Taipei, Dec. 31 (CNA) Taiwan's military is on "focused alert" for the Jan. 11 presidential and legislative elections, which puts the troops on guard against possible external threats and any internal contingencies, the Ministry of National Defense (MND) said Tuesday.
The security alert, implemented under the "Regulations on ROC Armed Forces' Responses to Contingencies During Peacetime," is the second highest level in the military's three-tier defense readiness status during peacetime, which includes regular and heightened alerts.
A mid-level alert is usually adopted during major holidays or on special occassions such as elections, with the aim of putting the military on guard in the event of any threats from external forces or contingencies that might arise in Taiwan.
"In preparation for the presidential and legislative elections, the Republic of China (ROC) Armed Forces alert has been raised to "focused" to facilitate manpower rotation," the MND said in a press statement. "This will allow soldiers to vote without compromising the country's security."
Lin Wen-huang (林文皇), chief of the Policy Development Division of the Office of Deputy Chief in the General Staff for Operations and Planning, said the troops will vote in shifts to avoid security issues that could arise from manpower shortage.
However, about 5,000 soldiers, or 2.6 percent of military personnel, will not be able to vote because of the nature of their duties on Election Day, which include patrolling the Taiwan Strait, he said.
Taiwan's presidential and legislative elections will be held on Jan. 11, 2020.