Several pro-localization activists led by the Taiwan Association of University Professors (TAUP) continued their hunger strike in front of the legislature yesterday.
Wearing black T-shirts with the slogans “Taiwan is my country” and “Love Made in Taiwan,” the protesters are demanding an amendment to the Referendum Law (公投法).
The law, enacted by the Chinese Nationalist Party-dominated (KMT) legislature in 2003, stipulates that the number of signatures required for a referendum proposal to be reviewed is 0.5 percent of the voters who participated in the most recent presidential election — or approximately 80,000 individuals — with an additional 5 percent signatures from the population needed for a referendum to be held.
The law has long been criticized by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) as a “bird cage” law. The DPP has made several attempts to have the law amended over the past several years, but its proposals never clear the legislative floor.
The protesters began the hunger strike after participating in the opposition rally on Ketagalan Boulevard on Saturday. They have remained in front of the legislature since, with posters written in Chinese, Japanese and English demanding an amendment to the Referendum Law.
“I’m protesting against the Legislative Yuan by staging a hunger strike,” TAUP chairman Tsai Ting-kuei (蔡丁貴) said. “I will stay here until the law is amended.”
Tsai called for changes to the high thresholds stipulated in the law for a referendum to be passed.
A participant at the hunger strike surnamed Chueh (闕) said that everyone in Taiwan should stand up and oppose the KMT administration’s pro-China policy, saying it was “a matter of life and death.”
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