Above: The flag of Mercia (left) and the flag of the Würtige Empire (right).
Voting concluded on Sunday in the referendum on Mercian sovereignty. The referendum on Mercia’s status as an autonomous state of the Würtige Empire had been called following prolonged inactivity within the Imperial Government. The campaign which had begun over the course of the previous week was dominated by the “Yes Mercia” campaign, supported by the two main parties in the Mercian Parliament. The Yes side advocated leaving the Empire to make Mercia an independent state. No campaigning for the “No” side had taken place by the time voting began on Friday, leading to little scrutiny or opposition to the “Yes Mercia” campaign.
Above: The results of the referendum.
Turnout was about two-thirds of the overall population at 14 voters. The results were announced after voting concluded on Sunday afternoon. 92.9% of voters voted Yes to leaving the Empire, leaving 7.1% voting against leaving. Following the announcement of the results by Mercia’s Electoral Gorsedh in the Parliament House, former HPA leader Baron Callum Newton said that “democracy had prevailed”, while Culture Minister Baron John Churchill said that he felt “we made the right decision”.
“This is not just a mandate for independence,” said First Minister Ó Cathail, who had introduced the referendum bill in to Parliament in January, “it is a final call for the Empire to do the right thing, and formally dissolve”. The process of formally exiting the Würtige Empire will now begin, with Mercia due to be fully independent from the Empire before the Mercian parliamentary election in March. With Mercia’s departure, the Empire will be left with only one member state, Beacon City. FM Ó Cathail will be addressing the Beaconite Municipal Assembly on Friday, where he is expected to renew his commitment to giving the Würtige Empire a “dignified death” with the assistance of the Beaconite Government. Meanwhile, no response from the Imperial Government regarding the outcome of the referendum has been issued.