Amendment to election and recall act passed

The Legislature on Tuesday passed an amendment to make it easier to recall elected officials. The change to the Civil Servants Election and Recall Act means that a recall motion against an official may be launched at the request of 1% of the electorate in their district. That's half of the previous 2%.

There was disagreement between parties however over the threshold for a successful recall motion. The New Power Party, aligned with the majority Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), called for a simple majority of recall votes with no minimum threshold. The DPP maintained that there should be a minimum threshold. The passed amendment states that the number of recall votes must be at least one quarter of the district's electorate and greater than the number of votes against.

Lawmaker Chen Yi-chieh of the opposition-aligned People First Party said too low a threshold would lead to constant recall motions.

"If we approve a recall threshold that is too low, in the future the fighting between the green and blue camps will just get worse. The loser of any election just has to wait a year and then launch a recall motion. It will tear society apart. To lower the threshold for recalls was also the consensus of the opposition. But what is acceptable to us is that a quarter of the electorate in the constituency must be in favor. If that is any lower, or if we do away with a minimum threshold altogether, we will have a situation like I have just described," said Chen.

The passed amendment also struck out a clause banning publicity activities in favor of or against specific recall motions.

Source: Radio Taiwan International