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Taiwan KMT candidate wants to bring back Dec. 25 public holiday

Hou wants to mark Constitution Day, not Christmas

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KMT presidential candidate Hou Yu-ih (center) campaigns in Chiayi County Saturday. 

KMT presidential candidate Hou Yu-ih (center) campaigns in Chiayi County Saturday.  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Kuomintang (KMT) candidate Hou Yu-ih (侯友宜) said Saturday (Dec. 9) that he would bring back Dec. 25 as a public holiday if he won the presidential election.

While the day is celebrated in most parts of the world as Christmas, in Taiwan, it used to be a day off to mark the launch of the Constitution. When still based in China, the government of Chiang Kai-shek adopted a new Constitution on Dec. 25, 1946, with the document going into effect precisely one year later.

From 1963, the day was a public holiday in Taiwan, until a Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) government abolished it after coming to power in 2000. Pressure from business associations convinced the government that there were too many public holidays, having a negative impact on the country’s economic performance.

At a rally Saturday, Hou said he wanted to bring back the Dec. 25 holiday, not to celebrate Christmas, but once again to underline the importance of the Constitution to the nation, Radio Taiwan International (RTI) reported. He slammed DPP candidate Lai Ching-te (賴清德) for once having said that Taiwan needed a new constitution more suited to its present situation.