DPP lawmakers criticize unreasonable referendum threshold
By Adam Tyrsett Kuo, The China PostTAIPEI, Taiwan -- Opposition lawmakers said yesterday that the Kuomintang's (KMT) proposal to include absentee ballots in the much anticipated Fourth Nuclear Power Plant referendum underscores the necessity to lower the vote's threshold.
March 7, 2013, 11:58 am TWN
According to current regulations, a referendum requires at least half of the electorate's votes, and more than half of the votes cast need to be in favor of the proposal for the ballot to be passed.
The KMT says that the idea behind the inclusion of absentee votes is to increase the referendum's turnout, which draws attention to the unreasonableness of the referendum's threshold, said Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmaker Yeh Yi-jin (葉宜津).
In response, KMT Policy Committee chief Lin Hung-chih (林鴻池) said that the referendum threshold is not only reasonable but also normal.
Lin explained that many nations around the world use the same standards.
According to the DPP's proposal, only a quarter of the electorate's vote plus one is required to determine a “majority” opinion, which is not reasonable at all, Lin said.
KMT lawmaker Ting Shou-chung (丁守中) said that he will seek the signatures of opposition legislators for the referendum which is he plans to propose — to which Yeh responded that the DPP will have to go over the content of the proposal first and hold an internal discussion afterward, before deciding whether or not to put pen to paper.
Absentee Question to Determine Referendum Date: Minister
Interior Minister Lee Hong-yuan (李鴻源) said yesterday that if absentee ballots are to be included, it would be more feasible to hold the planned referendum at year-end.
There are three methods by which the government can include absentee ballots: to amend the Civil Servants Election and Recall Act, to amend the Referendum Act, or to pass a specific act governing absentee ballots, the minister said.
There are many differing opinions, and whether the government chooses to amend existing laws or to establish new regulations, a proposal still has to be approved by the Legislative Yuan, which may have to wait until may or June, Lee said, adding that afterward, if the proposal is approved, the actual referendum will take another few months to set up.
DPP to Mobilize Anti-nuke Protests
The DPP said yesterday that it will mobilize its members to take part in the “309” anti-nuclear protests to be held across the island.
DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) said yesterday that his party has long maintained an anti-nuclear stance, and that referenda are part of the DPP's core belief.
According to local reports, Su initially said that a referendum on the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant was unnecessary, and that the administration should halt construction work immediately.