Back to list

Student protesters form new group to tackle referendum rules

2014/05/18 18:38

Taipei, May 18 (CNA) Lin Fei-fan and Chen Wei-ting, the two main leaders of a recent student-led occupation of the Legislature, established a new organization on Sunday with the primary aim of pushing for reform of the country's referendum law.

Specifically, the new group, called Taiwan March, will advocate lowering the voter turnout threshold for a national referendum, which is currently 50 percent.

To this end, it will launch a petition seeking at least 100,000 signatures within six months, for an amendment to the Referendum Act, Lin said at a press conference.

In its broader efforts to push for political reforms, Taiwan March will collaborate with other civic groups to discuss draft bills on public issues such as free economic pilot zones in Taiwan and oversight of cross-strait agreements, Lin said.

The discussions will also include legislative review of a trade-in-services pact with China, he said, referring to the issue that spurred the student-led protests in Taiwan in March.

Chen, the more emotive of the two leaders, said Taiwan March has no intension at this point of evolving into a political party or joining any individual campaign for the year-end elections - not even that of the green-leaning independent Ko Wen-je who is running for Taipei mayor.

Lin and Chen led the Sunflower Movement, a series of protests organized by a coalition of students and civic groups from March 18 to April 10 against the cross-strait service trade pact.

(By Wen Kuei-hsiang and Jeffrey Wu)ENDITEM/pc

(Click here for a timeline of major events of the Sunflower Movement between March 17 and April 7.)