Petition to scrap 'Chinese Taipei' for 'Taiwan' accepted by CEC

Petition to hold referendum on changing Taiwan's Olympic name from 'Chinese Taipei' to 'Taiwan' accepted by Central Election Committee

(Image from @TeamTaiwan.2020TokyoOlympics Facebook)

(Image from @TeamTaiwan.2020TokyoOlympics Facebook)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- A petition calling for a nationwide referendum to change Taiwan's Olympic team name from "Chinese Taipei" to "Taiwan" before the 2020 Tokyo Olympics was officially accepted by the Central Election Committee as having more than enough valid signatures yesterday.

The CEC yesterday announced that out of the 515,959 signatures submitted for the petition, 86,564 were rejected while 429,395 were verified as valid, far exceeding the threshold of 281,745. The commission will have a final review of the petition today and if approved, it will go on the ballot in the Nov. 24 elections.

The referendum, which in English has the slogan "Let Taiwan be Taiwan," reads: "Do you agree Taiwan should use the name 'Taiwan' to participate in the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo and all other international sporting events?" The referendum's organizers on the Team Taiwan Facebook page expressed confidence that it would make it to the ballot on Nov. 24.

Out of the 86,564 rejected signatures, 32,865 had failed to list their residential address, 15,480 were duplicate signatures, 13,492 lacked a signature or seal, and 10,511 did not have an ID card number or had made another error, according to the commission.

According to the commission's statistics, 5,148 of the petition's signatures were forged and 537, or 0.1 percent, were "signed" by people who were already deceased, far lower than the 77,194 forgeries and 11,849 "signatures" from dead people on the controversial air pollution reduction referendum proposed by Kuomintang (KMT) Legislator Lu Shiow-yen (盧秀燕).

According to the new Referendum Act, a public referendum needs 25 percent of support from the voting electorate to be legally binding. The organizers of the referendum said on the Team Taiwan Facebook page yesterday that 5 million votes would be needed for it to pass this November.