The Ministry of the Interior has plans to overhaul the Civil Servants Election and Recall Act. It aims to amend a total of 112 articles.
The Ministry of the Interior is planning to overhaul the Civil Servants Election and Recall Act. The proposed amendments include guaranteeing the voting rights of the physically disabled, implementing the spirit of convention regulations, and establishing an election advertisement identification system. This would require advertisements in publications during elections to include disclaimers. Outside funding will be banned. To help political parties promote their platforms, there will be televised platform presentations for legislator-at-large candidates. In the future, presidential and vice presidential candidates will be allowed to submit the signatures required for their candidacies digitally instead of on paper. Meanwhile, government office candidates may only be nominated by one political party, but this is not applicable to presidential elections. Most important of all, there are strengthened deterrents against election-related gambling. Those who run gambling rings on elections or recalls face up to five years in prison.
In addition, a collective penalty will be imposed on political parties if their candidates take bribes to abandon their campaigns or intentionally lose elections. They will be fined up to NT$50 million following court sentencing. The candidates will also be fined.
We're making the oversight of this type of behavior more complete for when political parties hold primaries. The government wasn't able to regulate them in the past. Primary-related disputes were privately dealt with or taken to courts or whatever.
The ministry aims to amend 112 clauses of the act. It claims it is trying to modernize the civil servant recall system, which is why it needs to be exhaustive. However, the issue of absentee ballots has been ignored. One Kuomintang legislator questioned if this is due to considerations ahead of the 2022 local elections.
The issue of absentee voting is of utmost importance. If the amendments to the Civil Servants Election and Recall Act this time do not include absentee voting, then I really believe these amendments aren't being applied to where they are most needed. Instead, this situation makes people feel like the amendments are being abused.
Is absentee voting more likely to be influenced by outside forces because of this law, especially in China? I think no one believes that there is the expression of free will in that place.
The ministry said the issue will be dealt with via referendum and it won't discuss the issue until there is practical experience in voting. The amendments will be sent to the Executive Yuan for review and then to the Legislative Yuan. They are expected to become applicable before the 2022 local elections.