Thu, Jul 10, 2014 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan Citizen Union is approved

FINALLY:The Ministry of the Interior had rejected the reform group several times because of its name, which had prompted accusations it was trying to suppress it

By Loa Iok-sin  /  Staff reporter

Collectively initiated by various activists with the aim of pushing for political reform, the Taiwan Citizen Union (公民組合) has finally been approved by the Ministry of the Interior, following several rejections.

Posting a picture of the approval letter from the ministry on its Facebook page, the group announced that it has finally been approved by the ministry and that it would soon be holding a meeting to elect its president.

The new group was initiated by more than two dozen activists, including former Judicial Reform Foundation chief executive director Lin Feng-cheng (林峰正), Taiwan Rural Front president Hsu Shih-jung (徐世榮), Taiwan Rural Front secretary-general Frida Tsai (蔡培慧), writer Michael Lin (林世煜) and Academia Sinica associate researcher Huang Kuo-chang (黃國昌).

“[Former Democratic Progressive Party chairman] Lin I-hsiung [林義雄] was behind the founding of the group, but he will not be involved in the operations of the group,” co-founder Lin Feng-cheng said. “The group’s objectives are to create a better and fairer society through political participation and reform.”

As a social organization, it will not be able to nominate candidates in elections, but can recommend candidates to run as independents.

Previously, the group accused the ministry of trying to block the group’s founding by turning down their applications, saying that the words “Republic of China (ROC)” or “Taiwan” should be included in the group’s full name.

The ministry denied that accusation yesterday.

“We didn’t turn down the applications, we merely wanted to make the recommendation that the group include ‘ROC’ or ‘Taiwan’ in its full name, since that’s what most other groups do,” Department of Cooperative and Civil Associations Director Weng Wen-te (翁文德) said.

“It’s only a recommendation, there’s no law saying they must do so, it’s a fundamental right for people to decide the name of their organization,” Weng said.

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