Alexa
  • Directory of Taiwan

Legislature to discuss referendum draft changes

Legislature to discuss referendum draft changes

The Legislature's Home and Nations Committee will deliberate today draft amendments to Article 17 of the Referendum Act, which authorizes the president to initiate a referendum with the consent of the Executive Yuan when the nation's sovereignty is being threatened.
Defensive clause
Kuomintang Legislator Lee Ching-hua (李慶華) is seeking to remove the article, which is usually referred to as a defensive referendum clause, while her colleague Tsai Cheng-yuan (蔡正元) is pushing for a revision that would require the referendum be submitted to the Legislature for approval within 10 days of its initiation to be legally binding.
Chao Yung-ching, policy director of the Democratic Progressive Party, yesterday said that Article 17 was included in the Referendum Act so that Taiwan's citizens could make their voices heard in situations where the national security is threatened by external forces, such as if Taiwan should be blockaded by China. He appealed to all political parties to see the clause as maintaining a good system rather than over politicizing it.
Countering the draft amendments to Article 17 proposed by opposition lawmakers, DPP caucus secretary-general Yeh Yi-ching argued that a referendum was a natural right and that placing too many restrictions on it was against the trend of democracy.
First-ever referendum
On March 20, 2004, the citizens of Taiwan cast their ballots in the country's first-ever national referendum to mainly decide whether Taiwan should purchase missiles for the defense of the country.
Although the ballots were predominantly in favor of the posed questions, the referendum was defeated because the number of eligible voters who cast referendum ballots failed to reach the required 50 percent mark.


Updated : 2021-05-09 07:56 GMT+08:00