As people yesterday lined up at polling stations nationwide to vote, there were some incidents of ballots being destroyed and numerous reports of voting delays because of the massive turnout, resulting in people still waiting in line after the polls were scheduled to close at 4pm.
The Central Election Commission (CEC) announced that voting would continue until those who were in line at 4pm had cast their ballots.
Commission officials attributed the high voter turnout to the warm, sunny weather and heated mayoral and city council races in several of the special municipalities.
The combination of the nine-in-one elections and 10 referendums also contributed to lengthy voting waits, officials said.
President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) arrived at her polling station at Sioulang Elementary School in New Taipei City about 8:30am, where she waited in line with other residents for about 30 minutes.
Although her security team was around her, Tsai chatted with those near her in line while they waited.
“This is the mark of a democracy, of people voting to express their will. This is the first time we have so many referendum questions, so voters need to spend a little more time. When more referendum votes are held in the future, then people will be more familiar with the process,” Tsai said later.
Hon Hai Precision Industry Co chairman Terry Gou (郭台銘) complained about the long lines, saying he had to wait for about an hour arriving about 11am at his polling station at Dongmen Elementary School in Taipei.
Taipei City Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) arrived at 10am at his polling station in Songshan District (松山) and waited one-and-a-half hours to vote.
There were still lines of people waiting to cast their ballots as of 6pm in several locations, including Taipei, New Taipei City, Taoyuan and Kaohsiung.
In a dramatic episode, a 62-year-old Kaohsiung resident surnamed Su (蘇) died just after casting her ballots at a polling station in Hunei District (湖內).
She collapsed inside the polling station, and was rushed by ambulance to a local hospital, but could not be revived, and Kaohsiung officials said it appeared she had experienced a stroke.
As of 4pm, 41 incidents of ballots being destroyed had been reported, officials said.
A woman surnamed Yeh (葉) in New Taipei’s Sindian District (新店) was questioned after she tore up her 10 referendum ballots.
She would be fined NT$50,000, or NT$5,000 per ballot, for contravening Article 44 of the Referendum Act (公民投票法), officials said.
Three incidents were reported in New Taipei City of people taking cellphones into voting booths, officials said, adding that the two men and one woman were taken in for questioning for contravening the Civil Servants Election And Recall Act (公職人員選舉罷免法), and could face fines of up to NT$300,000.
921 EARTHQUAKE: The magnitude 7.3 quake left 2,456 people dead and 10,718 injured, while 53,661 houses were fully destroyed and 53,024 houses damaged The Central Weather Bureau yesterday received about 50,000 views on Facebook after it posted the data that it collected on Sept. 21, 1999, when the nation was devastated by a magnitude 7.3 earthquake. The data showed that the 921 Earthquake hit the nation at 1:47am, with the epicenter being 7km southwest of the bureau’s quake detection center in Nantou County’s Yuchi Township (魚池) at a depth of 8km. The quake left 2,456 people dead and 10,718 injured, while 53,661 houses were fully destroyed and 53,024 houses damaged, with the cost of the damage estimated at NT$300 billion (US$10.8 billion at the current
British newspaper The Mail on Sunday reported that Prince Charles met with Bruno Wang (汪家興), a Taiwanese fugitive who describes himself as a Chinese philanthropist and donated ￡500,000 (US$683,522) to the prince’s charity, the Prince’s Foundation. The newspaper reported that Wang is wanted in Taiwan on charges related to money laundering and being a fugitive from justice, allegations he denies, and drew comparisons between Wang and the Russian banker Dmitry Leus. Investigation and cooperation with foreign authorities have found that Bruno Wang’s father, Andrew Wang (汪傳浦), had stashed proceeds from a scandal involving the procurement of Lafayette frigates in 61 bank accounts,
AT ODDS: The KMT called on the government to seek bilateral dialogue with Beijing to resolve the issue that led to the ban on custard apple and wax apple imports Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) officials and lawmakers yesterday condemned China’s sudden ban on imports of custard apples and wax apples from Taiwan as “obvious political retaliation,” while the opposition called for a scientific investigation into Beijing’s claim to have found pests in imports of the fruits. China earlier yesterday announced a ban on the importation of the two fruits from today, citing repeated discoveries of Planococcus minor, a type of mealybug. The announcement follows a similar ban on Taiwanese pineapples imposed in February. At least Beijing gave a few days’ notice when it banned pineapple imports, an unnamed government official said yesterday. This time
BY OTHER MEANS: China could see CPTPP membership as a means of circumventing trade restrictions imposed by the US, amid an ongoing trade dispute between them The US could invoke a clause in its trade agreement with Canada and Mexico to block China’s application to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), a government official said yesterday. Under Article 32.10 of the Exceptions and General Provisions of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), if either Canada or Mexico enter a free-trade agreement with a nonmarket economy — such as China — the US could withdraw from the agreement. “If that clause applies to multilateral free-trade agreements such as the CPTPP — which Mexico and Canada are members of — that might be cause for the two