The Mejlis was founded in 1991, to act as a representative body for the Crimean Tatars which could address grievances to the Ukrainian central government, the Crimean government, and international bodies.
On June 30, 1991, the Mejlis declared its sovereignty over the Crimean Tatars, and adopted the Crimean Tatar's national anthem and national flag. Also, the Crimean Tatars elected 14 Crimean Tatar Deputies to the Verkhovna Rada of Crimea. These 14 deputies were the first Crimean Tatar representatives in the Crimean Parliament in over 50 years.
On April 6, 2010, several pro-Russian Crimean political leaders in Crimea demanded the disbanding and banning of the Mejlis and all other forms of political representation for the Crimean Tatars (including the Kurultai), claiming that they were "organized criminal groups and said their activities are unconstitutional." Crimean Tatar organizations have urged PresidentViktor Yanukovych to "protect Crimea's indigenous people from discrimination".