In April 2004 the Szekler National Council initiated official local referendums regarding the territorial autonomy of Szeklerland, because the referendum, as the direct instrument of the democracy is the most authentic form of the expression of the will of a community. Before this the competent body of the Romanian Parliament refused the draft law on the territorial autonomy of Szeklerland arguing – among others – that according to the article nr. 20. of Law nr. 215/2001 on Local Administration, the borders of the administration units can be changed only after the population of the affected territories was consulted by a referendum.
Thus the Szekler National Council asked the local authorities of the Szekler counties and the local municipalities of Szeklerland to organize opinion-giving referendums regarding the territorial autonomy of Szeklerland having a fourfold strengthened basis: the right of the expression of the will of a community, the values of the democracy, the right assured by the law and a Romanian state authority.
In its appeal to the local authorities in Szeklerland the Szekler National Council asked the adoption of decisions for organizing referendums with the following question: Does the people of a given locality want, that Szeklerland should become an autonomous regional administrative unit by an organic law and the given locality to belong to it? The local self governments of eleven Szekler settlements decided to hold referendum but these decisions were sued in the administrative courts by the prefects (the representatives of the central government at county level) and achieved the overruling of these decisions mainly with reference to the prescription of the article nr. 1, paragraph (1) of the Constitution. Two local self governments appealed to Strasbourg, to the European Court of Human Rights.
The Romanian authorities deprived the inhabitants of Szeklerland of their basic rights to express their opinion, and for this the Permanent Committee of the Szekler National Council decided to ask directly the members of the community: Would they like Szeklerland to achieve a territorial autonomy, an autonomous status?
395.008 people with the right to vote from 254 Szekler settlements had the opportunity to vote on the territorial autonomy of Szeklerland between December 2006 and February 2008. The members of the Szekler National Council reached 209.304 of these people and 207.864 of them voted for the territorial autonomy of Szeklerland. 1.108 voted against and 300 votes were invalid. So, 99,31% of the voters said Yes for the territorial autonomy of Szeklerland, 0,52 were against and 0,14% of the votes were invalid. The detailed results of the referendum are here enclosed.
The Szekler National Council rates that the referendum was successful and states that:
The result of the referendum proves clearly: the Szekler people, the citizens of Szeklerland want to use their rights to self determination and claim firmly the creation by law of the Autonomous Region of Szeklerland (the territorial autonomy of Szeklerland).
In the history of the aspirations for autonomy of Szeklerland a period - the era of the initiatives and path searching, the time of the organization of the community and the expression of the common will- is closed. Until now it was necessary to make visible and to show clearly to the world that unique and common vision of our future which sets us together and what can be described with these two words: Autonomous Szeklerland.
Now the task is to vindicate the expressed will of the community! The common will expressed during the successful referendum creates new tasks not only for the members of the Szekler National Council, but it is a moral obligation of all people of Szeklerland.
From now on the territorial autonomy of Szeklerland becomes an unavoidable question for all actors of the public life, candidates in the local elections, future mayors and councilors in the local administrations, future candidates from Szeklerland for the Romanian and European Parliament. Every of them has the moral obligation to take into consideration the vindication of the expressed will of the Szekler community and to introduce in their programs those concrete steps which serve the materialisation of the territorial autonomy of Szeklerland.
The local self governments of Szeklerland have to create a strong and coherent institutional system which
is unanimously committed to the territorial autonomy of Szeklerland
fully supports the draft law of the Szekler National Council regarding the territorial autonomy of Szeklerland submitted to the Romanian parliament
undertakes the organization of official local referendums referring to the territorial autonomy of Szeklerland and if the Romanian authorities impede the realizations of the referendums is ready to go to the European Court of Human Rights
undertakes to use consistently the Szekler symbols
undertakes that the local self governments in Szeklerland subordinate every step and every form of self organization to the territorial autonomy of Szeklerland
The Permanent Committee of the Szekler National Council has the mandate to prepare and to present within six month to the Szekler National Council all those concrete steps, which are necessary, in order to vindicate the commonly expressed will of the Szekler people from the Romanian authorities, and the international forums.
Sepsiszentgyörgy 23.02.2008. The Szekler National Council