CEC approves three more referendums to be held on Aug. 28

05/14/2021 08:37 PM
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Ballots are cast during the referendums held along with the 2018 local elections. CNA file photo
Ballots are cast during the referendums held along with the 2018 local elections. CNA file photo

Taipei, May 14 (CNA) Taiwan's Central Election Commission (CEC) on Friday approved three referendum proposals, bringing to four the number of national referendums to be held on Aug. 28.

The referendum proposals include one about the protection of a coastal algal reef and one about pork imports containing traces of the leanness-enhancing drug ractopamine. The third is about referendum scheduling.

Each of the referendum initiatives passed the second hurdle, which requires at least 289,667 endorsement signatures from eligible voters based on the most recent presidential election, the CEC said.

In Taiwan, proposed referendum initiatives have to clear two hurdles.

The first requires the signatures of 0.01 percent of the number of eligible voters in the most recent presidential election, which is 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 receive at least 25 percent of eligible voters, or around 5 million votes in favor, and must also garner more votes in favor than against.

Under the Referendum Act, referendums can only take place every two years on the fourth Saturday in August, with the next possible date being Aug. 28, 2021. No nationwide elections in Taiwan are held in odd-numbered years.

The vote on the three referendums the CEC approved on Friday will take place on Aug. 28, including one initiated by opposition Kuomintang (KMT) lawmaker Lin Wei-chou (林為洲).

The No. 18 Referendum asks: "Do you agree that the government should prohibit imports of pork, offal or other related products that contain the β-agonist, ractopamine?"

The No. 19 Referendum, initiated by KMT Chairman Johnny Chiang (江啟臣), 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 scheduled to take place within six months of the referendum being approved?"

The No. 20 Referendum was initiated by Rescue Datan's Algal Reefs Alliance convener Pan Chong-cheng (潘忠政) last year to protect algal reefs located off the coast of Datan in Taoyuan from the construction of CPC Corp, Taiwan's (CPC) liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal.

The referendum asks voters: "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?"

In December 2020, a referendum initiated by nuclear power advocate Huang Shih-hsiu (黃士修), met the endorsement threshold required to be put to a vote. The No. 17 Referendum asks: "Do you agree that the 4th Nuclear Power Plant be activated for commercial operations?"

The CEC said it will hold five opinion presentations or debate events for each referendum on a national terrestrial television channel from July 24 to Aug. 21.

Those interested in debating in favor of the referendum proposal can sign up with the referendum initiators while those against can register at the CEC, it said.

(By Lai Yu-chen and Elizabeth Hsu)

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