A Big Win For The Second Anti-Casino Referendum In Penghu Islands

On October 15, in a landslide outcome of the second referendum on whether legalizing casino or not, Penghu residents vetoedthe proposal in a big win compared to the first referendum result.

According to The Penghu County Election Commission(PCEC), with a total of 83,469 qualified voters, 6,210 votedyes for casino and 26,598 voted against, while 216 votes were invalid ballots. The voter turnout was 39.56 %, said PCEC.

While the first referendum on casino legalizing was held in 2009, with a total of 73,651 qualified voters and a 42.16% turn out, 13,397 voted yes for the casino plan and 17,359 voted against it.

Anti-Casino Alliance for Penghu announced this exhilarating victory on this casino referendum at a press conferencearound 5:30 p.m., about one and half hour after ballots started to count, hurraying "March On A Proud Penghu!" and "Nice Job! Penghu".

In order to solve the issue of casino legalization once for all, Anti-Casino Alliance urged the congress to scrape down the so called "casino article", i.e. article 10-2 of the Offshore Islands Development Act which stipulates a casino establishment in a cunning wording that "Before an Offshore Island may be opened to the establishment of tourist casinos, a local referendum thereon must be held in accordance with the Referendum Act, and more than half of the valid votes cast in the referendum must be votes of approval".

As to the future of Penghu, declared in a united statement of Anti-Casino Alliance and Island and OceanFoundation, will be guided under the following three directions: (1) Open an international forum at Penghu about her optimal transition from an island to a site of ecological arts; (2) Strengthen Penghu's coastal reservation and make Penghu a paradise for depth ecological tourism; (3) Revitalize local agriculture in traditions and enable Penghu to become a hub to deliver produce free of pollution.

Source: The Presbyterian Church in Taiwan