Questions submitted by members of the public through an online platform for the presidential and vice presidential debates will be selected by drawing lots, Internet media outlet Watchout (沃草) said yesterday.
Watchout spokesman Lin Zu-yi (林祖儀) told a press conference in Taipei that only questions tendered on the platform — called “President, may I ask a question?” (總統，給問嗎?) — that have received at least 1,000 signatures from netizens will be considered for the draws.
“Since the platform was launched in October, it has received more than 4,000 questions that netizens want to ask the three pairs of presidential and vice presidential candidates competing in next month’s election,” Lin said, adding that 68 of the questions had met the 1,000-signature threshold as of yesterday.
Lin said that for the first and only vice presidential debate, which is scheduled to be held on Saturday, six out of 15 topics — including the economy, labor, finance, education, cross-strait ties, foreign affairs, healthcare and social welfare — are to be selected by drawing lots.
“For each topic, we will draw a question at random from a pool on Friday, so there will be six questions in total,” Lin said.
As for the second presidential debate planned for Jan. 2, one question will be drawn at random from each five out of the 15 subjects a day before, Lin said.
Questions posed by the public will only be asked in the two aforementioned televised debates, as the first presidential debate on Sunday will only take questions from media representatives.
The representatives of the three political parties participating in the debate welcomed the selection method.
Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) presidential candidate Eric Chu’s (朱立倫) campaign spokesperson Hsu Chiao-hsin (徐巧芯) said the party welcomed such a fair and open question selection mechanism.
“Each question will be answered by all three candidates, which the KMT finds fair and supports 100 percent,” Hsu said.
Democratic Progressive Party Department of News and Information director Alex Huang (黃重諺) said there were many organizations aspiring to host the debates, but the online platform was the one that best fit the growing trend of openness in the nation’s public affairs.
“It allows people to directly participate in public affairs through the Internet, which is why it can best represent a diversity of public opinions,” Huang said.
People First Party Propaganda Department director Clarence Wu (吳崑玉) said the online platform has not only altered the manner in which the future head of state deals with the public, but can also bring about changes in the legislative mechanism for proposing bills.
GREATER NUMBER: The sorties might have been a response to the US and the EU expressing concern on Friday over China’s ‘provocations’ in the Taiwan Strait Twenty-five Chinese military aircraft and four naval ships were detected around Taiwan from 6am Saturday to 6am yesterday, including eight airplanes that had crossed the median line of the Taiwan Strait and another two that entered Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ). The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) aircraft that entered Taiwan’s southwestern ADIZ were a Y-8 anti-submarine plane and a BZK-005 uncrewed aerial vehicle, the Ministry of National Defense said. The aircraft that flew across the median line include two Sukhoi Su-30 fighter jets, four J-16 multipurpose fighters and two J-10 jets, the ministry’s official Web site showed. Taiwan’s armed forces monitored the
Mask easing: Teachers are allowed to take their masks off while lecturing indoors, but students should keep theirs on, as COVID-19 measures ease this week The Ministry of Education (MOE) yesterday released new on-campus COVID-19 prevention guidelines, stating that masks can be taken off while exercising, singing, dancing, performing, taking photographs, dining, drinking, video and voice recording, hosting events, presenting speeches and lecturing outdoors. Large outdoor events organized by schools should comply with the mask regulations issued by the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC), it added. The new guidelines came into effect yesterday, and people in Taiwan are no longer required to wear masks outdoors for the first time since May 19 last year. The CECC announced the easing of the mask mandate on Monday, adding that it
LUNAR NEW YEAR PEAK: Taiwanese who are in China should get vaccinated and consider returning early, as infection rates are expected to increase, the CECC said China faces five major problems once COVID-19 begins spreading there, with a peak in infections likely during the Lunar New Year holidays, Deputy Minister of Health and Welfare Victor Wang (王必勝), who heads the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC), said yesterday. Wang wrote on Facebook that according to the center’s data, the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in China is worth noting, as the new Omicron subvariants BF.7 and BA.5.2 spreading in China are highly infectious and are more transmissible than the previously dominating Omicron subvariants. “The virus cannot be eliminated even under China’s strict control measures,” he wrote. “Its policy
‘SEXUAL ASSAULT’: Taipei prosecutors said that cooperation agreements between Taiwan and the Czech Republic grant Czech officials protection against prosecution The Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office yesterday reaffirmed that it would not charge a Czech official with sexual assault because he is protected by diplomatic immunity. The office released a statement saying it has verified that the man works for the Czech Economic and Cultural Office Taipei’s foreign affairs corps and is thereby protected from criminal prosecution. A foreign graduate student in Taiwan had filed a complaint alleging that the section head of the Czech Economic and Trade Section had sexually assaulted her on April 21 last year. The woman said the Czech official had invited her to his home and then forced her