Cabinet approves partial revisions to the Referendum Act

  • Date: 2019-04-11
  • Source: Department of Information Services, Executive Yuan

At its weekly Thursday meeting, the Cabinet approved partial revisions to the Referendum Act drafted by the Central Election Commission. The draft revisions now go to the Legislature for review and debate.

Premier Su Tseng-chang said that the draft revisions come in response to the deficiencies seen last year in the administration of both local government elections and national referendums on November 24. One key change is a proposal specifying that referendum questions involving the rights of the people can contravene neither international human rights conventions nor the acts passed in Taiwan to implement them.

Other issues addressed by the draft revisions include the fraudulent collection of signatures supporting a proposed question, which seriously undermines the referendum system’s fairness; delays in casting and counting ballots as a result of too many referendum questions for a single poll; and the lack of opportunity for public discussion and debate of referendum questions hastily submitted to coincide with the election itself.

Overall, the draft revisions promise to have a positive effect on the fairness and integrity of the referendum system, the guidelines for referendum administration, efforts to raise voter participation, the prevention of electoral chaos, and the assurance of the freedoms, democracy and human rights enjoyed by the people of Taiwan.