Sun, Oct 07, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Coalition exceeds signed petition limit

REFERENDUM PROPOSALS:The Central Election Commission is to decide on Tuesday if the referendums, with 83 percent valid signatures, are to be part of the voting on Nov. 24

By Chen Yu-fu  /  Staff reporter

Members of the Happiness of the Next Generation Alliance hold up signs showing the number of people — 1,982,100 — who have signed their three referendum proposals at a news conference in Taipei on Aug. 28.

Photo: Liu Hsin-de, Taipei Times

The Central Election Commission yesterday announced that the number of petition forms for the two referendum proposals launched by the Coalition for the Happiness of Our Next Generation had passed the legal threshold, with each garnering more than 550,000 signatures.

As the number of signatures for the referendum petitions had exceeded the legal minimum, the commission said it would convene a meeting on Tuesday to decide whether the proposals are valid and to be included in the voting on Nov. 24.

For a referendum proposal to be established, its initiator has to collect at least 281,745 signatures, or 1.5 percent of the number of the total electors in the most recent presidential and vice presidential election, as stipulated by Article 12 of the Referendum Act (公民投票法).

Launched by the alliance’s referendum convener, Yu Hsin-yi (游信義), one of the proposals asks: “Do you agree that marriage should be strictly defined as between a man and a woman in the Civil Code (民法)?”

According to the commission, the proposal garnered 565,676 valid petitions and 112,296 invalid ones — the latter included 42,025 without a proper signature; 35,566 with no residential address or an incorrect one; 11,254 with an incorrect identification number; 11,253 with a repeated signature; 4,376 with forged information; and 612 signed in the name of a deceased person.

The other proposal submitted by alliance president Tseng Hsien-ying (曾獻瑩) asks: “Do you agree that provisions in the Enforcement Rules for Gender Equity Education Act (性別平等教育法施行細則) concerning homosexuality education should not be implemented at the elementary and junior-high school levels?”

The commission said that the proposal collected 556,366 valid petitions and 113,802 invalid ones — the latter included more than 41,000 forms without a signature or stamp; 37,378 with an incorrect residential address; 12,509 with an incorrect or unclear identification number; 10,741 with a repeated signature; and 535 signed in the name of a dead person.

More than 83 percent of the petitions for the two referendum proposals were valid, while the percentage of forms signed in the name of a dead person was only 0.09 percent, which was lower than the nation’s death rate of 0.73 percent last year, the alliance said in a statement later yesterday, citing data by the Ministry of the Interior.

As for the alliance’s third referendum proposal on establishing a specific law for same-sex marriage, local household registration agencies yesterday said they forwarded the results of their examination of the petition forms’ signatories to the commission, with the results to be announced as soon as the commission completes necessary paperwork.

Meanwhile, the commission said that because petitions for two referendum proposals tendered by same-sex marriage supporters were submitted later than the others, local agencies might not be able to finish checking the validity of the petition forms’ signatories until Wednesday.

The commission has scheduled an additional meeting on Tuesday to examine the petitions and announce the results, commission Vice Chairman Chen Chao-chien (陳朝建) said.

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