Mar 16, 2007

Taiwan: Citizens Should Decide

The Democratic Progressive Party announces it supports holding a referendum on the nation’s campaign to join the UN under the name Taiwan, calling the participation of citizens on issues of national concern crucial.

Below is an article published by Taipei Times:

A group of Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislators yesterday visited the Central Election Commission (CEC), where they picked up a form to initiate an endorsement campaign aimed at calling for a public referendum on the nation's entry into the UN under the name "Taiwan."

CEC Chairman Chang Cheng-hsiung met the lawmakers, including Chai Trong-rong and Cheng Tsao-min.

Chai, a staunch supporter of Taiwan's independence, told Chang that they hoped to initiate the endorsement campaign to call a public referendum on Taiwan's UN bid, to be held alongside December's legislative elections or next year's presidential election, in response to a goal outlined by President Chen Shui-bian that the nation should join the UN as "Taiwan."

Holding a referendum would allow the public to have the final say on the issue and help the international community gain a better understanding of the people's strong desire to enter the UN, Chai said.

"Why can't Taiwan, with its marked economic and educational achievements, join the world body as other nations in the world?" he said. "The people must strive to accomplish the task already approved by the DPP's Central Standing Committee and we hope to hold the public referendum alongside the year-end legislative elections or the March 2008 presidential poll."

In a democracy, it is normal to hold referendums to allow people to have their say on issues of major national concern or public interest, he added.

The public referendum law requires that at least 85,000 people endorse Chai's campaign in the first phase before a CEC panel can give the go-ahead for a second-phase endorsement to bring about a referendum.