Taiwan moves January legislative by-elections to a Sunday

The one-day postponement is designed to avoid interfering with examinations on Saturday January 26

The first two legislative by-elections, in Taipei and Taichung, will take place on Sunday, January 27.

The first two legislative by-elections, in Taipei and Taichung, will take place on Sunday, January 27. (By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) - In a rare move, two legislative by-elections originally scheduled for Saturday January 26 will be postponed to the following day to avoid interference with examinations, the Central Election Commission (CEC) announced Tuesday.

On November 24, some lawmakers won the mayoral and county magistrate elections, while others had resigned ahead of the election to show their commitment to the campaign.

Opposition Kuomintang (KMT) legislator Lu Shiow-yen (盧秀燕) won the Taichung mayoral elections, while ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmaker Yao Wen-chih (姚文智) had resigned from the Legislative Yuan, even though he eventually went on to lose his bid for mayor of Taipei City.

The CEC had initially picked January 26 as the date for the two by-elections, but later, objections arose as it was noted that the same day, some students would have to take entrance examinations. Since both examinations and voting usually take place at schools, the government felt the elections should be moved, the Apple Daily reported.

While the CEC first refused, a new meeting on Tuesday agreed to the Cabinet demand and decided to fix the new election date on January 27, a Sunday, which is highly unusual for Taiwan, where elections almost always take place on a Saturday.

The CEC will still have to decide the dates for three more by-elections, as a DPP lawmaker was elected mayor of Tainan City, and KMT legislators will serve as county magistrates of Changhua and Kinmen.

The by-elections have to be held within three months of a legislative seat being vacated, at least if there is still one year or more of the legislative term left. The next legislative elections should take place concurrently with the presidential elections in January 2020.