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Combined legislative, presidential elections to take place in 2016: CEC

Combined legislative, presidential elections to take place in 2016: CEC

Taipei, Feb. 12 (CNA) The Central Election Commission (CEC) announced Thursday that the legislative and presidential elections in 2016 will take place concurrently. The commission stated that the decision was motivated by the intent to conform with public expectations, minimize the total costs of the polls, maintain the stability of the electoral process and to encourage citizens to participate actively in political development. It said the exact timing for the combined legislative and presidency race will be determined in a followup meeting scheduled to take place March 17. CEC Chairman Liu I-chou (???) said that opinion polls, public hearings, Internet surveys and input from political parties have mostly shown support for a combined legislative and presidential race in 2016. Liu added that a combined race will markedly cut campaigning costs, as well as prevent a protracted division in society that could hamper Taiwan's economic development. Most notably, Liu said, a combined race represents consistency, a continuation of the same rules imposed in a round of legislative elections four years ago. Liu highlighted the fact that voter turnout often sees tremendous gains in combined races. Turnout in the 2012 all-constituencies legislative race increased by more than 16 percent compared to the single-member districts legislative race of 2008. On the prospect that the incumbent president will become sidlined as a caretaker for about four months before the newly elected president takes the office in May, Liu said that such transitioning periods are inevitable, even if the combined elections are delayed. Liu said that as the Republic of China Constitution empowers the president to dissolve the legislatsure and decouple the presidential race from the legislature elections, there is no compelling reason to schedule a fixed date for the combined race. In response to independents or smaller-scale political parties' concerns that they might be marginalized in a combined race, Liu said that he does not see compelling evidence to support this claim and that they too are expected to benefit from increased voter turnout in 2016. (By Claudia Liu and Ted Chen)


Updated : 2021-09-24 21:25 GMT+08:00