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President Chen urges voters to back both UN referendums

President Chen urges voters to back both UN referendums

President Chen Shui-bian reiterated his support Tuesday for both referendums on the United Nations membership bid, warning that the international community will misread Taiwan's intention about the island if either fails to pass on March 22.
Chen, whose ruling Democratic Progressive Party initiates the referendum on whether the country should seek UN membership under“Taiwan,”urged voters to endorse the two votes despite their different wordings.
The other referendum, sponsored by the opposition Kuomintang, will ask the people to decide if the country should try to rejoin the UN under its official title, the Republic of China, or other designations that best promise success.
Neither is expected to pass in light of the threshold required for their passage. All referendums must must obtain majority approval from the public in an election where at least 50 percent of all eligible voters take part.
Chen denied any political motives behind combining the referendums with the presidential poll, noting that the DPP suffered a resounding defeat in the January legislative polls that were held together with two referendums. Neither succeeded to draw sufficient turnout to be considered valid.
The government means simply to save costs by combining the UN referendums with the presidential election, Chen said, adding that the UN referendums will have profound impact on Taiwan, as the world will use their outcome to fathom the public's sentiment on the issue.
The international community will think Taiwan people are indifferent to the UN membership if both referendums fail, Chen cautioned. The president related he sought to avoid dividing the vote through partisan negotiation but gave up on the effort after the opposition camp expressed no interest in the idea.


Updated : 2021-07-24 12:43 GMT+08:00