TSU chairman questions whether CEC delaying referendum enforcement rules

By Cheng Hung-ta and Sherry Hsiao  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Sat, Jan 13, 2018 - Page 3

Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) Chairman Liu Yi-te (劉一德) yesterday questioned whether the Central Election Commission (CEC) is delaying the announcement of the Enforcement Rules of the Referendum Act (公民投票法施行細則) to prevent a referendum on the nation’s participation in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics under the name “Taiwan” from being held along with this year’s nine-in-one elections.

The amended Referendum Act (公民投票法) took effect on Wednesday last week.

“If a referendum was to be initiated now, it could definitely make it in time to be voted on along with the nine-in-one elections,” Liu said.

However, the commission has yet to announce the new enforcement rules.

“This is bound to force the plan to hold the referendum alongside the elections to fail,” Liu said.

This year’s nine-in-one elections are to take place either on Nov. 24 or Dec. 1, pending a final decision by the commission.

Holding the referendum alongside the elections would save a lot of money, make it more convenient for people to vote and promote social mobilization, Liu said, adding that democratic nations usually try to facilitate holding referendums and elections on the same day.

Furthermore, the text in the amended Referendum Act is not that different from the Executive Yuan’s original proposal, he said, adding that the changes to the enforcement rules and other details should have been drawn up already.

Although the 2020 Tokyo Olympics are more than two years away, the government still needs a period of time to lobby the international community and strive for the nation’s participation under the name “Taiwan” after the referendum passes, Liu said.

If the referendum is not held alongside this year’s nine-in-one elections, this is bound to affect the schedule, Liu added.

“The commission should not entrap President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) administration,” Liu said.

It should announce the enforcement rules and other related administrative regulations as soon as possible to allow a referendum to be held alongside the nine-in-one elections at the end of this year, he said.