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Alliance holds first meeting, calls for independence referendum

2018/06/16 20:21:16

Kuo Bei-hong (郭倍宏, center), former Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮, right), and former Premier Chang Chun-hsiung (張俊雄, left)/CNA file photo

Taipei, June 16 (CNA) The Formosa Alliance held its first meeting of its full organization in Taichung on Saturday, calling on its supporters to demand a referendum on a formal declaration of independence in April next year.

Kuo Bei-hong (郭倍宏), chairman of Formosa TV (FTV) and the founding leader of the alliance, said the group's plan is to first push the Legislative Yuan to amend the Referendum Act before August 31, and then hold an independence referendum on April 6, 2018.

Kuo said it is hoped that the result of the referendum will help Taiwan achieve its goal of becoming a "normal" nation as well as gain international recognition.

"We want to become a normalized country," he said.

Kuo's plan was an acknowledgment that the referendum would not be allowed under existing law.

The Referendum Act does not allow questions on matters touching on Taiwan's Constitution, which an independence referendum would.

As for the referendum's target date, Kuo said it was chosen to mark the 30th anniversary of the death of Deng Nan-jung (鄭南榕), a Taiwan independence and democracy advocate who self-immolated on April 7, 1989 in defense of "100 percent freedom of expression."

In a recorded broadcast, former President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) said he fully supported the call for an independence referendum, and cited Singapore as an inspiration because it is smaller than Taiwan but still a sovereign nation and a member of the United Nations.

The Taiwanese public must stand up together and have their voices heard, he urged.

The Formosa Alliance is a political coalition that was founded on April 7 this year. Notable members also include former President Lee Teng-hui (李登輝), who later formed the Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) after his presidency in 2001.

The day's event saw more than 5,000 supporters, including former Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮), who quit the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in May after the party nominated Legislator Yao Wen-chih (姚文智) instead of her to run in the Taipei mayoral election later this year.

(By Su Mu-chun and Ko Lin)