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Students speak out against election date

Students speak out against election date

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Student representatives from 24 colleges and universities expressed opposition Wednesday against the choice of January 16 for presidential and legislative elections because of their proximity to key examinations.
Critics have accused the government of trying to prevent supposedly pro-opposition students from voting, but after the Central Election Commission announced the date Tuesday, the Ministry of Education said it would ask the schools to pick other dates for the exams.
The leaders of 24 student organizations came together Wednesday and issued a statement slamming the CEC for making it difficult for students to prepare for and participate in the tests on the one hand and travel home to vote on the other hand. The rights of 700,000 voters were being trampled upon, National Taiwan University student leader Wang Jih-hsuan said at the news conference.
She called on the ministry and the universities to take students’ interests into account when scheduling the final examinations. While most of the schools reportedly ended their exams on January 15, at least two, Fu Jen Catholic University in New Taipei City and Feng Chia University in Taichung, had an exam period which lasted until January 20 and 21 respectively.
NTU officials reportedly said that the school and the professors were flexible, and that in the case of reports to be submitted during the period of the election, students could do so earlier or later after discussing the subject with their relevant teachers.
Student leaders said the government and the schools should not underestimate the power and influence of the students. Since the student-dominated Sunflower Movement occupied the Legislative Yuan from March 18 until April 10 last year, young voters have been seen as a major power for change.


Updated : 2021-09-19 05:00 GMT+08:00