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Taiwan military abandons plans to fly voters to Kinmen

Ministry of National Defense unable to respond to snap request for more planes from CAA

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Voters heading home by bus Friday to vote in Saturday's presidential and legislative elections. 

Voters heading home by bus Friday to vote in Saturday's presidential and legislative elections.  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Voters waiting to board flights to the offshore island of Kinmen close to China found the military had run out of planes to fly them home, reports said Saturday (Jan. 13).

Taiwanese working and living in the country’s major cities are often still registered to vote in remote areas, leading to heavy traffic before and during voting day. For voters in Kinmen off the coast of China’s Fujian Province, air transport is often the only possibility to reach the island in time from Taiwan’s main island.

At Taipei Songshan Airport Saturday morning, dozens of travelers showed up expecting to board a C-130H military transport plane to take them across the Taiwan Strait to Kinmen, but the flight was unexpectedly canceled, per UDN.

The Ministry of National Defense (MND) said it was unable to give a positive response to the snap request from the Civil Aviation Administration (CAA) for more flights. To fulfill the demands of military preparedness, and to allow military personnel to vote, it was impossible to help out the CAA by providing aircraft, the MND commented.