiral Joseph – has been appointed Acting Representative of Augusta pending a local election. Lord Riley has joined the Imperial Party, and as a Representative has become a member of the Imperial Party Board (the governing body of the party).

The legislation has also re-annexed portions of the New Richmond borough of Saint Josephsburg which were previously ceded to the United States by the New Richmond Act 2014. The newly re-annexed land consists of the house where Lord Admiral Joseph resided at the time of New Richmond’s transition from a Crown Dependency to a Town, and is currently resided in by his aunt and her three children.

The Town of Amerdansk, formerly represented in Parliament by Lord Anthony Clark, has been transitioned to a Crown Dependency, which the now The Rt. Hon. Anthony Clark has been appointed Governing Commissioner of. This is in response to Clark’s withdrawal from active politics, including within Parliament.

Local elections see new Mayor for New Richmond

Tuesday 21st May saw local elections take place in New Richmond, Theodosiopolis, and Dragovina.

Alex Francis, the new Mayor of New Richmond

These were the first elections to take place in Theodosiopolis and Dragovina since their foundation in March and April respectively. Both saw their Acting Representatives elected as Representatives proper.

New Richmond saw its Representative, the Prime Minister Lord Admiral Kennedy, re-elected for the sixth time in a row.

As New Richmond is a City, its subjects were also voting for a Mayor. The previous Mayor of New Richmond, Captain William Kennedy, had resigned on 24 April, with his nephew Alex Francis being appointed Acting Mayor by the city council.

Tuesday’s election saw Mr Francis elected as Mayor of New Richmond with 100% of the vote with a 75% turnout of twelve people.

Mr Francis is a member of the Imperial Party, which currently holds a plurality of seats in Parliament.

March sees territorial changes for Austenasia

Austenasia has both annexed and ceded land and residents so far this month.

Theodosiopolis, the newest Town of Austenasia.

A new town, Theodosiopolis, and two new territories, Bregusland and Green Gate, have both been annexed to Austenasia, and the city of New Richmond has expanded with a new property being claimed.

Meanwhile, the crown dependency of Jovanovo was ceded to Montenegro on Thursday 21st.

Jovanovo had previously been a town, but was made a crown dependency a year ago in order to prevent its founder, Daniel Dankovsky, from influencing the central government after having made various racist statements.

Dankovsky was stripped of Austenasian nationality in July last year, and since then Jovanovo had been governed completely autonomously by its own residents. With Jovanovo having no contact with the government, the decision was made to cede all claims to the land.

The two new territories of the Empire, Bregusland and Green Gate, are enclaves of Arizona and Greater London respectively. Green Gate is a relatively short distance from the capital, Wrythe, and there are plans for its governor, Lord Zarel Smith, to visit in the near future.

Theodosiopolis, the newest Austenasian Town, is an enclave of Amsterdam. Founded by Lord Dionisiy Tedzhan-Smahin – who helped to design last year’s commemorative coins – the town is comprised of two properties and has a population of four people.

Finally, Saturday 2nd saw New Richmond expand with the annexation of a sixth non-contiguous property, named Alexandria and currently used as the residence of the Prime Minister.

Although the cession of Jovanovo has on paper resulted in a drop in the number of Austenasians (with the population now standing at 83), the new annexations have for all practical purposes greatly increased the population in terms of those who will take an active interest in the government and in their Austenasian identity.

Austenasia breaks population record

A graph tracking the growth of Austenasia’s population since its foundation.

Earlier today Austenasia’s population reached its highest number in history, with the registration of six new residents in New Richmond pushing the number of Austenasians up to 89.

New Richmond is already the most populous inhabited claim of the Empire, with twenty residents now living in its five different boroughs.

The previous population record had been 88, between March and June 2016, reached after a period of almost uninterrupted growth since Austenasia’s foundation (with the sole exception of former emperor Declan I losing Austenasian nationality in August 2013).

The population began to decline with a net loss of one person upon the simultaneous cession of Harenfall and annexation of Ionathanopolis on 27 June 2016. This culminated in a low point of 74 after Zephyria, Thanasia, and Porthbokon were dissolved in August the following year.

However, the number of Austenasians has since begun to steadily climb, and out of Austenasia’s population of 89, at least 53 will be eligible to vote in the upcoming general election.

Austenasia itself is home to 71 people, with 18 Austenasian nationals living abroad; the largest populations of expatriate Austenasians are in the United Kingdom (8 people) and the United States of America (4 people).