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CEC ordered to accept more signatures for nuclear power referendum

2018/10/17 18:21:34

Huang Shih- hsiu (黃士修)

Taipei, Oct. 17 (CNA) The Taipei High Administrative Court has ordered the Central Election Commission (CEC) to accept supplemental signatures for a pro-nuclear power referendum proposal.

The proposal was submitted by pro-nuclear advocate Huang Shih- hsiu (黃士修) last month, the administrative court said in a statement issued Wednesday.

The decision was announced after Huang attempted to deliver more than 24,000 additional signatures Sept. 13 for the referendum on nuclear power that were rejected by the CEC.

The CEC said at that time that the referendum organizers had delivered 314,135 signatures Sept. 6 -- more than the 281,745 that the law required -- for the referendum, so there is no need for them to submit additional signatures.

The CEC added it has no authority or obligation to accept a second submission before all the submitted signatures have been verified.

The CEC decided the proposal failed to pass the second stage because its qualified endorsements submitted Sept. 6 did not reach the legally required threshold.

According to the CEC, only 279,419 signatures were verified as qualified endorsements, short by 2,326 of the 281,745 required.

However, the CEC said Tuesday that it will notify the petitioners that they can submit additional signatures within 30 days.

In addition, the administrative court ruled that the additional signatures should be accepted and handled alongside the referendum proposal delivered Sept. 6.

Huang said he was set to submit the supplemental signatures later Wednesday.

In response, the CEC said it will appeal the administrative court's decision.

Former President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) of the opposition Kuomintang endorsed the referendum proposal and gathered signatures on the streets of Taipei in August along with pro-nuclear activists.

The ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) government, however, wants to make Taiwan nuclear-free by 2025.

(By Wang Yang-yu, Liu Lee-jung and Evelyn Kao)
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