BABOUGRAD – Caught off-guard by the attempted secession of its state of Sezentrania, the Occitanian government has obtained court action to restore constitutional order; however, its moral authority to quash the secession may be wanting.
A recent addition to the federation, Sezentrania joined Occitania on October 19th, and reportedly consisted of a single citizen, Daniel Lee, the state’s founder, on October 20th. Despite being its founder, the federal government refused to allow Lee to act as the state’s governor, instead designating the federal legislature, the Vergadering, as the state’s administrator.
Within a week, Lee’s desire to be part of the Occitanian state had waned and on October 27th, he unilaterally declared Sezentrania to be an independent state, something that the federal government only learned of when it happened across a wiki page profiling the Free Democratic Republic of Sezentrania.
Occitania’s government has quickly moved to denounce the secession as illegitimate, stating its contention that as Lee was not the governor of the state, he had no mandate to declare independence. “This is a real coup d’état and a real constitutional affront,” the government said through state media, “There can be no question of self-determination because this action is one-sided.” It stressed that it was open to a solution to the dispute over Sezentrania’s status so long as it was compliant with the federal constitution.
With Lee being the only resident of Sezentrania, the argument by the federal government that the secession is not a question of self-determination appears fleeting at best. While it is a fact that Lee did not follow constitutional processes, his decision as the sole resident of the state is, arguably, the practice of self-determination in action.
More questionable is whether the federal government has moral standing to oppose the secession of Sezentrania. On October 27th, Occitania announced its support for the unilateral declaration of independence issued by the Spanish state of Catalonia. Catalonia declared independence, in violation of Spanish law, following the results of an unconstitutional referendum in which a minority of its residents participated. With its own territorial integrity is threatened by similar action, Occitania’s government now underscores the importance of constitutional law and minimizes the right of a local populace to exercise self-determination.
Finding itself in Spain’s position, Occitania has today obtained a court judgment appointing another one of its state governors, Ivanna Minaïeva, as Sezentrania’s prefect, tasked with enforcing the federal constitution and cracking down on the secession movement.