Two referendum proposals on drafting a new constitution are to be sent to the Central Election Commission on Thursday, a pro-independence group said yesterday.
Taiwan New Constitution Foundation executive director Lin Yi-cheng (林宜正) said that the initiatives have so far garnered more than 3,000 signatures apiece, surpassing the required threshold of 1,931 as stipulated in the Referendum Act (公民投票法), which sets the threshold at 0.01 percent of the electorate in the most recent presidential election — which would be 19.31 million eligible voters.
If the commission approves the proposals, the foundation would have to collect more than 289,667 signatures in the second stage of the three-step process to hold a referendum, he said.
A referendum would be on Aug. 28 next year if the commission verifies that the signatures have exceeded the threshold for a referendum, Lin said.
“Voters would be asked two questions: ‘Do you support the president in initiating a constitution reform process for the country?’ and ‘Do you support the president in pushing for the establishment of a new constitution reflecting the reality of Taiwan?’” Lin said.
The referendum would be declared valid if 25 percent of the electorate votes, or about 5 million ballots cast, and a majority votes in favor, he said.
If the two proposals pass, it would show that more than 5 million Taiwanese support forming a new constitution, which would be a foundation upon which the government could act, he said.
Should the government decide to write a new constitution, it would have to hold a national conference to confirm details and procedures before another round of national-level meetings on drafting a new constitution, he said.
Should draft bills for a new constitution be completed, a national-level vote would be held to endorse it, Lin added.
The foundation was formed last year by Taiwan independence advocate Koo Kwang-ming (辜寬敏), with the aim of pushing for a new constitution.
The foundation believes that the Constitution, adopted in China in 1947 before the Republic of China government relocated to Taiwan in 1949, does not fit Taiwan, despite having been amended seven times since 1996, Lin said.
A new constitution is needed to differentiate Taiwan from China, to assert the nation’s sovereignty and raise awareness among Taiwanese, he said.
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