Legislature Makes Announcement on Voting Age 立院公告18歲公民權修憲案 6個月後交複決

A formal announcement of a constitutional amendment to lower the voting age to 18 was made on March 28. Legislative Speaker You Si-kun says a referendum will be held within three months once six months pass from the announcement.

Legislative President You Si-kun and Kuomintang legislative caucus whip William Tseng jointly posted an announcement on the bulletin board outside the legislature's Chunhsian Building. The whips of all political parties jointly announced that the legislature had passed the third reading of a constitutional amendment to lower the voting age to 18.

You Si-kun, President, Legislative Yuan: “It's the first constitutional amendment in 17 years, and it also differs from past ones in that it will be the first time in Taiwan's history that a second vote will be held via a referendum for a constitutional amendment to take effect.”

You said the draft bill will be delivered to the Central Election Commission once the six-month period between March 28 and Sept. 28 is over, and a referendum will be held within three months after that. If half of the voters agree, then the constitution can be amended. However, a consensus hasn't yet been reached on whether the referendum should be held in conjunction with the year-end local elections.

William Tseng, KMT Legislative Caucus Whip: “The Democratic Progressive Party loudly and actively demanded in the past that referendums shouldn't be tied to elections. That was the DPP's position, so the Kuomintang is absolutely not fixing the game.”

Ker Chien-ming, DPP Legislative Caucus Whip: “What William Tseng just said is inverting right and wrong. In the past, referendums and elections were of course one thing, and constitutional amendments were another. Constitutional amendments are the people conducting a second vote. This is a constitutional referendum. The threshold is so high, so it has to be bound with elections.”

KMT Legislator Hsieh Yi-fong posted that she supports lowering the voting age to 18, and the KMT should continue pushing for other reforms such as lowering the minimum age for a president to 35 and implementing absentee voting.