Premier orders heightened security preparations ahead of local elections

  • Date: 2018-11-01
  • Source: Department of Information Services, Executive Yuan

Premier Lai Ching-te on Thursday ordered government agencies to step up security preparations ahead of the nine-in-one local government elections and the national referendums scheduled for November 24.

As the nation counts down the days to the event, the public has high expectations for the government to crack down on vote-buying schemes and ensure that officials are elected on merit and ability, the premier said. Prosecutors, police and investigators should therefore work alongside anti-corruption and civil service ethics agencies to keenly monitor the election process in a demonstration of the government’s commitment to combating voter bribery.

Compared with the past, this year’s election presents several unique challenges: The referendums will take place the same day as the elections; foreign forces are attempting to influence the elections via financial means; criminal syndicates or gangsters have been acting under the guise of political parties to undermine social order; and the dissemination of fake news will create adverse impacts. Premier Lai ordered all government agencies to maintain heightened vigilance and use the intelligence gathering and communication platforms that have been put in place to quickly identify and bring bad actors to justice.

On the day of the vote, election and police agencies should also enact comprehensive security measures for the delivery and custody of ballots to ensure a fair, clean and peaceful election process, Premier Lai added.

The premier’s remarks came at a Cabinet meeting that included a briefing from the Ministry of the Interior on election and referendum security preparations, as well as a report from the Ministry of Justice on the prevention of election fraud and violence.