Push to use name ‘Taiwan’ instead of ‘Chinese Taipei’ at Tokyo Olympics falters

Number of voters stays just under the required 25 %, while opponents outnumber supporters

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Voters lining up Saturday.

Voters lining up Saturday. (By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – A referendum in favor of using the name ‘Taiwan’ instead of the current ‘Chinese Taipei’ to participate in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics looks to be faltering Saturday, not only because more voters opposed the proposal, but also because it looked like not enough voters had cast ballots.

The result of a referendum is only valid if 25 percent of eligible voters have cast their ballot, and if more are in favor of it than oppose it.

However, by 11:30 p.m. Saturday, only 24.3 percent of eligible voters had cast their ballot on the issue, according to provisional figures from the Central Election Commission.

Even if the total eventually exceeded 25 percent, the question still received more negative answers than positive ones. A total of 4,122,738 voters agreed that Taiwan should drop the name ‘Chinese Taipei’ and just use ‘Taiwan’ at international sports events, and specifically at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

However, 4,915,443 voters opposed the proposal, apparently preferring to stick with ‘Chinese Taipei.’

During the final campaign leading up to the vote, the Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee organized a news conference with athletes asking to vote no, as they feared Taiwan would be completely shut out from international sports if the referendum passed.

A total of 10 referendums were up for a vote on Saturday, with the minimum age to vote lowered to 18, from the previous limit of 20, still valid for local elections on the same day.

Referendums which were approved included environmentally related issues and opposition to same-sex marriage.