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Posts Tagged ‘Acts of Parliament’

Gordon not to stand in September general election

Lord John Gordon, Viscount of Thetford

Parliament has authorised an early general election to take place this September, in which Lord John Gordon, incumbent Prime Minister, has said he will not stand for re-election.

Under the Elections Act 2020 passed in November last year, general elections are meant to be held every four years. However, exceptions can be made by Parliament, as took place this morning.

Although the next general election was not due until February 2024, it will now take place on 17 September later this year.

Lord Gordon is currently training with the British Army, and the increasing demands on his time have led to his decision not to run for re-election as Prime Minister.

Lord Gordon has served as Prime Minister since 1 June last year. Uniquely, rather than being elected, he was appointed directly to the position by Emperor Jonathan I after the latter assumed emergency powers to calm the May 2020 political crisis.

The new Gordon premiership saw a quick return to stability and normality, reaching a record-breaking growth in Austenasia’s population and land claims and a flowering of culture. The demographic changes accompanying this growth are another factor in the decision to call an early general election.

The candidates for the upcoming election will be confirmed by 20 August.

Campo Del Sol dissolved as Albina convicted of treason

The Territory of Campo Del Sol was dissolved on Sunday 27th June in the aftermath of its founder, Sophia Albina, being convicted of treason for advocating its seizure by another country.

Self-portrait of Sophia Albina

In recent days, Albina has played a major role in a significant downturn in relations between Austenasia and its ally New Virginia – in which she is also a politician – after she made inflammatory statements making false accusations against Austenasia as a whole and Emperor Jonathan I specifically, and introduced legislation to declare the Empire an “enemy” and “threat” and to claim the Austenasian territories of Campo Del Sol and Fraternitas.

New Virginia is a former Austenasian duchy which amicably seceded from the Empire in February last year. The two nations established a formal state of alliance upon New Virginian independence, and have maintained a strong friendship ever since.

Fraternitas had been part of one of the claims which joined the newly independent country, but was retained by the Empire at the suggestion of now President Kennedy in a gesture of goodwill and fraternity.

It is unlikely that the legislation will pass, but the inflammatory rhetoric used by Albina and the false accusations levelled against Austenasia have led to an increase in support within New Virginia for the idea of ending the alliance.

Although senior New Virginian politicians were keen to downplay Albina’s actions and rhetoric as that of a radical unrepresentative of the New Virginian government, Albina then spammed a Discord server hosted by the Austenasian government with images comparing herself to the rebels who fought against the Austenasian government in the 2010 civil war.

This resulted in a bill being introduced in Parliament to strip Albina of her nationality and titles and to dissolve Campo Del Sol, preventing it from being used as “leverage” against the Empire.

However, objections were raised given that action was being taken despite Albina not having been tried for her actions.

Due to encouraging another country to seize Austenasian land and actively working against Austenasia’s national security and international standing, treason charges were formally brought against Albina on Saturday 26th at the request of the Chief Inspector.

The evidence against her was presented, but despite being invited several times to make a legal defence she chose rather to use profane language and insult the jurors while making unfounded accusations against the Austenasian government. In her final statement, she called for Campo Del Sol to be “freed” (despite the land being uninhabited and her claiming it for Austenasia in the first place) and for an unspecified “new Emperor” for Austenasia.

The jury presented a verdict of guilty the following morning. The Consuls – Duke Bradley of Dullahan and Princess Hannah Augusta – agreed on a sentence of indefinite exile, with Albina now forbidden to enter Austenasia until the Throne sees fit to allow it.

With Albina having been given a chance to defend her actions, the bill previously proposed in Parliament was passed, dissolving Campo Del Sol and stripping her of her Austenasian national status and titles.

An online meeting between diplomatic representatives of Austenasia and New Virginia has been proposed for the near future to discuss the downturn in relations and search for a resolution.

Pontunia downsized with cession of claims

Pontunia, Austenasia’s most populated land claim, has been “streamlined” into New Pontunia with the cession of much of its land area and some of its population.

“The Strip”, New Pontunia’s administrative centre

Pontunia, which had functioned as an independent micronation for nine months prior to its annexation by Austenasia in October last year, had been comprised of twenty three people living in thirteen houses, with two public parks also claimed.

Despite being annexed as a Crown Dependency – giving its leader, Duke Andrew, a completely autonomous local administration – concerns within Cabinet have often been raised over the stability of Pontunia. In one occasion in early December, the Duke led a force of Pontunian knights to apprehend and arrest a group of his citizens after they rebelled against his rule.

Embarrassment was also caused for the Empire on the international stage after the Duke – eager to play an active role in diplomatic affairs – repeatedly attempted to apply for membership in international organisations such as the Grand Unified Micronational on behalf of Pontunia, despite it being made clear by said organisations that as a constituent part of Austenasia, it was ineligible.

