|Sir Jacques Antoniou|
Jacques Antoniou was the Foreign Minister in the Pantocratoria First Government of 2004, led by Princess Irene. Prior to that, he was the Minister for Trade (1995 to 1999) and Attorney General (1999 to 2004) in the United Christian Front Government led by Prince Basil. He was a member of the Pantocratorian Imperial Parliament for the seat of the See of Adrienople from 1980 to 2004, but did not seek re-election in the second 2004 election. He is the only Pantocratorian Foreign Minister against whom a motion of no confidence carried in the Imperial Parliament without that motion also extending the rest of the ministry.
Jacques was born the second son of a well-to-do family of high social status - his paternal grandfather had been a Knight of the Order of the Pantocrator and his maternal great grandmother was an illegitimate daughter of the Duke of Adrienople. He was an exceptional school student and attended university, where he studied law. He was admitted to the bar at the age of twenty two, in 1968, and practised criminal law with distinction, becoming one of the youngest Imperial Counsels in Pantocratoria at the age of twenty seven, in 1973. In the same year, he married his wife, Marie-Isabelle (whom he doting refers to as Misa).
He shifted to constitutional law (a nebulous field indeed in Pantocratoria, where there is no written constitution) in 1975, a professional shift which naturally drew his interests into politics. He believed the Pantocratorian National Democratic Party and its policies to be threatening to the important balance of power between the Emperor and the Parliament. As a social conservative and devout Catholic, Antoniou saw the Emperor as a safeguard of what he held to be core Pantocratorian values against dangerous internationalist modernism. As Adrienople's most distinguished lawyer, he was a star recruit for the United Christian Front, whose lead legal counsel he became in 1977.
Election into Parliament
He supported Jean-Pierre d'Adrienople in the struggle over the United Christian Front leadership, and when Jean-Pierre d'Adrienople resigned the leadership in 1979, he made it known that he wouldn't seek re-election as a member of the Imperial Parliament for the seat of the See of Adrienople at the next election. Jean-Pierre d'Adrienople supported Jacques Antoniou's efforts to be pre-selected for the seat, which he then won in the 1980 elections by a convincing margin. He became a rising star on the United Christian Front backbench, where he became an ally of an even more rapidly rising star, Prince Basil, who assumed one of the seats reserved for the Imperial Family in 1981. When Princess Irene entered the parliament, he became even more closely allied to her. In 1984, upon the recommendation of Princess Irene, he was made a Knight of the Order of the Pantocrator.
United Christian Front Government
Throughout the period of opposition he was a distinguished parliamentary debater. When the United Christian Front won government in 1992, he expected to be made a minister, and felt snubbed when Prince Basil, the new Imperial Chancellor, didn't make him part of the cabinet from the outset. He remained close to Princess Irene, but his relations with the Chancellor became a little cooler than once they were. Princess Irene secured him a position in the cabinet in 1995 as Minister for Trade, a portfolio in which Sir Jacques distinguished himself. In 1999 he was promoted to the more senior position of Attorney General, and became one of the Imperial Government's star performers, especially in his handling of the media.
Pantocratoria First Party Government
He backed Princess Irene in the party room coup which saw the United Christian Front torn apart into the Pantocratoria First Party (led by Princess Irene) and the Loyal Christian Front (led by Prince Basil). The Pantocratoria First Party won the struggle and subsequent election, and Sir Jacques was made Foreign Minister in the new government. The Loyal Christian Front had its revenge for the key role Sir Jacques played in the split, however, when it managed to force the Knootian Boycott Act through the parliament. Sir Jacques made the fatal error of secretly advising Knootoss that the Imperial Government didn't support the Knootian Boycott Act even though it had been passed into law, a severe case of ministerial misconduct, of which the Opposition inevitably caught wind. The house passed a motion of no confidence in Sir Jacques, and Princess Irene left the chamber during the debate to speak to her brother, the Emperor, where, as Imperial Chancellor, she advised him of two things - the first, that the Imperial Parliament be dissolved and fresh elections called, and the second, that Sir Jacques be created a Knight-Master of the Order of the Pantocrator. The Emperor accepted both pieces of advice. Sir Jacques resigned from the ministry in disgrace and did not seek re-election.
Sir Jacques is now a columnist for the Adrienople Morning Herald (his editorial column is called the Sir Jacques' Journée), and a prominent member of Adrienople society circles. He occasionally takes legal cases he deems important pro bono.
Sir Pierre Phocas
|Pantocratorian Foreign Minister