A referendum on a proposed constitutional amendment to lower the voting age from 20 to 18 is to be held in conjunction with the local elections on Nov. 26, the Central Election Commission said on Friday.
To amend the Constitution, legislators must first pass a proposed amendment with at least three-fourths of all lawmakers present for the vote supporting the measure. Voters must then endorse it in a national referendum.
On March 25, the 113-seat Legislative Yuan voted 109-0 in favor of the revision. The referendum would require the support of at least half of all eligible voters to pass.
Photo: Liao Chen-huei, Taipei Times
The commission defended holding the referendum on the same day as the local elections, saying that as the proposed amendment reflects a high degree of consensus from the ruling and opposition parties in the Legislative Yuan, the choice of referendum date “should take into consideration the effect of civic participation in constitutional reform.”
It also said that the local elections would not detract from the constitutional amendment or confuse voters about its meaning.
Voters would receive a maximum of five election ballots and one referendum ballot, it added.
The commission also said that the day of the local elections would be a public holiday, making it more convenient for businesses to organize shifts for their workers so they can vote, while combining the two votes would prevent people from gathering twice amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The commission had to defend its position because the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) government has decoupled referendums from national elections.
The DPP successfully campaigned late last year to oppose a referendum that would have overturned an amendment to the Referendum Act (公民投票法) its lawmakers passed in June 2019 to separate referendums and elections.
Referendums on constitutional amendments are not subject to the act, and the threshold requiring the approval of 50 percent of eligible voters is double the approval required in normal referendums.
Civic groups cited the high threshold when supporting the plan to hold the referendum on the voting age on the same day as the local elections.
The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) on Friday said it respected the commission’s decision, but called on the DPP “to re-examine its use of double-standards.”
The KMT consistently called for referendums to be held concurrently with elections during the referendums last year, which the DPP opposes, KMT Chairman Eric Chu (朱立倫) said yesterday.
“If the DPP had any sense of shame, it would publicly announce that it is wrong and the KMT is right,” he said, adding that his party also firmly supports absentee ballot voting, which the DPP does not.
Additional reporting by Shih Hsiao-kuang
Liya Chu (朱如茵), whose parents are New York-based Taiwanese restaurateurs, has been crowned the champion of US television cooking competition MasterChef Junior, after wowing the judges, including celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay, with a feast of fusion cuisine. In the finale of the show’s eighth season, broadcast on Thursday, Chu walked away with US$100,000 after serving a spread of spiced duck breast with scallion pancakes and miso eggplant, followed by coconut pandan panna cotta with a passion fruit coulis and sesame tuille. Chu, who was 10 years old at the time of filming three years ago, faced off against then-11-year-old Grayson Price from
A university student has gained the spotlight for an interactive map he designed detailing all of China’s military bases and installations throughout the Indo-Pacific region. Soochow University music student Joseph Wen (溫約瑟), who calls himself an amateur military enthusiast, said he created the map to “help people better understand the cross-strait situation.” Wen originally posted the map online on June 14 last year, but it gained greater attention after he mentioned it during an appearance on a China Television talk show. On the show, Wen said he had gathered information on the locations from publicly available Web sites, as
GLOBAL STRATEGY: Indo-Pacific alliances need reinforcement to prevent Chinese occupation of Taiwan, which would threaten Japan, Hawaii and Australia, Pompeo said The US should officially recognize Taiwan as a free, independent nation and establish official diplomatic ties, former US secretary of state Mike Pompeo told an event at the Hudson Institute in Washington on Friday. Every US president since Harry Truman has considered Taiwan’s existence to be of utmost importance to US national security, Pompeo said. Taiwan is a principal US partner in technology and economic matters, and if China were to capture Taiwan’s semiconductor supply chain, it would severely hamper the US economy, Pompeo said. Should China occupy Taiwan, it would severely weaken US influence in the Indo-Pacific region and its surrounding areas,
Opening-day ticket sales for a horror exhibition at the Tainan Art Museum were suspended twice on Saturday as the show attracted too many visitors. Titled “Ghosts and Hells: The Underworld in Asian art,” the exhibition runs until Oct. 16. It is the local version of a show that debuted at the Musee du quai Branly-Jacques Chirac in Paris. It was planned and curated by Julien Rousseau. The Tainan museum said that within an hour of its doors opening, more than 1,000 people had entered the exhibition. By noon, 3,000 physical and virtual tickets had been sold, while the museum had more than 4,000