After consultation between Emperor Jonathan I and Duke Andrew, an Act of Parliament was therefore passed yesterday which has reduced Pontunia to a more “manageable” size. Austenasia has relinquished sovereignty over four houses containing those least happy with Austenasian rule, as well as the two public parks (one of which was over 147 acres and unable to be realistically governed by Pontunia).

These properties have been claimed by the Duke as a new, independent Duchy of Pontunia, enabling him to take an active part in foreign affairs as per his wishes and to deal with his more troublesome followers outside of Austenasia’s jurisdiction. To avoid confusion, the original polity – retaining Duke Andrew as Governing Commissioner, but now much smaller in size – will from now on be referred to as New Pontunia.

The downsizing of New Pontunia has reduced the Austenasian population by eight people, down to one hundred and thirteen.

Ministry of Territories and the Diaspora established

Tuesday 19th January saw a new Cabinet Ministry created by Parliament to enable greater political participation for non-residential subjects and for the governors of uninhabited territories.

Lord Andrew Creed, newly appointed Minister of Territories and the Diaspora

Out of Austenasia’s population of one hundred and twenty one, only eighty five live in Austenasia itself. The other thirty six, known as non-residential subjects, form an Austenasian diaspora the majority of whom live in the United Kingdom, USA, Greece, and New Virginia.

Given non-residential subjects do not live in a Town, they are not represented in Parliament. Their comparatively limited ability to have their voices heard has been noted before, but Emperor Jonathan I and PM Lord John Gordon agreed to enact concrete steps towards enabling their greater political participation.

The newly-established Ministry of Territories and the Diaspora has therefore been tasked with creating a group for non-residential subjects which will allow them to have a greater involvement in Austenasian politics and culture. The exact form this group will take and the time-frame for its creation have not yet been confirmed, but membership will be voluntary.

The new ministry has also been given the responsibility of “relaying to Cabinet the concerns, requests or opinions of Governors”, that is, the officials that administer uninhabited Austenasian land claims, who have prior to this not automatically had any official means of having their voices heard in lawmaking or policy.

Lord Andrew Creed has been appointed the first Minister of Territories and the Diaspora. He is Austenasia’s longest serving Governor, having administered Corinium Terentium since December 2013.

Bregusland’s territory to be ceded in the New Year

The Crown Dependency of Bregusland will be dissolved as a territorial entity at the end of the year.

This was formalised by an Act of Parliament passed yesterday.

The land composing the Crown Dependency will be ceded back to the United States due to its population moving to a new property. The current residents of Bregusland will be granted non-residential subjectship and so remain Austenasians.

Bregusland was founded as an Austenasian Territory in March 2019, expanding into a Crown Dependency with the annexation of a neighbouring house in March earlier this year.

Electoral reforms for general elections

Saturday 28th November saw Parliament pass legislation establishing a regular schedule for general elections and preventing Prime Ministers from running for a third consecutive term without parliamentary approval.

Under the 2008 Constitution, general elections were to take place every three years, on January 1st. After the 2009 general election, the next was scheduled to take place on 1 January 2012, but the 2011 Constitution came into force before this date was reached.

Under the current 2011 Constitution, the date of a general election is decided at the discretion of the Monarch or Prime Minister, and can take place anywhere from six months to four years after the previous one.

Saturday’s Act of Parliament has added a restriction to this clause, to the effect that the full range of dates constitutionally available can only be considered in an emergency; otherwise, under ordinary circumstances, general elections are to take place on a day between the 1st and 12th of February every four years.

This provides greater certainty regarding the future, with the next general election now scheduled to take place in early February 2024.

A second reform affects the ability of a Prime Minister to run for three or more consecutive terms. Although not a term limit in a strict sense, in future, a Prime Minister who has served more than seven of the past eight years in office will have to seek a vote of approval from the House of Representatives in order to stand for re-election.

No limits on consecutive terms have previously been applied. The only requirements to run in a general election are to be a sitting Representative with the (never before refused) approval of the Monarch; requirements which also have to be met by a Prime Minister running for re-election.

The longest serving Prime Minister in Austenasia’s history was Lord Admiral Joseph Kennedy. He held office from 4 March 2015 to 13 February 2020, just three weeks shy of five years.

Two new Territories annexed from southern U.S.

An Act of Parliament passed yesterday annexed two new Austenasian Territories after two areas of land were claimed for the Empire by their owners.

Blue Ridge (above) and Florencium Carolina (below).

One, Blue Ridge, is composed of the garden of a residential property whereas the other, Florencium Carolina, is composed of an area of private rural land.

Both new territories have been annexed from southern states of the USA, with Blue Ridge from Florida and Florencium Carolina from Texas.

The two landowners who claimed the territories have been given noble titles and made governors of their respective claim. Lord Michael Simpson is Governor of Florencium Carolina, and Lord Aydan Dillon is Governor of Blue Ridge.

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.

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.