Academic Degrees to Be Removed From Election Bulletin? 選舉公報刪除學歷項目 在程序委會被擋下

G. Chen
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At the Procedure Committee, legislators continue to discuss the government's proposed amendment to the Civil Servants Election and Recall Act. One KMT legislator proposed to deprive people whose academic degrees were revoked due to suspected plagiarism and people with DUIs the right to run in elections.

Political parties are in a heated discussion over the Executive Yuan's latest proposed amendment to the Civil Servants Election and Recall Act. The amendment would prohibit people convicted of specific crimes, such as gun violence, drug dealing, election bribery, and national security offenses, from running in elections. The KMT legislative caucus recently proposes adding sexual offenders to the list. KMT legislator Lin Wei-chou further suggested prohibiting people whose academic degrees have been revoked and those who have been convicted of drinking under influence, to run in elections. A numerously signed petition has been sent to the Conference Department under the Legislative Yuan for review.

Lin Wei-chou, Legislator (KMT): “How long have you been lying to your voters? Is that not serious enough? If that (revocation of academic degrees) happens, then you should be banned from running in elections for life, because you have been lying to your voters.”

Meanwhile, DPP legislators Chung Chia-pin, Tsai Shih-ying, and Mark Ho proposed removing the political candidate's academic degrees from the election bulletin as part of the amendment. It sparked a controversial debate; other DPP legislators did not show support either during the procedure committee meeting.

Lo Chih-cheng, Legislator (DPP): “The DPP caucus was unaware (of the proposal). Second, this is an individual proposal. Thirdly, during the procedure committee meeting yesterday, when KMT legislators brought up the issue and thought the proposal was inappropriate, committee members on the DPP side did not disagree either. We decided to drop the case.”

Chiu Chen-yuan, TPP Legislative Caucus Whip: “We should examine the system as a whole and reflect. We shouldn't be covering up or removing academic degrees on the election bulletin, that's taking away citizens' rights to know.”

The Taiwan People's Party (TPP) also disapproves of the proposal, saying that's solving the problem in the wrong direction. Although DPP Legislator Chung emphasized that each candidate could still write about their academic background in the self-description, lawmakers are unconvinced. The proposal has been put on hold.