The results of yesterday’s local elections are now in. Elections for the office of Representative took place in the towns of Thanasia, Palasia, New Richmond and Harenfall.
In Palasia and New Richmond, the incumbents – Lord John Gordon and Lord Admiral Joseph Kennedy, respectively – were re-elected.
In Thanasia, Countess Eritoshi – who had served as the town’s Representative since its foundation in May 2013 – was replaced by her sister, Lady Imogen, who has chosen to assume the pseudonym of Lady Strawberry.
In Harenfall, every voter voted to abstain. The incumbent, Lord Sivert MacLean, has remained as Acting Representative, and he will soon take part in discussions with the Emperor and Prime Minister in regards to the future of the town.
The candidates have been confirmed for the local elections being held on 28 May.
Local elections for Representatives will take place in the towns of Thanasia, Palasia, New Richmond, and Harenfall.
In Palasia, New Richmond, and Harenfall, the incumbents – Lord John Gordon, Lord Admiral Joseph Kennedy, and Lord Sivert MacLean, respectively – are standing unopposed for re-election.
In Thanasia, however, the incumbent Representative, former Prime Minister HIH Countess Eritoshi, is not running for re-election. Her younger sister, Lady Imogen, is running instead. This decision marks a continuation of the Augusta’s decision to gradually withdraw from politics, having resigned as Chief Ambassador in March.
As his final fortnight of exile comes to an end, His Imperial Majesty the Emperor has announced local elections for four of the Empire’s ten towns: Thanasia, Palasia, New Richmond and Harenfall.
The local election will take place on 28 May next month. Those eligible, between the 7th and 14th of May, may stand to be elected their town’s Representative.
Since 8 April, Emperor Jonathan I has been in exile from Austenasia, voluntarily serving out a recommended sentence given after the outcome of a trial he arranged after pledging to have the legality of actions he committed while still Crown Prince against Esmond III examined by a court.
The Emperor was sentenced to three fortnights of exile, the timing of which would be at his discretion. This final fortnight of exile was served primarily at the Austenasian Embassy to the United Kingdom in Roehampton.
In one of the amendments to the Constitution passed last year, local elections can now take place in one or some towns instead of all at once. This is the first time since then that such has taken place.
Although the Emperor’s self-imposed exile is now at an end, he will spend six days with his unmarried partner Princess Consort Hannah at her university accomodation in the British city of Chester before travelling back to Wrythe. He will arrive back at Carshalton station on the evening of Thursday 28th.
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.
Yesterday saw the end of the week-long period during which those wishing to stand for election as Representative at the end of the month could announce that they would be doing so.
In each of the ten Towns of Austenasia, the incumbent Representative or Acting Representative was the only person who announced that they would be standing.
This scenario was not unexpected. On Twitter, Emperor Jonathan I wrote that the nation-wide lack of competition for the office of Representative showed “local elections every five years makes far more sense than every two years”, referring to one of the constitutional amendments that will also be voted on at the end of the month.
As only a single candidate is standing in each Town, voters will have the option to cast an Abstain vote under the terms of an Imperial Edict passed in 2013. Should there be more votes to abstain than for the candidate in any Town, a new vote will be called for that Town in which more people will be encouraged to stand.
The candidates for each Town are as follows:
- Wrythe: HIM Emperor Jonathan I
- Zephyria: Lord Marshal William K., Baron of Zephyria
- Thanasia: HIH Eritoshi, Countess of Memphis
- Palasia: Lord John Gordon, Baron of Zephyria
- Lichtenstein: Lord Charles Clarke, Duke of Grantabridge
- Porthbokon: Lady Evren Filgert, Duchess of Dumnonia
- New Richmond: HIH Lord Admiral Joseph Kennedy, Count of Greater Richmond
- Shineshore: Lord Rear Admiral Alastair Cranston, Duke of New Virginia
- Terentia: Lord Vice Admiral Eren (formerly Jacob) Lewis, Baron of Terentia
- Harenfall: Lord Sivert MacLean, Duke of Redcaster
His Imperial Majesty the Emperor yesterday promulgated an Imperial Decree which ordered a referendum to take place on 31 August in which all Austenasian subjects will be able to vote on proposed amendments to the Constitution.
Local elections will also take place on 31 August, in which each Town will choose who to serve as its Representative in Parliament.
Several of the proposed amendments are little more than corrections to mistakes in the spelling and grammar of the Constitution, which was adopted in September 2011. The main amendments which have been proposed are:
- Local elections shall take place at least once every five years instead of at least once every two years.
- Local elections will be able to take place in Towns individually. At present, all Towns have their local election at the same time.
- The structure of the judicial system will be able to be reorganised by Parliament (it currently being entrenched by the Constitution).
- Parliament will be able to make provision for whom the Throne should pass to should the Line of Succession come to an end.
- The Monarch will be able to temporarily suspend the Constitution should there be an emergency so severe (an “existential threat to the state”) that normal government becomes completely impossible.
Subjects will have the option to vote Yes, No, or Abstain to the proposed changes.
Should over half of all Austenasian subjects vote Yes, then an Act of Parliament will be proposed to put the amendments into effect, which will require the support of over 80% of Representatives to pass.
HIH Lord Dux Joseph Kennedy, Count of Greater Richmond, has been elected Prime Minister of Austenasia with 68.3% of the vote.
Lord Dux Joseph had run as an independent against Countess Eritoshi of Memphis, who had sought to be re-elected on an environmentalist platform. The Countess received 21.95% of the vote, while 9.75% of voters chose to abstain.
Forty one people voted out of an electorate of forty eight – an impressive 85.4% turnout. This was up from a 60% turnout in the previous general election, when Countess Eritoshi was elected in November 2013.
“We congratulate Lord Dux Joseph on his election as Prime Minister, and offer our commiserations to Countess Eritoshi,” Emperor Jonathan I said after announcing the election results. “The Lord Dux worked hard on his campaign, and we look forward to what he will bring to government. We also wish to congratulate the Austenasian people on an impressive turnout – this was your opportunity to have your say in who will lead our government, and you certainly took it.”
Lord Dux Joseph, speaking exclusively to the Austenasian Times, gave the following statement: “It is the greatest honour of my life to be chosen as Prime Minister of the Empire. I shall strive for the remainder of my term to serve the Austenasian people and HIM the Emperor in any way possible.” His official victory speech can be heard here.