The Central Election Commission is mulling criminal complaints against the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), which it suspects of forging signatures on a referendum petition to reduce air pollution, a commission official said yesterday.
The commission has determined that there is cause to suspect electoral fraud and officials would convene on Tuesday to decide the proposal’s fate, said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity.
The KMT submitted 497,302 signatures for the second phase of the referendum proposal, initiated by KMT Legislator Lu Shiow-yen (盧秀燕), but the commission had ruled 182,848 signatures, or 36.8 percent, invalid by Thursday last week, the official said.
More than 2 percent of signatures belonged to dead people, including some who died long before the petitions were signed, the source said, adding that a significant number of signatures were in the same handwriting styles.
Suspected use of dead people’s identities or and forged signatures were identified on 89,043 petitions, they said, adding that considering the number, the KMT might be liable under the Criminal Code.
The highest number of dead signatories were recorded in Taipei at 2,591, or 4.7 percent, followed by New Taipei City with 1,759 and Taoyuan with 1,058 signatures, or about 2.8 in both municipalities, the source said.
In Kaohsiung, 35,892 signatures out of about 71,000 — or about 50 percent — appeared forged, followed by 16,319 in Taipei and 8,672 in Tainan, or about 20 percent in those municipalities, they said.
There were 18,451 petitions with duplicate signatures, 13,409 petitions containing incorrect or illegible names, 12,205 with incorrect or illegible ID numbers and 34,299 with incorrect or illegible addresses, the official said.
It is unreasonable to assume that 60,000 people were confused about their name, registered address or ID number, and a far more likely explanation is that the errors stemmed from copying or forgery, the official said.
The commission confirmed that it would on Tuesday deliberate on how to proceed with the KMT’s referendum proposals.
It reiterated that it is an independent agency, and would follow the law and due procedure.
This story has been corrected since it was first published.
SPEEDING ELETRIC VEHICLES: Available without license requirements, the low-cost vehicles, especially if illicitly modified, can often reach a dangerous speed The government should crack down on illegal electric bicycles and scooters, the non-profit Consumers’ Foundation said on Friday, citing research on the potentially dangerous speed of the vehicles. Electric bicycles and lightweight electric scooters have gained popularity as they do not require registration and riders do not need licenses, the foundation said, adding that as many as 40 percent of them can reach speeds exceeding the legal limit of 25kph for non-licensed two-wheelers. Some consumers also purchased legal electric vehicles and modified them to reach higher speeds, it said. “If the government does not step up efforts to confiscate these
‘RELIABLE PARTNER’: US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar praised the ‘Taiwan model,’ saying that the nation brought its spirit to its COVID-19 response The first memorandum of understanding (MOU) on health cooperation between the Ministry of Health and Welfare and the US Department of Health and Human Services was yesterday signed at the Centers for Disease Control in Taipei. The memorandum was signed between the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the US, by AIT Director Brent Christensen and Taiwan Council for US Affairs Chairperson Jen-ni Yang (楊珍妮). US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar and Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) witnessed the signing of the memorandum, designed to enhance the nations’
NEW CASE REPORTED: A man who returned from South Africa on a flight with the nation’s 460th and 461st cases has now tested positive for the disease The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday said that there is no need to test all arrivals to the nation for COVID-19, a policy the Executive Yuan supports. The center reported one new imported case, bringing the nation’s tally of confirmed cases to 477. The new case is a Taiwanese man in his 60s who on July 25 returned from South Africa, said Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥), who is also the CECC’s spokesman. The man had returned to Taiwan on the same flight as cases Nos. 460 and 461, reported on July 27, Chuang said. On July 24,
Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) yesterday tweeted a welcome to Somaliland’s first representative to Taiwan, Mohamed Omar Hagi Mohamoud, who arrived on Friday. Mohamoud had “braved Chinese pressure” to take up his new post, Wu wrote. “The fact ‘sovereignty & friendship aren’t for sale’ deserves international recognition,” referring to a Somaliland media report earlier this month that Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi had rejected an offer by the Chinese government in exchange for ending its rapprochement with Taiwan. Wu also thanked the US National Security Council (NSC) for praising Taiwan-Somaliland ties. A council tweet on July 10 praised Taiwan