3 more referendum proposals meet signature requirements

05/07/2021 04:07 PM
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CNA file photo
CNA file photo

Taipei, May 7 (CNA) Three referendum proposals on the protection of the Datan algal reefs, pork imports containing ractopamine and referendum scheduling have recently received enough signatures for the petitions to pass, the Central Election Commission (CEC) said Friday.

However, a final decision on whether the three proposals will be put to a vote is expected to be announced May 14 after a review by the CEC.

If the three proposed referendums are officially passed, they are expected to be held on Aug. 28 along with a proposal on restarting Taiwan's mothballed Fourth Nuclear Power Plant, which was approved last year and is scheduled for a vote that day, according to the CEC.

Rescue Datan's Algal Reefs Alliance convener Pan Chong-cheng (潘忠政) last year initiated a referendum proposal aimed at protecting algal reefs located off the coast of Datan in Taoyuan during the construction of CPC Corp, Taiwan's (CPC) liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal, and had gained 643,371 valid signatures for the petition, far surpassing the legally required level.

The proposed referendum would ask: "Do you agree that CPC's LNG terminal should be relocated from its planned site on the algal reef coast of Datan and its adjacent waters?"

Meanwhile, two referendum questions proposed by the opposition Kuomintang (KMT) also cleared the second of two hurdles they must pass before being put to a vote.

One of the proposals is aimed at overriding the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) government's new policy of easing restrictions on imports of pork products with residue of the livestock drug ractopamine, which gathered 461,594 valid signatures.

The proposal was initiated by KMT lawmaker Lin Wei-chou (林為洲), which asks: "Do you agree that the government should prohibit imports of pork, offal or other related products that contain the β-agonist, ractopamine?"

The other question initiated by KMT Chairman Johnny Chiang (江啟臣), that asks citizens: "Do you agree that a referendum should be held concurrently with a national election if it complies with the Referendum Act and if the election is set to take place within a six-month period following the referendum's establishment?" gained 456,100 valid signatures.

In Taiwan, getting a referendum initiative to a vote has to clear two hurdles.

The first requires the signatures of 0.01 percent of the eligible voters in the most recent presidential election, which would be 1,931 people based on the 19,311,105 people eligible to vote in the 2020 president poll.

In the second stage, an initiative must collect the signatures of 1.5 percent of eligible voters in the most recent presidential election, or 289,667 people, for the referendum to be held, according to the CEC.

For a referendum to pass, it must have at least 25 percent of eligible voters, or around 5 million votes in favor, and must also garner more votes in favor than against.

Also Friday, the KMT announced that it will hold an event in 21 cities and counties around Taiwan on May 9 to promote its referendum proposals.

(By Lai Yu-chen, Liu Kuan-ting and Evelyn Kao)

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