The Appendectomy Project yesterday said it plans to hold 88 seminars across the nation — starting on Thursday — to promote public awareness of citizens’ rights to recall elected officials.
Invitations are to be sent to legislative candidates across party lines asking for their signatures to support an amendment to the law that would see the threshold for an official to be recalled lowered, it said.
The group said that Article 17 of the Constitution — which states that the public has the rights of election, recall, and initiating referendums — supported their proposal, but added that exercising the right of recall is more difficult than is commonly believed.
The efforts of the project and the Constitution 133 Alliance to recall Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislators Lin Hung-chih (林鴻池) and Wu Yu-sheng (吳育昇) stalled after the petition failed to reach the threshold to pass the second stage, the group pointed out.
The vote to recall Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Alex Tsai (蔡正元) proceeded to the third stage, but then failed due to a low voter turnout of 24.98 percent, the group said.
Regulations on recalls require that 2 percent of an official’s constituency sign a petition for a recall at the first stage and 13 percent at the second stage. The final vote requires at least half of the electorate in a constituency cast their ballots, and at least half of those polled agree to the official’s recall.
The Appendectomy Project, along with Taiwan March and the People Rule Foundation, held a rally on Oct. 3 calling for inept legislators to be swept from office and pledging to renew their efforts to amend the law.
“We plan to ask legislators and legislative candidates to support amendments dropping the required threshold in the first stage from 2 percent to 1 percent and from 13 percent in the second stage to 10 percent,” group member Lin Tsu-yi (林祖儀) said. “We also intend for the third stage voting to be changed to a simple majority vote.”
Meanwhile, the Ministry of the Interior’s planned amendments to the Civil Servants Election and Recall Act (公職人員選舉罷免法) — which might include an abolition of the rule that “recall votes cannot be spread via propaganda” — have become gridlocked.
The current regulations — that became a focus during Tsai’s recall vote in February — are outdated and should be changed, according to the majority of experts the ministry approached on the issue.
However, what the voter threshold to initiate a recall vote should be has elicited a variety of responses from analysts, with some saying it should be pegged to one third of the total legal voters of a constituency, while others say that half is correct, Civil Affairs Department Deputy Director Luo Rui-ching (羅瑞卿) said.
“We intend to bring to the Legislative Yuan a more complete version of our proposed changes,” she said.
However, Lin criticized the ministry for for what she said was a disappointing attempt to intentionally delay the amendments.
‘SMEAR CAMPAIGN’: The ‘Global Times’ accused the DPP of offering politicians in Somaliland bribes and promoting Taiwanese independence by funding US think tanks The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday denounced China’s Global Times for disseminating disinformation about Taiwan, after the Chinese state-run newspaper claimed that the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has been bribing Somaliland politicians. Taiwan in August last year inaugurated the Taiwan Representative Office in the Republic of Somaliland, which is the nation’s only representative office whose title uses just the name “Taiwan.” The East African country also established a representative office in Taipei, despite the absence of formal diplomatic relations. The Chinese-language Global Times on Monday accused the DPP of offering Somaliland politicians and their families considerable bribes, citing anonymous sources. The International Cooperation
Phase 2 clinical trial results of the Medigen Vaccine Biologics Corp’s COVID-19 vaccine on Wednesday were published on the Web site of The Lancet: Respiratory Medicine, in an early preview before publication. The study paves the way for other nations to issue emergency use authorizations or produce the Medigen vaccine, given The Lancet’s credibility as a highly respected medical journal with a rigorous peer-review process, Medigen’s international affairs director Lien Chia-en (連加恩) said. Lien said that the study is important as it proposes methods for converting international units for efficacy comparisons. The methods have been used for correlating the efficacy of hepatitis B
Ambassador Theaters on Tuesday announced that its Breeze Center cinemas in Taipei’s Songshan District (松山) would close late this month after screening thousands of major Hollywood movies and local favorites over two decades. Ambassador Theaters, one of the largest cinema chain operators in Taiwan, said that Oct. 25 would be the last day the Breeze Center cinemas screen movies, adding that its lease expires on that day. “We sincerely appreciate the support and recognition from audiences in Taipei over the past 20 years,” the company said. “We look forward to seeing you again in the future.” The cinemas started operating in 2001, upon
BUMPING AROUND: A total of 143 people sustained fall injuries at MRT stations or inside trains over eight months, with a majority caused by ‘distracted walking’ Taipei Rapid Transit Corp yesterday urged people to avoid looking at their phones when walking, saying 73 cases of “distracted walking injuries” had occurred in the Taipei Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system from January to August. As the local COVID-19 situation has been brought under control, passenger traffic has been increasing, reaching about 1.5 million rides per day last month, the company said. However, many passengers have been looking at their phones as they walk through MRT stations, which can lead to collisions with other passengers or injury from falling down stairs. A total of 143 people sustained fall injuries at MRT stations